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The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is a collaboration between the City of Virginia Beach and the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Foundation. The City of Virginia Beach owns and maintains the Aquarium's buildings and grounds, and provides administrative support for such services as accounting and human resources. The Foundation procures and maintains the Aquarium's collections, including its fish and animals, habitats, and interactive exhibits.

Exhibits Technician I - Mammal Trainer

The Exhibits Technician I - Mammal Trainer will assist in the husbandry and health maintenance of the live animal collections, functioning as a mammal trainer/keeper for the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. Performs husbandry and behavioral management tasks in accordance with industry best practices, safety protocols, standards and guidelines established by the Virginia Aquarium, governing agencies and regulatory/accrediting bodies. Assist in the maintenance of mammal exhibits. Dive in enclosed exhibit systems with animals present.

Support the guest experience by actively seeking out guest engagement opportunities.  Participates in visitor enhancement development and conducts interactive animal programs. Must be able to effectively communicate mission-driven topics to the public and enhance the guest experience.

Perform animal husbandry, behavioral training, and animal handling activities for the Aquarium’s collection, which include harbor seals, North American river otters,  terrestrial mammals, and birds.

Assist in the development of novel environmental enrichment devices and activities.  Cross-train with other animal care staff.

Cleans and maintains animal exhibits and holding areas.  Responsibilities include staying current on trends in animal training, animal welfare, conservation, and informal education. 

May occasionally assist with the transport of animals, including extended overnight travel.

Perform other job duties requiring skills, knowledge and physical requirements as demanded by those duties described or less. Individual assignments will be determined by the supervisor based on the current workloads and department needs.

Experience Required

MINIMUMS: Requires a minimum of three (3) to six (6) months' full-time equivalent experience, depending on facility and program, plus any combination of additional education and experience (above the high school level) , for a total of two (2) full-time equivalent years. Related positions that meet experience would include those such as animal trainer, biologist, or animal keeper in a similar facility that utilizes the required knowledge, skills and abilities. Individual positions will have specific requirements regarding subject expertise, skills and training; these will be noted on job requisition at time opening is advertised. Must possess and maintain at all times current SCUBA certification of Open Water Diver or higher from a nationally recognized certifying agency. Must have, or obtain, a current and valid Virginia or North Carolina driver's license in accordance with Virginia or North Carolina DMV driver's license eligibility requirements. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: All employees may be expected to work hours in excess of their normally scheduled hours in response to short-term department needs and/or City-wide emergencies. Positions within this class have been designated as Alpha I positions requiring employees to work during inclement weather, regardless of the City’s operational status. This position may require that incumbents to wear and maintain appropriate personal protective equipment such as, but not limited to, steel toed shoes, hard hats, safety glasses, gloves, or other safety attire and equipment in designated areas of risk. Specific requirements will be determined and communicated by the employee’s supervisor based on position assigned. This is a safety sensitive position and is subject to mandatory drug testing and annual exams. Positive drug test results may result in counseling and/or discipline, up to and including, termination. Successful completion of a pre-employment physical. Upon hire, the selected candidate will be required to receive rabies pre-exposure vaccination provided by the City of Virginia Beach Occupational Safety and Health Services. Preferred: Bachelor’s degree or higher in biology, marine biology, marine science, zoology or related field. Hands-on experience in the training, care and daily husbandry of aquatic mammals in a public aquarium or similar facility. Experience diving in exhibits for maintenance with animals present. Experience communicating to the public in an aquarium, zoo or similar facility. Experience conducting interactive animal programs in a related field. Experience working at an Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) accredited facility. Experience with animal record keeping using a computerized database (ZIMS or similar).

Further Comments

Please note: This position is being re-opened to expand the pool of candidates. If you have already applied, you do not need to re-apply.


The City of Virginia Beach offers an excellent benefits package with includes health, dental, and life insurance; retirement and savings plans; holidays, paid time off; as well as access to the Beach Municipal Federal Credit Union, a non-profit service agency which is owned and operated exclusively for City employees and their dependents.


Pay Range for this Classification: G.14, $31,075.20 - $45,531.20

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying for this opportunity please visit The City of Virginia Beach is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). Please note, this posting closes on 9/18/19

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
717 General Booth Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Phone: 757-385-FISH

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