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Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is a public-private partnership between the City of Virginia Beach and the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Foundation, a 501c3 nonprofit. The city owns and maintains the Aquarium’s buildings and provides administrative support while the foundation procures and maintains the collection of animals and exhibits. The foundation is also responsible for fundraising efforts and various scientific research, education, and conservation programs.

Exhibits Technician I - Aquarist/Keeper

The Exhibits Technician I – Aquarist/Keeper will assist in the husbandry and health maintenance of the live animals in aquariums and holding systems for the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.

Duties will include the following:

  • Assist in the acquisition of live organisms, construction, maintenance, and repair of live exhibits and aquarium systems.

  • Provide for the needs of all animals and aquarium systems in assigned areas by doing regular daily feedings, maintaining water quality through the operation of individual life support systems, and administering treatments as directed by curatorial and veterinarian staff.

  • Seeks out guest contact and personal facilitated experiences.

  • Maintain exhibit quality standards through regular maintenance and cleaning activities.

  • Perform animal husbandry and animal handling activities involving animal groups in the Aquarium’s collection.

  • Keep work area clean and organized and report mechanical failures in a timely fashion; and keep service areas clean, neat, and well organized.

  • Keep accurate records on all husbandry, training, and water testing activities including daily care, animal health maintenance and observations, acquisition/disposition, and mortalities.

  • Participate in collecting and quarantine activities when directed.

  • Research and suggest upgrades, enhancements, and changes to exhibit and life support systems to curatorial staff.

  • Assist in the design and construction of new exhibits and life support systems.

  • Cross-train within the animal care sections.

  • Participate in SCUBA diving operations for the purposes of exhibit maintenance, animal husbandry-related procedures, and collecting activities.

  • Participate in Aquarium related programs including formal and informal guest presentations, facility tours, special after-hours events, and fee-based programs.

  • Other duties may include participation in scientific research and cross-training with other sections.

  • May travel for training and professional development.

  • 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 any combination of education (above the high school level) and/or experience equivalent to two (2) years in fields utilizing the required knowledge, skills, and abilities and associated with positions such as aquarist, exhibits technician, biologist, or animal keeper in a similar facility or program. 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 a current and valid Driver's License. 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. 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. 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. Successful completion of a pre-employment physical. This is a safety sensitive position and is subject to mandatory drug testing. Positive drug test results may result in counseling and/or discipline, up to and including, termination.

Further Comments

The ideal candidate will have the following preferences. One or more years of experience providing animal care to aquatic animals in an aquarium or similar facility. One or more years experience (may be concurrent) providing animal care to reptiles or amphibians in an aquarium or similar facility. Experience utilizing operant conditioning techniques with reptiles or aquatic animals. Experience maintaining and repairing life support systems. Experience diving in exhibits for maintenance. Experience communicating to the public in an aquarium, zoo, or similar facility. Experience with animal record-keeping programs (ZIMS or similar). Experience working at an AZA-accredited facility.


The City of Virginia Beach offers an excellent benefits package which 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

 Please note, this posting closes on 4/11/21.

The City of Virginia Beach is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

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

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