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Coral World Ocean Park

Animal Welfare Specialist 1 – Apprentice Level

Department: Marine Operations Department
Division: Marine Mammal Division
Reports to: Marine Mammal Manager/Assistant Curator of Marine Mammals and Birds FLSA Status: Non-Exempt

Job Summary: Animal Welfare Specialist 1 (AWS 1) works under the direct supervision of AWS 3 (Senior) to support all daily animal care and guest interactions. They show a willingness to learn and promote a positive teamwork environment under the guidance of the Assistant Curator of Marine Mammals and Birds.

Duties/Responsibilities (Essential Functions):
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Meets all position requirements, duties, and responsibilities of the Animal Welfare Specialist Assistant
  • Performs various cleaning and maintenance duties in the marine mammal work area. This includes handling chemicals for cleaning pool enclosures, assisting with filtration operations, and conducting water quality tests.
  • Performs food preparation and basic cleaning duties, including early morning fish breakout, following required husbandry and sanitation standards as set forth by Coral World.
  • Responsible for daily recordkeeping and various additional duties as necessary throughout the facility.
  • The active goal of a trainer in this position is to acquire knowledge and develop the working skills necessary to train marine animals successfully in an interactive and educational setting by assisting AWS 2 and AWS 3 staff with animal interactions, training sessions, and public presentations.
  • Attend all training lectures and demonstrate acquired knowledge.
  • Required to progress at an appropriate pace through the assigned department’s Animal Welfare Specialists Development program which certifies staff for independent performance of duties and responsibilities within the marine mammal operation.
  • Perform other duties as required.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

This position has no supervisory responsibilities.

Work Environment

This job operates in a professional environment (indoor and outdoor). The employee will be exposed to sunny, warm, humid, and wet conditions. This role routinely uses standard equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, printers, filing cabinets, cameras, and fax machines.

Physical demands This position requires the employee to sit, stand, walk, or move for most of his/her working hours but occasionally must stoop, kneel, or crouch. The AWS 1 is required to walk around the park sometimes on uneven ground and up and down stairs. The ASW 1 is frequently required to reach with hands and arms, using hands to handle or feel. The ASW 1 is required to be in constant communication with guests during programs requiring the ASW 1 to talk and hear. The ASW 1 must frequently lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. ASW 1 duties are frequently performed under physically demanding conditions and potentially hazardous environments, including working in close proximity with wild animals and handling potentially dangerous chemicals.

Position Type and Expected Hours of Work
This is a full-time position. Days are scheduled 5 days a week between Sunday - Saturday for a 40-hour work week. During the slow season hours may be reduced to accommodate the needs of the park. During emergencies such as Hurricanes or other natural disasters may be expected to work 50+ hours per week.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology, biology, or a related scientific discipline (or a comparable level of education/experience that would provide the necessary knowledge to meet the minimum qualifications for this position.)
  • A basic understanding of Microsoft Office software, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Ability to work legally in the United States (Coral World does not provide visas for international applicants).
  • Ability to pass an annual, on-site swimming and physical conditioning test (outlined below).
  • Rescue SCUBA certified or the ability to obtain certification within probationary period (6 months).
  • Must be CPR/First Aid Certified.
  • Must be a team player with strong communication skills, have a positive attitude, and an outgoing personality, with the ability to work well unsupervised


  • Bilingual

Special Eligibility Requirements:

  • Ability to work flexible schedule, including evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Must be a team player and be able to get along with others.
  • Must be able to use tact in handling sensitive situations.
  • Must be personable, courteous and able to work under pressure.

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed when circumstances change (example: emergencies, changes to personnel, workload, rush jobs, or technological developments).

How to Apply

Please include the job title in the subject. References required. Please submit cover letter, resume, and references by email to be considered for the position.

Contact Information:
Valissa M. Hodge, MHRM Office/Human Resources Manager Email:
Office: (340) 775 1555 ext. 247

Coral World Ocean Park
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

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