How to Post Jobs

AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, Commercial Members, Conservation Partners and Society Partners may post free unlimited online job listings as a member benefit. Non-members can purchase job listings. How to post a job

Career Center

Interested in a career in AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums? Learn more about types of zoo and aquarium jobs and relevant education programs in our career center.

National Aquarium

Senior Exhibit Builder/Habitat Fabrication Specialist

Job Summary:

A Senior Exhibit Builder - Habitat Fabrication Specialist is the key person driving habitat design look & feel, visual accuracy, and dimensional accuracy. This position coordinates project related habitat work to completion using a compilation of visual references and models. This position generates initial habitat project time and cost estimates. This position creates and maintains a mold inventory of natural and sculpted specimens along with 3D geometric forms, all intended for use in habitat simulations or live display applications. This is a “hands-on” position performing much of the required work and not a management position. This position directs the efforts of other part time and full-time project assistants on an as-needed basis. This position mentors less experienced and shorter tenured staff.


This is a non-essential position as defined by the National Aquarium Emergency Closure and Pay Policy.


Essential Functions:

A Senior Exhibit Builder - Habitat Fabrication Specialist performs the following essential functions:


  • Determine project material resource requirements. Anticipate workload and staffing requirements. Balance all resources to successfully advance multiple projects simultaneously; Ensure that project materials, tools, and supplies are on hand and ordered with appropriate lead times.
  • Coordinates the work of other Habitat Fabricators and Exhibit Builders to optimal results for assigned habitat projects.
  • Provides detailed habitat project time and cost estimates as Excel spreadsheets to the Director of Exhibit Fabrication & Operations showing estimated man/hours and material costs.
  • Uses advanced mold making techniques (multiple part molds, mother molds, multi-sprue, and venting ports, etc.) to mold complex specimens or objects with complicated geometry.
  • Maintains inventories of habitat fabrication materials, shop tools, and personal safety equipment.
  • Instructs habitat fabricating assistants and Exhibit Builders in proper material handling and manipulation to achieve the desired habitat effect(s) and achieve the full cure material properties per manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Conducts advanced habitat material investigations using technical data sheets and samples to guide proper product selection and purchase(s).
  • Sets up and participates in meetings with husbandry and life support staff to establish habitat design criteria.
  • Produces models, samples, and prototypes to help advise, guide, and direct habitat design decisions.
  • Is the primary person responsible for new or partially renovated exhibit habitats designed to depict specific natural forms which must meet the needs of the animal collection and serve to educate and engage visitors.
  • Research habitat flora & fauna for project planning. Gathers and organizes critical habitat information in the form of species lists, matrices of critical elements, visual references (photo & video), materials & methods, etc.
  • Any other exhibit builder functions and additional duties as assigned or required.



Qualifications/Basic Job Requirements:

A Senior Exhibit Builder - Habitat Fabrication Specialist needs the following qualifications:


  • A minimum of 5 years producing habitat simulations or naturalistic sculpture “from life.”
  • Minimum 7 years tenure as an Exhibit Builder-Habitat Fabrication Specialist. Equal or greater experience prior to being employed or from previously held positions will be considered.
  • Demonstrable success in delivering projects on time and on budget.
  • Demonstrable success maintaining a superior level of quality and excellence.
  • A wide knowledge of common habitat simulating materials and methods.
  • Advanced finishing knowledge and painting techniques for rendering realism to sculptures and castings.
  • Computer proficiency in MS Windows & Office. Some CAD proficiency in a common CAD program is desirable.








A Senior Exhibit Builder - Habitat Fabrication Specialist needs to have the following competencies:


  • Successfully perform work on multiple projects simultaneously
  • A high level of initiative and motivation.
  • Able to identify, define, and maintain excellence in habitat exhibitry.
  • Communicate well; able to provide clear descriptions, instructions, summaries, etc.
  • Excellent sense of color along with a knowledge of color mixing and color theory.
  • Excellent spatial perception; capable of visualizing and defining 3D space, establishing & evaluating sight lines.





Job Description



  • Participates in achieving goals and project deadlines set by supervisor; this includes flexibility in work schedule to accommodate irregular working hours or pre-approved over-time in order to complete specific projects, tasks, or activities.
  • Accepts responsibility for maintaining a high level of habitat simulation excellence and quality.
  • Fully accountable for personal professional behavior, self-direction and supports a team-oriented environment.
  • Must be safe, organized, and practice responsible conduct with all shop spaces, tools, materials, institutional vehicles, and personal safety equipment.
  • Participates in departmental SDS accounting and required HAZCOM responsibilities.


Human Resources:

This position is not accountable for administrative supervision duties of other employees.


Human Relations:

This position is an internal service-provider for the institution, which requires an attitude of cooperation and teamwork with all other NA staff and volunteers.


How to Apply

National Aquarium
Baltimore, MD

I Accept

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. If you continue using our website, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website and you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Find a Zoo or Aquarium Donate to AZA Contact Us Member Login Search the site