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.

South Carolina Aquarium

Director of Animal Health and Chief Veterinarian

Located along the pristine harbor in the heart of historic Charleston, the South Carolina Aquarium has been inspiring visitors for over twenty years. From our over 5,000 animals to our award-winning education team, from the Sea Turtle Care Center™ to our conservation programs protecting local species, visitors are struck with awe and inspiration as they journey through all our exhibits, representing the mountains to the sea of South Carolina. We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums with a mission to inspire conservation of the natural world by exhibiting and caring for animals, by excelling in education and research and by providing an exceptional visitor experience. We invite you to join the #1 visitor attraction located in one of the Top Cities in the World (Conde Nast, 2021).

At the South Carolina Aquarium, we are committed to creating an inclusive workplace that celebrates and values diversity. Our culture is built on having a team of diverse backgrounds and voices working together to increase our capacity to serve our visitors and fulfill our mission. It brings us together in ways that help us stand out. We welcome people from all walks of life into our team and strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and people with disabilities to apply.


The Director of Animal Health and Chief Veterinarian will be a valuable member of our Senior Leadership Team and will lead a team of professionals responsible for veterinary care of the entire living collection at the South Carolina Aquarium including animals rehabilitating in the Aquarium's newly established Sea Turtle Care Center™ (STCC). The Director of Animal Health and Chief Veterinarian will oversee the operations and management of the STCC. In partnership with the Director of Animal Care and our Animal Care team, the Director of Animal Health and Chief Veterinarian will share responsibility for the health and well-being of the Aquarium's animal population.



The ideal candidate will:

  • Support and provide leadership toward achieving South Carolina Aquarium goals and priorities.
  • Provide the highest standards of animal health, welfare and preventative medicine.
  • Conduct clinical care, scientific investigation and develop and supervise all veterinary protocols.
  • Select, develop, evaluate and maintain a highly qualified, motivated and diverse professional staff; delegate specific responsibilities. Encourage teamwork, personal initiative and accountability.
  • Prepare and manage the division budget.
  • Continuously evaluate and implement changes when necessary for a comprehensive preventative animal medicine program.
  • Collaborate with members of the SLT to further the Aquarium's mission by supporting fundraising and participating in public engagement.
  • Manage (or coordinate the management of) medical cases including diagnoses, treatment, surgery and postmortem examinations when necessary.
  • Respond to turtle strandings brought to the Sea Turtle Care Center, providing clinical care and supervising case management from accession to disposition.
  • Be familiar with and ensure regulatory compliance with all related laws and guidelines, including USDA-APHIS, AZA, controlled drugs, radiation permits, and veterinary licenses, as well as state and federal regulatory guidelines for the care and rehabilitation of sea turtles.
  • Perform routine, regularly scheduled examinations on entire animal population.
  • Collaborate with Animal Care staff to develop, implement and update preventive medicine protocols including quarantine and nutrition.
  • Coordinate clinical research and present findings.
  • Respond to emergencies and be responsible for ensuring 24/7 on-call veterinary care, including stranding response.
  • Provide veterinary guidance on zoonotic disease, pest control management, and animal behavior management (enrichment, training and welfare).
  • Maintain case records; familiarity with Tracks record keeping system preferred.
  • Assist with the transfer of animals to and from other institutions, overseeing veterinary related transfer requirements (pre-shipment exams, health certificates) and accompanying animals during transport as needed.
  • Euthanize animals when necessary for animal health and responsible population management in accordance with current AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals.
  • Encourage and be supportive of hands-on animal care staff involvement with procedures, examinations and diagnoses.
  • Participate with Aquarium wide strategic planning and exhibit development.
  • Collaborate with the Advancement and Marketing teams for fundraising and public relations activities.
  • Have the ability to communicate persuasively and build consensus in a team-oriented environment.
  • Adhere to the South Carolina Aquarium Policies.



The ideal candidate will:

  • Provide timely medical program reports for curatorial staff and committee meetings.
  • Represent the Aquarium in professional associations.
  • Occasionally be required to travel to conferences and seminars and as possible support on animal transports.
  • Perform routine rounds of exhibit and back-up animals and their enclosures.
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of recent advances in veterinary medicine.
  • Liaise with professional colleagues on a regular basis to develop a support network that can be called upon to help provide assistance when necessary.
  • Attend regularly scheduled meetings.
  • Attend meetings and provide reports as required to the Board of Directors' Animal Care Committee. Assist the Director of Animal Care in meeting administration.
  • Encourage daily contact with staff at all levels including interns and volunteers.
  • Supports the mission by participating in Aquarium sponsored programs and events on a regular basis.
  • Provide support for student (intern) involvement and research activities that support the Aquarium's mission.
  • Be actively involved in identifying grant opportunities and contributing to grant submittals.
  • Perform additional duties as requested.


The ideal candidate will:

  • Have the capacity to take control in an emergency situation with a calming demeanor, quickly make emergency decisions, and direct staff professionally.
  • Be able to mentor and supervise staff, interns and volunteers.
  • Possess familiarity and understanding of basic aquatic life support systems.
  • Will possess knowledge from and experience with regulatory agencies DHEC, USDA-APHIS, and USF&W.
  • Possess strong knowledge of aquatic biology and clinical pathology
  • Possess strong organizational and time management skills
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills along with a mastery of written and verbal communication.
  • Possess an affinity for animals and the capacity to make decisions based on the best interest of the animal, population or species.
  • Be goal oriented with proven ability to establish priorities and meet deadlines.


  • Must possess and maintain, in good standing, all required licenses to practice veterinary medicine and the ability to acquire them for the state of South Carolina in a timely manner.
  • SC Controlled Substance License
  • DEA (Federal) License
  • SCUBA certification and/or ability to pass a swim test preferred
  • Driver's License


The ideal candidate will lead the:

  • Associate Veterinarian(s)
  • Veterinarian Support Staff
  • Sea Turtle Care Center Manager
  • Possibility of supervising interns, volunteers, graduate students and veterinary externs

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not construed to be an exhaustive list of all job duties performed by the personnel classified.

The Aquarium requires all paid staff and volunteers to demonstrate proof of COVID 19 vaccination as a condition of employment.

The South Carolina Aquarium is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Experience Required

DVM or VMD degree from accredited university 5 to 10 years of experience working at a public aquarium or related facility including experience with and knowledge of animal life support systems and animal nutrition. 5 years of experience in sea turtle rehabilitation.


Robust benefits, generous PTO


Commensurate with experience and education

How to Apply

Passionate and qualified individuals should apply at:



South Carolina Aquarium
100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401

Visit our website

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