Connect Your Source for Zoo and Aquarium News and InsightsHow 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.

Shedd Aquarium

Animal Care Specialist (Temporary)

Position Close Date: Wednesday, September 28th at 4PM

The temporary Animal Care Specialist is responsible for assisting in the overall care for animals in the Marine Mammal department. The temporary Animal Care Specialist is a supportive role that focuses on learning the skill set for caring for animals while also providing an educational experience for the visitor. This position is a temporary position expected to last three (3) months. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

  • Demonstrate commitment to Shedd’s vision, mission and values.   

  • Assist in ensuring the health and well-being of the animal collection 

  • Demonstrates a commitment to good relations with fellow staff members, visitors, volunteers, community leaders, and contractors by promoting positive attitudes, good will, cooperation, and providing high standards of service 

  • Maintain a clean and healthy environment for the animals, staff, and aquarium guests.   

  • Clean the kitchens, utensils, floors, windows, pools, offices, bathrooms, laundry, and any other area or item utilized in the marine mammal department. 

  • Prepare diets for all the animals which include thawing, sorting, weighing, cutting, formula preparation, vitamin administration, heavy lifting, and frequent exposure to cold temperatures. 

  • Dive and snorkel for purposes of cleaning, pool inspection, and general maintenance.   

  • Interact with the public daily by answering guest questions about the animals and the facility.   

  • Perform various tasks including evening functions, special employee training and seminars, volunteer guidance and interactions, special maintenance or construction projects, and student interviews. 

  • Attend regularly scheduled meetings for intra-departmental communication which include meetings prior to each animal session or presentation, animal group meetings, staff meetings, and additional meetings as needed. 

  • Maintain detailed records of all animal interactions and observations which include diet, vitamins, medication, behavioral notes, medical notes, animal weights, physical observations, graphs, temperatures, and any other records deemed important to the care of the animals, the facility, or daily staff operation. 

  • Narrate public presentations if needed and guide private, behind the scenes tours as needed 

  • Engages in regular interactions with some of the animals under the guidance and direction of experienced staff including training sessions, physical exams, public presentations, and play sessions. 

  • Embrace a flexible work schedule that includes weekends, holidays and non-standardized hours. sometimes in excess of 40 hours per week, periodic lifting up to 70 pounds. 

  • Work in an environment with daily exposure to salt water 

  • Daily lifting in excess of 40 pounds 
  • Perform other duties as assigned. 


Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in Zoology, Biology, Life Sciences or related area is preferred.  Equivalent experience will be considered in lieu of degree.

  • Experience:   

    • Animal experience from an AZA accredited institution is preferred.  

    • Marine mammal experience is a plus 

    • Ability to work holidays and weekends 

  • Designations/Certifications: Open water diving certification required. 

  • Other Skills and Characteristics: Ability to work well with other in a team effort.   
We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ community, veterans and active duty military, parents, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from all cultural backgrounds to apply. Shedd Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone to our team. If you need a reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know. In your application, please feel free to select which pronouns you use (For example – she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs).

How to Apply

Apply online -

Shedd Aquarium
1200 S. Lakeshore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

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.