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Monterey Bay Aquarium


At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that celebrates and values diversity. We firmly believe that having a team of diverse backgrounds and voices, working together, increases our capacity to serve our visitors and fulfill our mission.  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.


Job summary

The Aquarist is responsible for performing general aquarium husbandry duties without direct supervision. This responsibility includes the set-up, maintenance and care of aquarium exhibits, preparing and dispensing specimen food, treating organisms for diseases and assisting with the collecting effort. The Aquarist also has the knowledge and ability to act as a resource to Assistant Aquarists and Volunteers.


Core Responsibilities


  • Maintain live exhibits and specimen holding facilities at a very high level of quality as defined in the Husbandry Exhibit Protocols
  • Performs general husbandry functions (detailed in Assistant Aquarist description) without direct supervision
  • Responsible for initial set-up, maintenance and care of aquarium exhibit tanks and inhabitants
  • Detection/diagnosis and treatment of diseases of marine organisms.
  • Diet preparation and animal feeding
  • Ability to perform the collection of marine animals and plants, which may involve the use of SCUBA
  • Assist in the design, development and construction of exhibit and holding aquariums and life support systems
  • Performs the duties of an Assistant Aquarist, as necessary


Absolutely Required Skills / Knowledge / Ability / Experience or Education


  • Bachelor degree in Biology or equivalent experience
  • Ability to maintain exhibit maintenance and collection records
  • Understanding of the basic taxonomy of marine fish, invertebrates and plants
  • Demonstrated understanding of basic, aquarium related water quality perimeters and water chemistry (e.g. temperature, Ph, salinity, D.O., nitrogenous compounds, etc.
  • Demonstrated ability to assess basic invertebrate and fish health
  • Working knowledge of all fundamental aquarium life support systems (LSS) and components, with a thorough understanding of the LSS of those areas to which the Aquarist is assigned
  • Demonstrated ability to work with basic elements of plumbing required by the building, repair and maintenance of aquarium systems
  • Proficiency with the mathematics necessary for metric conversions, water volume calculations and therapeutic calculations
  • Demonstrated understanding of basic food preparation, nutrition and feeding techniques
  • An understanding of biological, mechanical and chemical filtration
  • Demonstrated ability to perform numerous types of field collections
  • Demonstrated ability to properly transport and acclimate collection specimens
  • Ability to function professionally with a positive attitude in a team environment
  • SCUBA certification highly desired
  • Ability to pass an occupational/scientific dive physical examination (if applicable)
  • Small boat handling experience highly desirable
  • Follows recognized Monterey Bay Aquarium safety practices
  • Ability to work within, and maintain Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Core Values
  • Experience working in a public aquarium preferred
  • Must possess a valid California driver’s license and maintain clearance in the DMV Pull Program
  • Knowledge of the marine flora and fauna of the Central California Coast


Hourly Compensation Range Minimum:

$21.01 USD per hour. Starting rate will vary based on previous experience and relevant skills/knowledge set.

How to Apply

Monterey Bay Aquarium
866 Cannery Row
Monterey, CA 93940

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