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Summer Aquarium Internships for High School Students across the United States - 2023 Edition

June 11, 2023

Explore the Depths this Summer with an Aquarium Internship

As the sun begins to shine brighter and the days become longer, it's a sign that summer is on the horizon. And with it comes the opportunity for high school students to break free from the confines of the classroom and dive headfirst into unique, hands-on learning experiences.

For students with a passion for marine biology, environmental conservation, or simply an interest in the vast underwater world, an aquarium internship can be the perfect summer adventure. More than just a pastime, these internships offer a unique opportunity to explore potential career paths, gain valuable work experience, and make unforgettable memories.

An aquarium internship is not simply about feeding fish or cleaning tanks. It is a chance to engage directly with marine life, to learn from experienced marine biologists and conservationists, and to participate in the daily operations of a functioning aquarium. Interns might find themselves researching marine species, assisting with educational programs, or even diving into tanks for up-close encounters with marine life.

In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the benefits of pursuing an aquarium internship, what to look for in a program, and introduce you to some aquarium internships for high school students available across the United States this summer. So strap on your diving gear, and let's begin our underwater adventure!

I’m in high school, so why should I choose an aquarium internship?

That’s a good question. After all, there are plenty of ways to spend your summer, from catching up on sleep to hanging out with friends, working part-time jobs, or even just binging your favorite shows.

Well, consider this. An aquarium internship doesn't just offer an escape from the usual—it provides an immersive and educational experience that stands out on college applications and resumes. It’s an opportunity to not only explore your passions but also to gain hands-on experience that few others your age will have.

In an aquarium internship, you're not just observing, you're participating. You're working alongside experts in marine biology and conservation, learning the ins and outs of marine ecosystems, and contributing to the educational and preservation missions of the aquarium. Plus, how many of your peers can say they spent their summer working with fascinating marine creatures?

And it's not all just about work. The friendships you'll forge, the mentorship you'll receive, and the unique experiences you'll have can make your summer unforgettable. An aquarium internship provides an exciting environment where each day brings a new adventure. So, why not trade the ordinary for the extraordinary this summer?

Choosing the right aquarium internship

Having understood the incredible potential a summer aquarium internship holds for a high school student like you, the next logical question would be – how do you choose the right one?

Every aquarium internship offers a different set of experiences and focuses. Some may have a stronger emphasis on marine conservation, while others might focus on animal care, research, or public education. Understanding what you want to get out of your internship experience will help you select a program that aligns with your interests.

Consider the location and duration of the internship. Some programs may require you to relocate for the summer or offer housing arrangements. Others might need a particular time commitment each week. It's essential to find an internship that fits with your summer schedule and lifestyle.

Don't forget to look into the learning opportunities the internship provides. Will you have the chance to learn from marine biologists, interact directly with marine animals, or engage with visitors? The goal is to find an internship that offers a good balance of education, hands-on experience, and fun.

Finally, remember that any internship is what you make of it. Whichever program you choose, go in with a positive attitude, ready to learn and make the most of every opportunity.

In the following section, we have compiled a list of aquarium internship programs across the United States to kickstart your search.

2023 Aquarium Internship Programs for High School Students in the United States

Let's explore the different aquarium internship opportunities for high schoolers available across the United States this summer.

Note: This guide aims to include all aquariums offering summer internships for high school students across the United States. If your aquarium offers such programs and is not listed here, please drop us an email at with the details. Your help ensures we provide the most accurate resource for students.

Summer Teen Internship Program at The New England Aquarium in Boston, MA

The Summer Teen Internship Program offers a seven week paid summer internship. The program includes training in marine and climate sciences, public speaking, and customer service. The program consists of one week of training and six weeks of work. The program includes social meetings on Tuesday nights.

High School Internship Program at Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT

Mystic Aquarium’s High School Internship Program lasts for eight weeks and includes mentorship and job shadowing opportunities with the animal care team. Interns will get to develop their communication skills and learn research and engineering practices, including working with horseshoe crabs for conservation and research purposes. 

High School Intern Program at The South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, SC

The High School Intern Program by The South Carolina Aquarium offers the opportunity to become a paid intern. The program lasts for 8 weeks. Interns have the opportunity to learn about ocean sciences and animals, working with marine scientists and biologists.

UC Santa Barbara Marine Science Institute in Santa Barbara, California

UC Santa Barbara Marine Science Institute’s REEF (Research Experience & Education Facility) offers the  REEF College Prep Internship for high schoolers. Students gain practical experience related to marine biology, science communication, and get to work with REEF staff.

Start Your Underwater Adventure: Embark on an Aquarium Internship This Summer

As we've journeyed through the depths of what it means to spend your summer as an intern at an aquarium, we hope you're feeling inspired. The opportunities are as vast as the ocean itself, filled with unique learning experiences, meaningful connections with marine life, and a deeper understanding of our aquatic world.

Aquarium internships offer high school students not just a summer job, but a stepping stone into a world of scientific discovery and conservation. From the Northeast to the West, from the heart of the Midwest to the sunny South, opportunities await in the United States for those willing to dive in.

Now that we've equipped you with information and resources, it's your turn to take the plunge. Explore the programs, weigh your options, and find the one that resonates with your interests and aspirations. The underwater world is waiting to be discovered.