Aquariums Hiring

Job board dedicated to the aquarium industry

Aquarist 1 - Non Diving

Seattle Aquarium
Seattle, United States Posted: June 05, 2024

Posted:                   Open to internal and external applicants   

Reports to:             Curator of Tropical Fish & Invertebrates

Status:                   Full-time, hourly, benefitted position

Hours of work:       Sunday – Thursday or Tuesday – Saturday 7am–4pm. Occasional need for after-hours work as related to events and other projects.

Date needed:         July 2024

Posting expires:    When filled 



Position description:  

The Seattle Aquarium, a leading marine conservation organization, is looking for an Aquarist I (non-diving) to join the Animal Care – Fish and Invertebrate Team. Aquarist staff carry out all aspects of the daily animal care in their assigned work area.  This includes feeding, observation, training, administration of medication, medical treatment, and record keeping.  The position is responsible for upholding a high level of animal care and cleaning and maintaining animal habitats and back-of-house spaces.


The Aquarium’s fish and invertebrate population includes temperate and tropical water invertebrates, cartilaginous and teleost fishes. The FIT team is also responsible for the care of local and tropical plants.  Aquarists further the Aquarium’s mission by providing oversight of and care for the animal collection.


Key functions: 

The Aquarist position is responsible for all aspects of the daily care and habitat maintenance for the Aquarium’s fish, invertebrate, and plant population. These duties include but are not limited to:


Animal Care (90%):

  • Prepare, store, and distribute food according to established amounts, types, and diets; monitor feeding habits and report any changes or abnormalities.
  • Clean and perform routine maintenance and minor repair of animal exhibits and holding areas to assure the health of animals and the presentation of the species in an attractive environment. Maintain water quality to keep aquatic animals in a healthy condition.
  • Observe animals and evaluate behavior to determine physical and behavioral health and well-being.
  • Conduct basic water quality testing.
  • Maintain records and reports regarding assigned species including daily veterinary reports, exhibit maintenance, food consumption records and other reports specific to the assigned area.
  • Direct the work of animal care and dive volunteers; assigning and monitoring tasks. 
  • Preparation, storage and distribution of food according to established amounts, types and diets; monitor feeding habits and report any changes or abnormalities.
  • Assist with animal acquisition, acclimation, and quarantine.
  • Assist with administration of medications and treatments according to established procedures and veterinary instructions. Provide assistance handling or restraining animals in accordance with established safety procedures as necessary to ensure animal welfare. 
  • Provide occasional response to animal emergencies and participate in animal transports or other time-sensitive projects outside normally scheduled hours.
  • Support diving activities within the Aquarium by serving as a surface tender or Designated Person in Charge (DPIC) for staff or volunteer divers.  

Collaboration and Engagement (10%):

  • Value and prioritize the Aquarium’s commitment to advancing conversations, programs, and policies supporting our DEI and S.A.L.I.S.H. values.  Participate in meaningful team discussions and support staff participation on DEI focused projects. 
  • Participate in Animal Care aspects of special events and represent Animal Care in appropriate planning meetings and committees.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with staff throughout the Aquarium.
  • Serve as a customer service liaison through daily contacts with visitors providing information and answering questions

Additional responsibilities:

  • Act as role model for compliance with all Aquarium safety protocols.
  • Assure the safety of animals, employees and the visiting public from injury or mishap.
  • Perform emergency first aid and CPR as needed and according to established guidelines.
  • Act as institutional representative in AZA and other professional organizations.
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Required skills and experience: 
We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education to meet minimum requirements. 

  • B.A./B.S. degree in biology, marine biology, or related field an advantage.
  • Minimum of one years’ experience involving animal care in an aquarium or related environment. (AZA facility preferred).
  • Must be able to obtain CPR, first aid, and AED certifications.
  • Must have or be able to obtain a Washington State Driver’s License and be able to drive Aquarium and rental vehicles.
  • A technical knowledge of fish and invertebrate biology, marine biology, water quality analysis, aquatic life support systems, and marine animal health.
  • A current and clear understanding of life support and mechanical systems for open and closed aquariums.
  • Ability to use fall restraint equipment, respirators and other appropriate safety gear; may be required to work in confined spaces.
  • Use basic math skills for quick and accurate calculation, such as water volume, feed amounts, drug dosages.
  • Experience using various computer software products: MS Word, Excel, Tracks (or other animal record keeping software), and internet browsers.
  • Pursuit of continued education, skills, and training expected; remain current on developments in animals care, and DEI work both within and outside the organization; maintain proficiencies.  Multilingual and multicultural communication skills and experience are preferred.

Working conditions:

  • Requires handling, working with, or exposure to large, potentially dangerous animals, animal diseases, and potentially hazardous chemicals.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk, hear, or smell.
  • Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color and peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
  • Occasionally required to lift more than 50 pounds.
  • Able to spend 6 or more hours a day engaged in active, physical work.
  • Required to work outdoors year-round, near water, on wet and slippery surfaces and at heights.
  • Safely operate forklifts, scissor lifts, boom lifts, motorized pallet jacks, and cranes with Aquarium-provided training.
  • Safely operate a variety of vehicles including the small cars and trucks owned by the Aquarium and rental flatbed and box and trucks (up to 30’ bed length).
  • Must be willing to work evenings, nights, weekends, holidays, and occasional 24-hr shifts to accommodate routine Aquarium operations, business related travel, scheduled Aquarium events, and animal and building emergencies.


Salary and benefits: $23.80 - $27 /  per hour Dependent on experience. Please include salary expectations in your materials. Full-time staff are eligible for the Seattle Aquarium’s comprehensive benefits package to include medical, vision, dental, an employer-funded health reimbursement account, medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts, life insurance, long-term disability, 403b retirement fund with employer match, access to a subsidized ORCA pass, a Seattle Aquarium Family Plus membership and generous paid time off.

How to apply: The Seattle Aquarium is committed to expanding a diverse, equitable, and inclusive conservation movement. We are invested in building an Aquarium with a wide variety of backgrounds, identities, languages, cultural ways of knowing, and life experiences. We know research shows that society has conditioned communities of color, trans and gender non-conforming people, immigrants, people with disabilities, and other marginalized candidates to more frequently not apply to a job because they don’t feel that they meet all of the qualifications listed even if they are qualified. If you meet some of the requirements and you are passionate about our mission and our ocean, we encourage you to apply and look forward to learning more about you.


Interested candidates should upload a résumé to our online application to be considered. Application review will begin immediately. 


Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job by emailing us at  


Note: If offered the position, candidates must pass a background check and motor vehicle records check. Conviction record is not an automatic disqualifier; we are a second chance employer. Regarding driving records: Within the last three years, you must not have had more than two moving traffic violations or any major violation (DUI, reckless driving, negligent driving, etc.).


About the Seattle Aquarium: 

The Seattle Aquarium is a respected authority on Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and the world’s one ocean. Our passionate staff increases awareness and drives the change needed to preserve and protect our marine environment by providing an inspiring visitor experience, engaging daytime and evening events, conservation education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds, community outreach to marginalized populations, research that advances understanding of animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild, advocacy and policy work, an award-winning volunteer program, high-impact marketing and communications, and more.  


Our values, developed in conjunction with our staff, include commitments to adopting and promoting sustainable practices, creating awe-inspiring experiences, constantly learning and improving, fostering an inclusive community, maintaining scientific credibility through evidence-based practices and honoring our unique place by using our location and history as a lens for larger understanding.  


Proudly accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, we’re among the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. by attendance, and we welcome over 850,000 people each year. Guided by our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, we’re working to substantially increase our conservation impact by expanding our campus with a new building, the Ocean Pavilion. Learn more at



We anticipate the following recruiting schedule for those candidates who are selected for consideration. The following dates are preliminary and subject to change. We will work with candidates to set interview dates. If hired, relocation assistance is not available. 


  • Priority given to applications received the first two weeks after posting.
  • Interviews completed by late June 2024
  • Start date: July 2024

Be the First to Know About Similar Jobs

Your next opportunity could be an email away. Let us make your job search easier. Join our email list now.