The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher connects visitors with the wonders of nature and aquatic wildlife. The Aquarium and its sister facilities, the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island, and Jennette's Pier in Nags Head are dedicated to inspiring appreciation and conservation for aquatic environments in North Carolina and around the world. The three Aquariums initially opened as Marine Science Centers in 1976.
Primary Purpose of the Position:
Provide daily care of all animals assigned including their primary habitats and holding and quarantine systems. This individual is also required to maintain life support systems as well as exhibit aesthetics.
- Determining individual animal nutritional needs, securing, culturing, preparing, and feeding the animals assigned to them.
- Daily care and maintenance of fish, aquatic invertebrates, some care of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds.
- Recognizing symptoms of disease and poor animal health and administering appropriate treatments.
- Effectively utilizing operant conditioning and implementing behavior training.
- Enthusiastically interpret animal care, enrichment, and training during scheduled public programs.
- Maintaining life support systems.
- Maintaining water chemistry in all assigned systems.
- Managing effective quarantine of newly acquired specimens.
- Ability to work within permitting guidelines of protected species.
- Maintaining accurate databases.
- Conducting SCUBA assisted diving to clean tanks, perform educational programs, and collect specimens.
- Responding to animal stranding’s and rehabilitation.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities / Competencies:
- Demonstrated experience managing aquatic animals in a public Aquarium, Zoo, or Museum setting.
- Demonstrated experience with quarantine protocols of herps, amphibians, fresh or marine fish species.
- Demonstrated experience with operant conditioning, training, and behavioral enrichment in a public Aquarium, Zoo, or Museum setting.
- Demonstrated experience maintaining life support systems and associated water chemistry at a public Aquarium, Zoo, or Museum.
- Evenings, weekends, and holidays are required as needed.
Licensure or Credentials Required:
- SCUBA certification from a nationally recognized organization or have the ability to obtain within 6 months of employment.
- Must have a valid NC Driver's License or the ability to obtain within 30 days of employment.
- Must be able to lift and carry 50 pounds.
Minimum Education and Experience Requirements
- Some state job postings say you can qualify by an “equivalent combination of education and experience.” If that language appears below, then you may qualify through EITHER years of education OR years of directly related experience, OR a combination of both. See oshr.nc.gov/experience-guide for details.
- Bachelor's degree in Art History, Biology, Botany, Conservation, Education, History or Zoology from an appropriately accredited institution and two years of museum or related work; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, 20 miles south of Wilmington, NC, in Kure Beach, overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Fear River. A living collection of more than 2,000 animals in 93,000 square feet of exhibit space attracts and engages more than 440,000 visitors each year. The Aquarium is surrounded by protected woodland, marsh, and beach. Visitors often plan to stop at sites adjacent to the Aquarium - Fort Fisher State Recreation Area and historic Fort Fisher Civil War Museum. Fort Fisher Aquarium is a unique place to visit and work. The North Carolina Aquarium's mission is to inspire appreciation and conservation of our aquatic environments. This mission is achieved by attracting, retaining, and developing a world class team of professionals; providing visitors with outstanding exhibits, experiences, and customer service; practicing sustainability, internal customer service, and fiscal responsibility; and working to save and restore aquatic species and habitats. The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) takes care of the things that people love about North Carolina, literally from A to Z. The Arts to the Zoo, and so much else – parks, aquariums, historic sites, archaeology, African American Heritage Commission, science and history museums, the state Symphony, Library and Archives, historic preservation, land and water stewardship, and more. These places, and the ideas they represent, create a shared identity in North Carolina. They provide common ground. Everyone is welcome. The Department’s vision is to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational, and economic future of North Carolina. Our goal is to promote equity and inclusion among our employees and our programming to reflect and celebrate our state's diverse population, culture, and history. We encourage you to apply to become a part of our team.
- The North Carolina Aquarium is beautifully situated in a maritime forest and just a short 2-minute walk to the beach.
- Some of the highlights at the Aquarium are Luna, the albino alligator, the romp of Asian small-clawed otters, Maverick, the bald eagle and two loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings.
- The team is passionate about conservation and sustainability focusing on threatened and endangered species including the Carolina gopher frog, sand tiger sharks and sea turtles.
- In addition, as an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and a partner in SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction, we work diligently to keep the most vulnerable animals from disappearing and protect them for future generations.
- $33,272.00 - $58,226.00 Annually