What jobs are available at the Aquarium?
Aquarium operations require a wide range of jobs, from front-line staff to animal care, to building maintenance, to finance, to fundraising, and more.
To see current job openings and submit an application, visit the National Aquarium's career center.
Can I job shadow or interview Aquarium staff?
The Aquarium receives a tremendous number of requests for job shadowing and interviews. Unfortunately, we are unable to meet the demand.
We do offer programs, such as Immersion Tours, for people to interact with our husbandry staff. Immersion Tours present a unique opportunity for personal time with certain staff, animals, and behind-the-scenes access at the Aquarium. Learn More
We also have an internship program for college students who can work 120 hours in a semester and receive college credit. Learn more about internships.
How can I prepare for a marine science career?
For information on marine science education programs, check out BRIDGE at marine-ed.org/bridge.
More information on careers in marine science can be found at marinecareers.net.
The National Aquarium offers a number of ways for people to gain experience and lay the foundation for a fascinating and rewarding career in marine science.
Student Summer Program
Maryland high school students who have completed ninth grade and at least one biology course are invited to spend a summer learning, teaching, and having fun with other students. Community service hours are awarded. Applications are accepted in the fall, and this program fills up quickly! Learn More
Internships are a great way to get on-the-job training. The Aquarium offers unpaid internships to college students. Interns must receive college credit for their internship and complete a minimum of 120 hours of work. Learn More
Volunteering at the Aquarium requires a one-year commitment and the equivalent of four hours of work per week. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and high school graduates. Volunteers not only learn a lot, they have a lot of fun. Learn More
This opportunity is specifically designed for students with an interest in aquatic and zoo animal medicine, laboratory medicine, and environmental medicine. Students spend six to eight weeks working in the Animal Health Department and are exposed to the multifaceted nature of veterinary practice in a major aquarium. Students applying for the Veterinary Preceptorship Program must be a student in good standing enrolled in an AVMA-accredited school of veterinary medicine and must have completed the first two years of basic courses. Positions are unpaid. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and are considered as received. Inquiries may be directed to Dr. Ben Rossi.
How can I become a marine mammal specialist?
To become a marine mammal specialist, we recommend you get a degree in biology, psychology, or zoology. Additionally, most of our specialists got involved first through internships or volunteer programs, either at the National Aquarium or at other facilities. You will also need SCUBA certification! Learn more about dolphin training.
How and when did the National Aquarium get its start?
Originally established in 1873 in Wood’s Hole, Massachusetts, National Aquarium, Washington, DC, was considered the nation’s first public aquarium. In 1878, the National Aquarium moved to the site of the Washington Monument, and in 1932, the Aquarium was incorporated into the lower level of the Commerce Building. On September 30, 2013, National Aquarium, Washington, DC, closed its doors to the public, due to necessary renovations in the Department of Commerce.
In Baltimore during the 1970s, then-Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer conceived and championed the idea of an aquarium as a vital component of Baltimore's overall Inner Harbor redevelopment scheme. In 1976, Baltimore City residents supported the National Aquarium, Baltimore, by voting for it on a bond referendum. Groundbreaking for the facility took place on August 8, 1978. In 1979, the new aquarium was recognized by the United States Congress, which granted the facility "national" status. The National Aquarium, Baltimore, opened to the public on August 8, 1981.
For more information about the history of the National Aquarium, please visit here.
Who was the architect for the National Aquarium, Baltimore?
The Aquarium’s original building, Blue Wonders: Reefs to Rainforests, was designed by Peter Chermayeff of Cambridge Seven Associates in Boston, MA. It measures 115,000 square feet and holds more than 1 million gallons of water.
The Pier 4 Pavilion is a 94,000-square-foot building designed by Grieves Associates of Baltimore, which opened to the public in December 1990. This building houses a 1.3-million-gallon pool for the Aquarium’s Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, a traveling exhibit area, and a cafe, and is linked to the main building on Blue Wonders by an enclosed footbridge.
The 65,400-square-foot Glass Pavilion, which opened in December 2005, was also designed by Peter Chermayeff. It features the award-winning Australia: Wild Extremes exhibit, a 6,650-square-foot cafe, a 5,000-square-foot gift shop, and a remarkable 35-foot waterfall.
What is the Aquarium's economic impact on the region?
The National Aquarium, Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest paid tourist attraction, and the economic impact of Aquarium visitors on the State of Maryland has been tremendous. A study by the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development determined that the Aquarium annually generates nearly $220 million in revenues, 2,000 jobs, and $6.8 million in State and local taxes. The Aquarium's success has contributed to the development of more than 3,000 new hotel rooms in Baltimore.
What is the annual attendance?
More than 1.3 million visitors pass through the National Aquarium, Baltimore's doors every year.
Is the National Aquarium a government entity?
No. National Aquarium is neither managed or funded by the federal government. The National Aquarium Institute, which oversees both Aquarium venues, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We rely on the generosity of our donors, members, and volunteers to operate this world-class aquarium enterprise with conservation-based programs, education, and research.