Explore the Wonders of Virginia Aquarium

Become a Volunteer

Are you curious about what goes on every day at the Aquarium? Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge about marine animals or learning about the environment? Do you want to know more about our sharks or Komodo dragons? If you answered yes, then volunteering at the Aquarium is for you!

There are many great volunteer opportunities available. Whether you're 11, 81 or somewhere in between, we have the perfect spot for you. You don't need to be a marine biologist, just share our passion for conservation and educating people about marine animals and the environment. Click below to see how you can explore all that the Aquarium has to offer!

Volunteer Benefits include:

  • Passes to the Aquarium
  • Membership in the Aquarium's Volunteer League
  • Annual Membership to the Aquarium
  • Discount at the Aquarium Store
  • Discount at the Café
  • Access to Virginia Beach City-Taught Classes and Aquarium Online Classes
  • Scholarship Opportunity for Youth Volunteers

Adult Volunteers Must:

Scholarship Opportunity for Youth Volunteers must:
  Be at Least 18 Years Old   Successfully Pass a Criminal History Search
  Submit an Application with Two References   Complete Required Training
  Meet Individual Program/Position Criteria  

Adult Volunteer Opportunities

Your outgoing personality is the perfect fit for this position! Work on the front lines greeting and directing Aquarium guests. Volunteer answers visitor questions, monitors assigned areas and shares details about special programs and experiences at both buildings. The ideal candidate is friendly, patient, comfortable standing for an extended period of time and working with large crowds. Bilingual applicants are a plus! Volunteer is required to work at least one four hour shift every week. Apply today!

Volunteers assist staff with caring for Aquarium animal ambassadors; birds and small mammals. In addition to preparing meals and feeding the animals, volunteers assist with maintaining animal care areas and clean animal enclosures. This position requires bending, reaching and lifting. Candidates must be comfortable getting wet and dirty. A minimum of one four hour shift a week is required. Apply today!

Interested in what happens behind the scenes in a retail operation? Volunteer as an inventory assistant and help price and inspect merchandise before it goes on the sales floor, assist with maintaining stock room and annual inventory. This position is ideal for individuals who prefer working behind the scenes. Candidates must be available to volunteer at least one four hour shift a week. Apply today!

Looking to develop or enhance your retail and customer service skills? Volunteer as an Aquarium store retail assistant! Volunteers assist with engaging visitors and responding to inquiries, displaying merchandise, maintaining the sales floor and helping with crowd control. Retail and customer service experience a plus. Candidates must be willing to develop knowledge of Aquarium store products and be available to volunteer at least one four hour shift a week. Apply today!

Volunteer assists education staff with children’s birthday parties. This includes helping with set-up and cleanup, greeting guests as they arrive and leading activities to engage birthday party guests. Candidates must have good communication skills, be comfortable working with children of varying ages and have a high energy level. An interest in marine science and experience working with children preferred. Apply today!

THIS POSITION IS CURRENTLY CLOSED.
Dive in the Red Sea among live coral, eagle rays and exquisite fish. As a member of the Aquarium's dive team you can explore this habitat and much more! Volunteer divers assist aquaria staff with in-tank maintenance and perform dive programs for the public. For consideration, applicants must be advanced open water scuba certified with at least 25 logged open water dives. Ten dives must have been completed within the last 12 months. Candidates must also participate in dive trials. Upon acceptance in the program a minimum commitment of eight hours a month is required. View volunteer diver basic requirementsApply today!

If you love to learn and enjoy connecting with a diverse group of people this is the position for you! As a docent you will share information about the Aquarium’s exhibits and Virginia’s marine environment with visitors. Candidates must have above average communication skills, be comfortable with large crowds, interacting with children and able to stand for an extended period of time. Current and former teachers or applicants with an interest in marine biology are ideal. Following training, a minimum commitment of one four-and-a-half hour shift a week for one year is required. Apply today!

THIS POSITION IS CURRENTLY CLOSED. 
As a volunteer aboard the Atlantic Explorer you will work closely with Aquarium educators showing NOAA permitted bio-facts. Volunteers answer guests' questions about marine life off the coast of Virginia Beach and assist with a variety of customer service duties such as boarding and ticketing. Candidates should be comfortable with public speaking, have previous customer service experience, be capable of working with limited supervision, enjoy being outdoors in all elements, and not be affected by motion sickness. Dolphin Discoveries season is March - October. Apply today!

This position is perfect for individuals who love marine animals and have a biology background. Volunteers work behind the scenes assisting staff with caring for aquariums. Candidate must be able to commit to at least four hours of service each week: two days at four hours each or one day at eight hours. Apply today!

Tap into your creative side to design floral arrangements for the lobbies of both Aquarium buildings! Volunteers are required to design two arrangements a year. Interested in this position? Learn more at the annual Flower Guild Meeting. Tuesday, October 10, 2017. An RSVP is required. Email aquavols@virginiaaquarium.com for more information. Apply today!

The Virginia Aquarium is committed to educating the public about the marine environment and inspiring conservation of wildlife and wild places. The Green Team Project Coordinator supports these efforts by promoting environmentally responsible and sustainable practices and assisting with green activities. Volunteer represents the Aquarium’s Green Team at local events, assist with coordinating clean-up and e-cycle activities as well as other projects. Candidates must have an interest in and knowledge of environmental issues, be extremely organized with excellent presentation skills, a demonstrated ability to manage projects and a flexible schedule. Apply today!

Indulge your love of plants and gardening by assisting the Aquarium's horticulture staff with maintaining planting areas. The following volunteer positions are available:

  • Horticulture Education Materials Assistant
    Assist horticulture staff in developing and maintaining plant profile books for exhibit areas containing live plant material. Candidates must have good organizational skills. Knowledge of local native plants a plus.
  • Horticulture – Gardener
    Assist horticulture staff in maintaining and enhancing garden exhibits. Ideal candidates should be comfortable standing, bending and walking for prolonged periods and have the ability to withstand outdoor conditions such as heat, humidity, cold and insects. Knowledge of plant identification and/or life cycles is helpful.
  • Horticulture - Greenhouse Assistant
    Assist horticulture staff in maintaining greenhouse and related greenhouse projects. Candidates should be comfortable standing, bending and walking for prolonged periods and have the ability to withstand outdoor conditions such as heat, humidity, cold and insects. Experience propagating plants is helpful.
  • Horticulture Indoor Exhibit Assistant
    Assist horticulture staff in maintaining indoor exhibits containing live plant material. Experience working around birds and turtles is a plus.
  • Horticulture - Invasive Eradication Specialist
    Assist horticulture staff in eradicating invasive plant species on the trail. (Phragmites, bamboo, ivy, honeysuckle, greenbrier, mustard, microstegium, ficaria, etc.) Candidates must have the ability to work independently, stand and bend for prolonged periods and withstand various outdoor conditions. Some knowledge of invasive plants helpful.
  • Horticulture - Trail Assistant
    Assist horticulture staff in keeping nature trails, marsh, and woodland clean and aesthetically pleasing. Candidates should be comfortable standing, bending and walking for prolonged periods and have the ability to withstand outdoor conditions such as heat, humidity, cold, insects and wild animals. Candidates must also be comfortable interacting with Aquarium staff and the public in pleasant, professional manner. Experience with a leaf blower, lawn mower and/or string trimmer ideal.

Volunteer schedules vary. If you are interested in any of the above positions, please select horticulture on your application. Apply today!

Volunteers Assist with monitoring and maintaining equipment associated with the Aquarium's live animal Exhibit. This includes various projects ranging from system rehabilitations, repairs and retrofits to new construction design, installation, project planning, and data analysis/collection. Ideal candidate will have experience in engineering fields such as electrical, power, electronics, mechanical, energy, systems, industrial, process or manufacturing engineering. Experience drafting and reading blueprints and drafting schematic or shop drawings a plus. Proficiency with Data entry/data analysis helpful. Apply today!

THIS POSITION IS CURRENTLY CLOSED.
Roll up your sleeves and start prepping! Volunteers enjoy the messier side of maintaining the Aquarium's marine mammals by preparing food and assisting staff with cleaning. This position is ideal for candidates who love marine mammals and want to learn more about these amazing creatures. Applicants must be able to lift at least 50 pounds, kneel and stand for extended periods of time and have good hand and eye coordination. A minimum of one hour shift a week is required. Apply today!

Volunteers mentor nature play place docents while providing guests with information about the Aquarium's Nature Play Place area. This position is for parents/guardians of 11 and 12 year old nature play place docents. Parent's/guardian's application must be attached when youth application is submitted. This position is also opened to candidates with mentor experience, ability to work with children, an outgoing and personable demeanor and an interest in nature play. Apply today!

Are you very organized? Do you have great communication skills? Are you proficient with Microsoft Office? If so, submit your application right away for this position! Volunteers work in various Aquarium departments assisting with administrative tasks. Applicants should be flexible and have great interpersonal skills. Apply today!

The Virginia Aquarium provides engaging and interactive educational programs to students from preschool to college. The On-site Education Program Assistant will assist the School Programs Specialist with teaching students through hands-on learning such as experiments, live animal presentations, problem-solving, and making observations. Applicants must be at least 21 years old with experience teaching students, good customer service skills, the ability to lift 25 pounds as well as stand and walk for several hours. Apply today!

Volunteer assists staff with scout day programs, overnights and service projects. Candidate must have an interest in marine science and/or marine biology and the ability to communicate with young children and teenagers. Experience developing and leading various craft and recreational activities a plus. Apply today!

Stranding Response Team volunteers promote the conservation of marine animal species through research, rescue, rehabilitation and education. Volunteers respond to dead and live marine mammal and sea turtle strandings, assist with necropsies (animal autopsy) and tissue sampling, help with live animal rehabilitation and medical procedures and assist with data entry and data collection. Candidates must be physically and mentally fit and able to carry at least 35 pounds and assist with heavier loads. The ability to hike for five miles or more, work in extreme weather conditions is also required. Candidates must have a valid driver's license and a good driving record. Apply today!

This is a great opportunity to bring out your inner child! Assist the Toddler Program Coordinator with planning and presenting engaging activities at weekly Toddler programs. Activities include stories, songs, outdoor adventures and animal mysteries. Prefer candidates with experience working with children. Applicants with artistic and/or musical abilities a plus. Apply today!

Volunteers assist staff with performing daily water quality analyses, maintaining lab records and cleanup. Specifically, this includes calibrating pH and salinity meter, measuring and recording salinities, pHs and alkalinities and washing sample bottles and glassware. Candidates must be able to stand an extended period of time with minimal breaks, have good vision, excellent fine motor skills and knowledge of safe laboratory practices. Applicants must also be punctual, reliable and detail oriented with the ability to maintain legible, neat and accurate records. Apply today!

As a volunteer aboard the Atlantic Explorer you will work closely with Aquarium educators showing NOAA permitted bio-facts. Volunteers answer guests' questions about marine life off the coast of Virginia Beach and assist with a variety of customer service duties such as boarding and ticketing. Candidates should be comfortable with public speaking, have previous customer service experience, be capable of working with limited supervision, enjoy being outdoors in all elements, and not be affected by motion sickness. The Whales and Wildlife season is November - February. Apply today!


Youth Volunteer Opportunities

Youth volunteer applications are accepted September 1st – February 28th. Applications are not accepted after the deadline. Please note that the current application period is for summer, 2018. Interview dates and instructions will be emailed to all applicants no later than Sunday, March 4, 2018. Please click here to apply for any of the following youth volunteer positions.

  • Three letters of recommendation are required when application is submitted.
  • Recommendations from friends and family members are not accepted.
  • Letters from teachers, other organizations applicant has volunteered with, coaches, supervisors, clients (lawn care, babysitting, dog walking, etc.) are permitted.
  • Completed applications can be mailed, emailed, faxed or hand delivered. Contact information is on the application in the upper right corner.

Your outgoing personality is the perfect fit for this position! Work on the front lines greeting and directing Aquarium guests.

Duties:

  • Greet and direct visitors.
  • Stamp guests' hand to allow visitation and re-entry to both Aquarium buildings.
  • Share information and answer visitor questions.
  • Monitor assigned areas for traffic flow and safety.

Qualifications:

  • Must be at least 13 years old.
  • Comfortable standing for an extended period of time.
  • Exceptional people skills.
  • Must be outgoing and personable.
  • Have a pleasant disposition.
  • Comfortable with crowds.

Minimum Commitment: This position requires a minimum of one four hour shift a week. Volunteer must be available at least nine weeks between June and August. This is a summer position with the option to volunteer during the school year.

An Admissions Assistant application packet must include the following:

  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center youth application form. Click here for application.
  • The application form must be typed or printed legibly with blue or black ink; no pencil.
  • The completed application must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Since interview details are communicated via email, a valid email address is required.

Volunteer assists education staff with children's birthday parties.

Duties:

  • Assist staff with party set-up and clean-up.
  • Meet and greet party guests as they arrive.
  • Lead games and other activities to engage party guests.
  • Assist with party guests during Aquarium tour.

Qualifications:

  • Must be at least 14 years old.
  • Must have good communication skills.
  • Comfortable working with children of varying ages.
  • Must be enthusiastic with a have a high-energy level and pleasant demeanor.
  • Must have the ability to bend and stand for an extended period of time.
  • Must be able to work within a team and independently.
  • Must be able to take direction.
  • Experience working with children preferred.

Minimum Commitment: This position requires a minimum of two 3½ hour shifts per month. This is a summer position with the option to volunteer during the school year.

A Birthday Party Helper application packet must include the following:

  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center youth application form. Click here for application.
  • The application form must be typed or printed legibly with blue or black ink; no pencil.
  • The completed application must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Since interview details are communicated via email, a valid email address is required.

Volunteer direct guests through the Aquarium's Changing Exhibits Gallery.

Duties:

  • Greet and answer guest questions.
  • Engage visitors in conversations and hands-on activities.

Qualifications:

  • Must be at least 13 years old.
  • Able to take direction, work within a team and independently.
  • Have a pleasant disposition.
  • Must be reliable and punctual.

Minimum Commitment: This position requires a minimum of one 4½ hour shift a week. Volunteer must be available at least nine weeks between June and August. This is a summer position with the option to volunteer during the school year.

A Changing Exhibits Gallery Host application packet must include the following:

  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center youth application form. Click here for application.
  • The application form must be typed or printed legibly with blue or black ink; no pencil.
  • The completed application must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Since interview details are communicated via email, a valid email address is required.

Applications are currently being accepted for the fall. The application deadline is Friday, October 6, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. Three letters of recommendation must accompany application.

Volunteer shares information about the Aquarium's exhibits and Virginia's marine environment with guests.

Duties:

  • Present accurate information to visitors regarding exhibits.
  • Engage guests in conversations to ensure they have a memorable and positive visit to the Aquarium.
  • Participate in educational opportunities offered by the Aquarium.

Qualifications:

  • Must be 14 to 17 years old and have an interest in the marine environment.
  • Able to take direction, work within a team and independently.
  • Must have good communication skills, enjoy interacting with the public and comfortable speaking before groups of people.
  • The Ability to learn by reading, listening and/or observing.
  • Must have the ability to stand for an extended period of time.
  • Must be able to work within a team and independently.
  • Must be reliable and punctual.

Minimum Commitment: This position requires a minimum of one 4½ hour shift a week for one year. Volunteer must be available to volunteer during the school year.

A Junior Docent application packet must include the following:

  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center youth application form. Click here for application.
  • The application form must be typed or printed legibly with blue or black ink; no pencil.
  • The completed application must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Since interview details are communicated via email, a valid email address is required.

Volunteer greet and lead Aquarium guests in educational activities and tours along the marsh overlook and nature trail.

Duties:

  • Greet Aquarium guests.
  • Engage visitors in conversations and activities to ensure they have a memorable and positive visit.

Qualifications:

  • Must be at least 13 years old.
  • Must be outgoing and comfortable interacting with large groups.
  • Must have a pleasant demeanor and able to take direction.
  • An interest in marine science a plus.

Minimum Commitment: This position requires a minimum of one 3¾ hour shift a week. Volunteer must be available at least nine weeks between June and August. This is a summer only position.

A Marsh Monday Guide application packet must include the following:

  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center youth application form. Click here for application.
  • The application form must be typed or printed legibly with blue or black ink; no pencil.
  • The completed application must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Since interview details are communicated via email, a valid email address is required.

Volunteer provide guests with information about marsh habitat and encourage visitors to participate in activities and nature explorations in the Aquarium's outdoor Nature Play Place. 11 and 12 year old nature place docents must be paired with a parent or guardian. Parent's application must be attached when youth application is submitted.

Duties:

  • Greet Aquarium guests.
  • Provide guests with unique outdoor experiences that cultivate an appreciation for the natural world.
  • Lead younger guests in nature play activities.

Qualifications:

  • Must be at least 11 years old.
  • Must enjoy working with children.
  • Must have the ability to stand for an extended period of time.
  • Must have the ability to maintain a high energy level in hot, humid, wet, and muddy conditions.
  • Must be able to take direction.

Minimum Commitment: This position requires a minimum of one 4¾ hour shift a week. Volunteer must be available at least nine weeks between June and August. This is a summer position with the option to volunteer during the school year.

A Nature Play Place Docent application packet must include the following:

  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center youth application form. Click here for application.
  • The application form must be typed or printed legibly with blue or black ink; no pencil.
  • The completed application must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • 11 and 12 year old applicants must have parent's or guardian's application with packet.
  • Since interview details are communicated via email, a valid email address is required.

Volunteer aids Sea Camp instructors in providing a safe, educational and memorable experiences to youth attending summer camps at the Aquarium.

Duties:

  • Aid camp instructors in carrying out all daily activities including set-up and clean-up.
  • Facilitate camp play with campers during check-in and check-out.
  • Assist with the overall supervision of the campers.

Qualifications:

  • Must be at least 16 years old.
  • Must be out-going and able to work with children.
  • Must have experience working with children between six and nine years old.
  • Must be able to participate in high-energy activities that often occur outdoors during the heat of summer.
  • Must have a pleasant demeanor and able to take direction.
  • An interest in science a plus.
  • Experience working in a camp preferred.

Minimum Commitment: This position requires a minimum of 2 two-day camps between the end of June and the end of July. This is a summer only position.

A Summer Camp Assistant application packet must include the following:

  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center youth application form. Click here for application.
  • The application form must be typed or printed legibly with blue or black ink; no pencil.
  • The completed application must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Since interview details are communicated via email, a valid email address is required.

Volunteer assists Toddler Program Coordinator with planning and presenting toddler events. This is a great volunteer opportunity for homeschooled teens.

Duties:

  • Assist with toddler program preparations.
  • Help engage toddlers in conversations and hands-on activities during programs.

Qualifications:

  • Must be at least 14 years old.
  • Must be out-going, have high energy level and comfortable working with toddlers.
  • Individual with artistic and/or musical abilities a plus.
  • Must have a pleasant demeanor and able to take direction.
  • An interest in marine science and experience working with children preferred.

Minimum Commitment: This position requires a minimum of one 4½ hour shift a week. Volunteer must be available at least nine weeks between June and August. This is a summer position with the option to volunteer during the school year.

A Toddler Program Assistant application packet must include the following:

  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center youth application form. Click here for application.
  • The application form must be typed or printed legibly with blue or black ink; no pencil.
  • The completed application must be signed by a parent or guardian.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Since interview details are communicated via email, a valid email address is required.