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Animal Care Supervisor

Seattle Aquarium
Seattle, WA
Expired: over a month ago Applications are no longer accepted.
  • Full-Time
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Job Description


Supervisor Life Sciences Team

Posted: Open to internal and external applicants

Reports to: Curator of Tropical Fish and Invertebrates or Associate Curator of Fish and Invertebrates

Status: Full-time, hourly, benefitted position. This position is eligible for overtime.

Hours of work: Depending on assignment, work hours will be 6:30-3:30 or 7:00-4:00. Weekly schedules will include one weekend day. Occasional need for weekend or after-hours work as related to events and other projects.

Date needed: April 2023

Posting expires: When position is filled.

Position description:

The Seattle Aquarium, a leading marine conservation organization, is looking for supervisors to join the Life Sciences Department. We currently have supervisor openings on both the Temperate and Tropical Fish and Invertebrates Teams. The Aquarium’s fish and invertebrate collection includes temperate and tropical water invertebrates, cartilaginous and teleost fishes. The Fish and Invertebrate Team Supervisor furthers the Aquarium’s mission through providing management and care for the animal collection and through staff supervision. They are responsible for assigned husbandry duties in the Aquarium’s fish and invertebrate team.

Key functions:

Staff Supervision:

  • Direct and coordinate Fish and Invertebrate Team Animal Care staff (Life Sciences/Operations Relief staff when working in Temperate fish and invertebrate’s areas, Aquarists, and Senior Aquarists) when acting as daily Supervisor. Undertake annual performance reviews and goal setting of assigned husbandry staff. Work closely with Associate Curator and Curator to ensure direction and training of staff align with FIT priorities and the Aquarium’s S.A.L.I.S.H. and D.E.I. values.
  • Be the point of contact for daily FIT husbandry operations as assigned.
  • Lead and coordinate hiring, initial onboarding and training of staff as assigned.

Animal Husbandry:

  • 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.
  • Lead daily husbandry operations in designated area, delegating and assigning work as necessary.
  • Maintain records and reports regarding assigned species including daily veterinary reports, exhibit maintenance, food consumption records and other reports specific to the assigned area.
  • Train, coordinate and supervise the work of animal care volunteers, dive volunteers and Life Sciences interns by identifying, assigning, and monitoring tasks and evaluating their work.
  • Train, coordinate and direct the work of temporary, regular part-time, and all Aquarist-level staff by identifying, assigning, and monitoring daily husbandry related tasks.
  • Lead and/or assist with animal acquisition, acclimation, and quarantine.
  • Plan, organize, and lead appropriate off-site collecting activities.
  • Lead and/or assist with administration of medications and treatments according to established procedures and veterinary instructions. Aid in handling or restraining animals in accordance with established safety procedures as necessary to ensure animal welfare.

Diving requirements:

Depending on tema assignment, diving requirements will vary.To qualify for evaluation as a Seattle Aquarium diver, a candidate must meet the following general criteria:

  • Possess a scuba certification to the level of rescue diver (or equivalent) from a nationally recognized certification agency.
  • Possess a recent (less than 12 months) approval to recreational scuba signed by a physician (M.D. or D.O.).
  • Successfully pass an AAUS watermanship requirements swim test.
  • Pass a Seattle Aquarium scuba skills evaluation dive, methods for this evaluation are position dependent.

In addition, the new staff diver candidate must complete and pass the following aquarium diver physical exam, training classes and deadlines:

  • Pass a Seattle Aquarium occupational diving physical exam.
  • Emergency oxygen provider training within one year of hire.
  • Staff habitat diver training and evaluation within one year of hire.
  • The position-defined level of scientific diver training and evaluation within one year of hire.

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 seven years’ experience, preferably demonstrating progressively responsible duties, involving the care and husbandry of animals in a zoo, aquarium, or related environment (AZA facility preferred).
  • Demonstrated ability with small vessel handling and maintenance preferred.
  • Must hold current CPR, first aid and AED certifications.

Working conditions:

  • Requires handling, working with or exposure to large, dangerous animals, animal diseases, feces, and toxic 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 or hear; taste 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.
  • Must be able to be on their feet 6 or more hours a day, be physically active through physical motions.
  • Required to work outdoors year-round, near water, on wet and slippery surfaces and at heights.
  • Must be able to swim and pass and maintain all required scuba diving skills and certifications.
  • Must be willing to work evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays and an occasional 24-hour emergency call.
  • Regularly required to scuba dive which can be physically taxing and requires passing a physical exam.

Salary and benefits: $31.75 to $34.61, 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 a progressive, equal-opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce. One of our core values is fostering an inclusive community, and we want our staff to reflect our community. To that end, we encourage diverse candidates to apply, including but not limited to Black, Indigenous and People of Color applicants and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

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: Must pass a background check and motor vehicle records check, upon job offer, to be eligible for this position. 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

Regarding COVID-19:

Open daily, the Aquarium prioritizes the health and safety of our staff and visitors, embracing science to guide our operations. We maintain high standards of cleanliness, and all high-touch surfaces (like windows, railings, restrooms and elevators) are continuously cleaned.

Please note: All Aquarium staff and volunteers must provide proof of vaccination or approved medical or religious exemption by the date of hire. If you have questions about this policy or for information regarding the exemption process, please contact the Human Resources department 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 within the first two weeks of posting.
  • Interviews completed by
  • Start date: April 2023


Seattle Aquarium

Seattle, WA
98101 USA
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