Volunteer at CBA Touch tank

Volunteer With Us

The Virginia Aquarium offers guests a memorable experience, but our wider mission succeeds because of our volunteers. We need individuals willing to share their time, unique skills, and passion for marine conservation, and the Aquarium is an amazing place to work with an incredible team. With knowledgeable team members in biology, animal husbandry, marine research, conservation, education, guest services, and so much more, our team works tirelessly and with devotion to our mission.

Open Positions

Browse the opportunities below. If you find a position that excites you, click Apply Today to be directed to the application form. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call our Volunteer Engagement office for more information.

Applications are no longer being accepted for Youth Volunteer positions.

Adult Volunteer Opportunities

Looking to develop or enhance your retail and customer service skills? Want to know more about what happens behind the scenes in a retail operation? Assist with engaging visitors and responding to inquiries, pricing and displaying merchandise, annual inventory, maintaining the sales floor, and helping with crowd control. Candidates must be willing to develop knowledge of Aquarium Store products, able to stand for an extended period, and available to volunteer at least one shift (4.5 hours) per week. Customer service experience is a plus. Apply today​!

If you love to learn and enjoy connecting with a diverse group of people, this may be the position for you! As a gallery 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 and interacting with children, and be able to stand for an extended period. Applicants with an interest in marine biology are ideal. This is also a great opportunity for retired educators or individuals involved in education.

Following training, a minimum commitment of one shift (3.5 hours) a week for one year is required. Apply today!

Your outgoing personality is the perfect fit for this position! Work on the front lines greeting and directing Aquarium guests. Ambassadors will answer visitor questions, monitor assigned areas, and share details about special programs and experiences. The ideal candidate is friendly, patient, comfortable standing for an extended period, and working with large crowds. Bilingual applicants are a plus! This position requires one weekly shift (4.5 hours). Interested? Apply today!​

Stranding Response 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 autopsies) and tissue sampling, help with live animal rehabilitation and medical procedures, and data entry and data collection. Candidates must be physically and mentally fit, able to carry at least 35 pounds, hike for five miles or more, and work in extreme weather conditions. In addition, candidates must have a valid driver's license and a good driving record.

Stranding Response volunteers must commit to one weekly 9:00am– 4:30pm shift. Shifts may be shorter based on the day's needs.


New volunteers must attend training on Saturday, April 30, 2022, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

​Watershed Warriors greet and lead guests in educational explorations through the Aquarium’s Watershed Play area and activities in the Vet Center. This is a great opportunity to bring out your inner child! Ideal candidates will have a passion for conservation, great communication skills, and be comfortable engaging with children and the young at heart. Candidates must be able to stand for an extended period and serve one shift (4.5 hours) per week, required. Apply today​!

Youth Volunteer Opportunities

Applications are no longer being accepted for this position.


Volunteer assists store personnel with daily duties such as stocking, straightening merchandise, minor cleaning, and guest engagement.

Duties

  • Meet and greet the public.
  • Answer customer questions.
  • Suggestive selling.
  • Assist with dusting, straightening, and filling stock.
  • Assist with displaying merchandise.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.

Qualifications

  • Must be at least 13 years old.
  • Ability to interact with guests and staff in a friendly, outgoing manner.
  • Must have good communication skills.
  • Must be enthusiastic, have a high-energy level, and pleasant demeanor.
  • Must have the ability to bend and stand for an extended period.
  • Some knowledge about the Aquarium is preferred.
  • Must be comfortable wearing a face covering for an extended period.

Minimum Commitment
This position requires a weekly 4½ hour shift. This is a summer position with the option to volunteer during the school year.


Interview
In place of onsite interviews, we are accepting video submissions for this position. Interviews can be recorded on your cell phone or tablet and turned in via email with your application packet to AquaVols@VirginiaAquarium.com.* Read and follow the instructions noted below for your video submission:

  • Each video should be 5-7 minutes.
  • Wear a mask during your recording. We want to be sure you can communicate clearly while wearing a mask.
  • Introduce yourself. Give your first and last name and two fun facts about you.
  • Share why you want to be a store assistant at the Virginia Aquarium.
  • Tell us about any experience you might have handling or selling merchandise. It can be items you sold for fundraisers, school projects, or other community activities.
  • Find an item in your home, for example, a stuffed animal, a scented candle, or an interesting beverage container. Present that item as if the camera is a guest in the Aquarium store. Tell us fun facts about it; why it’s a great item to have. Be engaging.
  • If your interview file is too large to send in an email, provide a link to YouTube or something such as Google Drive.

*If your application is mailed, faxed, or hand-delivered, you must include the link to your interview video in a cover letter accompanying your application packet. Applications received without the interview video will not be considered.


Parent and Applicant Information Session
On Thursday, March 10, 2022, at 6 p.m., all aquarium store assistant applicants must attend a virtual information session with a parent or legal guardian. During the session, the Aquarium’s Volunteer Engagement Office will review the position requirements, the candidate selection process, and expectations for those accepted as volunteers. Access to the information session will be emailed to applicants by the close of business on Wednesday, March 9, 2022. Again, a parent or legal guardian must attend with the applicant.


Training
If accepted as an aquarium store assistant, training details will be included in your welcome email. Training includes:

  • Online Orientation
  • Onsite Orientation
  • Aquarium store staff will provide guest engagement training, product knowledge, and further instruction specific to the volunteer position.

Application Packet
An aquarium store assistant application packet must include the following:

  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center youth application form.
  • 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 legal guardian.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required. Follow the recommendation instructions noted on the application cover page.
  • An interview video submission.
  • A valid email address is required on the application; communication is done primarily via email.
  • Remember, incomplete application packets are not considered.

Applications are no longer being accepted for this position.


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

Duties

  • Interpret Aquarium exhibits to guests.
  • Interact with guests in a positive and engaging manner.
  • Emphasize the conservation of our resources.
  • Ensure the safety of the animals in their exhibit.

Qualifications

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

Minimum Commitment
This position requires a minimum of one 3½ hour shift for at least nine weeks out of the summer. Although this is a summer position, volunteers that remain during the school year have the option to learn new skills and advance to additional opportunities. This position is also great for homeschooled teens.

Interview
In place of onsite interviews, we require a video submission for this position and will also conduct one-on-one interviews with gallery docent applicants. The Aquarium’s gallery education team will contact candidates for one-on-one interviews.

Video interviews can be recorded on your cell phone or tablet and turned in via email with your application packet to AquaVols@VirginiaAquarium.com.* Read and follow the instructions noted below for your video submission:

  • Each video should be 5-7 minutes.
  • Wear a mask during your recording. We want to be sure you can communicate clearly while wearing a mask.
  • Introduce yourself. Give your first and last name and two fun facts about you.
  • Share why you want to be a gallery docent at the Virginia Aquarium.
  • Tell us about any experience you might have speaking in front of a small or large group.
  • Select an item in your home or backyard to talk about. For example, a fish tank, a garden. Present that item as if the camera is a guest at the Aquarium. Tell us fun facts about it. Be engaging.
  • If your interview file is too large to send in an email, provide a link to YouTube or something such as Google Drive.

*If your application is mailed, faxed, or hand-delivered, you must include the link to your interview video in a cover letter accompanying your application packet. Applications received without the interview video will not be considered.


Parent and Applicant Information Session
On Saturday, March 12, 2022, at 10 a.m., all Aquarium gallery docent applicants must attend a virtual information session with a parent or legal guardian. During the session, the Aquarium’s Volunteer Engagement Office will review the position requirements, the candidate selection process, and expectations for those accepted as volunteers. Access to the information session will be emailed to applicants by the close of business on Friday, March 11, 2022. Again, a parent or legal guardian must attend with the applicant.


Training
If accepted as a gallery docent, training details will be included in your welcome email. Training includes:

  • Online Orientation
  • Onsite Orientation
  • Attendance at six gallery docent training sessions.

Application Packet
A gallery docent application packet must include the following:

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center youth application form.

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 legal guardian.

  • Two letters of recommendation are required. Follow the recommendation instructions noted on the application cover page.
  • An interview video submission.
  • A valid email address is required on the application; communication is done primarily via email.
  • Remember, incomplete application packets are not considered.

Applications are no longer being accepted for this position.


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.
  • Answer visitor questions and provide accurate information about Aquarium services and events. Rotate through stations and monitor activities at assigned areas for traffic flow and safety.

Qualifications:

  • Must be at least 15 years old.
  • Comfortable standing and wearing a face covering for an extended period.
  • Exceptional people skills.
  • Must be outgoing and personable. A pleasant disposition is required.
  • Must be comfortable with crowds.
  • Ability to work independently with minimum supervision.

Minimum Commitment
This position requires a weekly 4½-hour shift. Volunteers 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.


Interview
In place of onsite interviews, we are accepting video submissions for this position. Interviews can be recorded on your cell phone or tablet and turned in via email with your application packet to AquaVols@VirginiaAquarium.com.* Read and follow the instructions noted below for your video submission:

  • Each video should be 5-7 minutes.
  • Wear a mask during your recording. We want to be sure you can communicate clearly while wearing a mask.
  • Introduce yourself. Give your first and last name and two fun facts about you.
  • Share why you want to be a guest engagement ambassador at the Virginia Aquarium.
  • Tell us about any experience you might have giving directions or showing someone around. For example, it can be introducing a new student to classmates or giving them a tour of the school.
  • With the permission of your parent(s), give us a tour of a room in your home or your back yard. Choose an area and tell us a little about it. Example – “The area to the left is where we all meet for family game night.”
  • Present to the camera as if you are sharing information or giving directions to an Aquarium visitor. Tell us fun, interesting facts about the area. Be engaging; have fun.
  • If your interview file is too large to send in an email, provide a link to YouTube or something such as Google Drive.

*If your application is mailed, faxed, or hand-delivered, you must include the link to your interview video in a cover letter accompanying your application packet. Applications received without the interview video will not be considered.


Parent and Applicant Information Session
On Tuesday, March 8, 2022, at 6 p.m., all guest engagement ambassador applicants must attend a virtual information session with a parent or legal guardian. During the session, the Aquarium’s Volunteer Engagement Office will review the position requirements, the candidate selection process, and expectations for those accepted as volunteers. Access to the information session will be emailed to applicants by the close of business on Monday, March 7, 2022. Again, a parent or legal guardian must attend with the applicant.


Training
If accepted as a guest engagement ambassador, training details will be included in your welcome email. Training includes:

  • Online Orientation
  • General Orientation
  • Guest Engagement Strategies and Guest Engagement Ambassador training.

Application Packet
A guest engagement ambassador application packet must include the following:

  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center youth application form.
  • 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 legal guardian.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required. Follow the recommendation instructions noted on the application cover page.
  • An interview video submission.
  • A valid email address is required on the application; communication is done primarily via email.
  • Remember, incomplete application packets are not considered.

Applications are no longer being accepted for this position.


Volunteers greet and lead guests in educational explorations through the Aquarium’s Watershed Play area and activities in the Vet Center.

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.
  • Ability to stand and wear a face covering for an extended period.
  • Must have a pleasant demeanor and be able to take direction.
  • An interest in marine science and environmental conservation is a plus.

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


Interview
In place of onsite interviews, we require video submissions for this position and will also conduct one-on-one interviews with watershed warrior applicants. The Aquarium’s gallery education team will contact candidates for one-on-one interviews.

Video interviews can be recorded on your cell phone or tablet and turned in via email with your application packet to AquaVols@VirginiaAquarium.com.* Read and follow the instructions noted below for your video submission:

  • Each video should be 5-7 minutes.
  • Wear a mask during your recording. We want to be sure you can communicate clearly while wearing a mask.
  • Introduce yourself. Give your first and last name and two fun facts about you.
  • Share why you want to be a watershed warrior at the Virginia Aquarium.
  • Tell us about any experience you might have speaking in front of a small or large group.
  • Find an item in your backyard or nature, for example, a leaf, stick, or snail. Present that item as if the camera is a guest at the Aquarium. Tell us fun facts about it. Be engaging.
  • If your interview file is too large to send in an email, provide a link to YouTube or something such as Google Drive.

*If your application is mailed, faxed, or hand-delivered, you must include the link to your interview video in a cover letter accompanying your application packet. Applications received without the interview video will not be considered.


Parent and Applicant Information Session
On Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at 6 p.m., all watershed warrior applicants must attend a virtual information session with a parent or legal guardian. During the session, the Aquarium’s Volunteer Engagement Office will review the position requirements, the candidate selection process, and expectations for those accepted as volunteers. Access to the information session will be emailed to applicants by the close of business on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. Again, a parent or legal guardian must attend with the applicant.


Training
If accepted as a watershed warrior, training details will be included in your welcome email. Training includes:

  • Online Orientation
  • Onsite Orientation
  • Attendance at all (three) watershed warrior training sessions.

Application Packet

A watershed warrior application packet must include the following:

  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center youth application form.
  • 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 legal guardian.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required. Follow the recommendation instructions noted on the application cover page.
  • An interview video submission.
  • A valid email address is required on the application; communication is done primarily via email.
  • Remember, incomplete application packets are not considered.

Applications are no longer being accepted for this position.


Virginia Aquarium youth programs provide a unique opportunity for youth to explore science, immerse in nature, and participate in conservation efforts. Volunteers are needed to assist with camps, birthday parties, scout workshops, and scout overnight programs.

Duties

  • Facilitate play and activity stations.
  • Assist with live animal presentations and guided tours.
  • Assist with overall supervision of participants.
  • Welcome participants and assist with check-ins.
  • Answer basic questions about the Aquarium.
  • Set up and break down program materials.

Qualifications

  • Must be 14 years or older.
  • Enthusiastic and outgoing with a high-energy level and pleasant demeanor.
  • Comfortable working with children of varying ages.
  • Have ability to bend, lift to 25 pounds, stand for extended periods, and spend time outdoors during high temperatures in the summer.
  • Interest in marine science is a plus.

Minimum Commitment

This position requires a year-round commitment, during the summer and the school year. Scheduling is flexible, allowing volunteers to sign up for program opportunities that fit their availability.

A calendar of program activities is released to volunteers at least one month before an event, and youth program assistants signup for dates and times that fit best in their schedule. Programs take place during the following times:

  • Birthday parties occur on Saturdays and Sundays 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Summer camps occur Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., mid-June through August.
  • School break camps occur on holidays and spring break 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on select dates.
  • Scout workshops occur on Saturdays and Sundays during the day.
  • Scout overnights occur Friday and Saturday evenings 5:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Parent and Applicant Information Session

On Tuesday, March15, 2022, at 6 p.m., all youth program assistant applicants must attend a virtual information session with a parent or legal guardian. During the session, the Aquarium’s Volunteer Engagement Office will review the position requirements, the candidate selection process, and expectations for those accepted as volunteers. Access to the information session will be emailed to applicants by the close of business on Monday, March 14, 2022. Again, a parent or legal guardian must attend with the applicant.

Interview

The youth program staff will contact applicants to arrange an interview no later than Friday, April 8, 2022.

Training

If accepted as a youth program assistant, training details will be included in your welcome email. Training includes:

  • Online Orientation
  • Onsite Orientation
  • Youth Program staff will facilitate one-on-one training for position-related tasks and new volunteers will be mentored by experienced staff and volunteers.

Application Packet

A youth program assistant application packet must include the following:

  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center youth application form.
  • 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 legal guardian.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required. Follow the recommendation instructions noted on the application cover page.
  • A valid email address is required on the application; communication is done primarily via email.
  • Remember, incomplete application packets are not considered.