To apply for a volunteer position at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, please submit the application fee below. You will be redirected to the complete application form after payment.
Please contact Kerra Almy, the Volunteer and Internship Program Manager, if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please review the volunteer position descriptions. You will be prompted to list your top three choices and desired shifts.
*Please note that some positions may not be available immediately due to social distancing requirements related to Covid-19.
Our Culinary Team will guide the volunteer in the daily operation of our food court, assisting with cart organization, guest interaction, cash handling, and cleanliness standards. Our Culinary Team will instruct the volunteer on the basic principles of food handling, preparation, proper storage and service. The culinary manager will conduct weekly training classes, sharing culinary skills and beginner recipes. The volunteer will take an online training class to become certified in Basic Food Handling. This certification will assist the volunteer with any future endeavors within the culinary workplace.
Volunteers should be comfortable working and interacting with guests and other staff at CMA.
Culinary volunteers commit to at least 1 weekly reoccurring 4 hour shift.
This department oversees and maintains the water environment of all animals at CMA. It all starts with having an environment in which our resident and rehab animals can flourish! This department is also responsible for aquarist duties.
• Water chemistry of all animals at CMA
• Logging of Data
• Data entry
• Assist with some fish feedings
• Filter pressure/heater/chiller data recording
* Must be able walk throughout the facility for sample collection and climb ladders for equipment inspection.
Water Quality shifts are 7 days a week with daily shift times of 8:30am-12:30pm and 12:30pm-4:30pm. This is a weekly commitment.
Retail (Gift Shop/Warehouse)
There are front and back of house volunteer positions in the retail department. Front of House Location – CMA Retail Store: Assist guests, clean and replenish, recover merchandise. Suggested Skills: Comfortable with the public and enjoy guest interaction Back of House Location – Retail Warehouse: Preparing and shipping online orders, counting, pricing, labeling, sorting, and organizing merchandise.
Suggested Skills: Task oriented attention to details, good at taking direction and following instructions.
Retail gift shop shifts are 7 days a week with daily shift times of 10am-2:00pm and 2:00pm-6pm. This is a weekly commitment.
Maintaining water quality and appearance of our pools is the top priority for the CMA Dive Team. Many pools are in direct sunlight which increases algae growth. Therefore, we need to enlist committed volunteer SCUBA divers to assist with our pool cleaning challenge. Air tanks and some basic equipment are provided. Applicants to become a CMA Volunteer Diver must be certified as an Open Water Diver from an internationally recognized agency (PADI, NAUI, SSI, etc) and hold a current CPR/AED/first aid certification. Dive volunteer applicants will be asked to provide a copy of their SCUBA certification card and their CPR/AED/first aid certification. The Dive volunteer position allows a flexible schedule with AM and PM shifts available for sign up and a minimum commitment of 2 dives per month.
Education volunteers work two Sea Life Safari boat tours during their shift. Volunteers act as boat mates and participate in other educational activities. Duties include assisting guests from the queue line to the boat, helping passengers to embark and disembark the boat, pulling a trawl net, assisting with marine life data collection, helping with the “show and tell” of marine organisms by passing around plastic containers while onboard. You must be able to lift a bucket with water, and have reasonable balance on a moving boat. In addition to working on our sea life safari boats, volunteers in Education assist the Education Department with other educational activities, such as off-site visits and tabling events. The Education volunteer position requires a minimum 4 month commitment to a weekly reoccurring shift, same day and time each week. Shifts in this department are 4 hours long, AM and PM volunteer shifts are available in this department 7 days a week; new volunteers are assigned their weekly shift based on their availability and our current shift openings.
Currently Full For Summer.
Join our Environmental Operations Team and be part of our Facilities Maintenance Department! Environmental Operations oversees the custodial needs of Clearwater Marine Aquarium. As an E/O Volunteer, you will be making a huge difference for our guests and the animals by performing routine maintenance around the aquarium.
Volunteer Responsibilities Include:
• Maintain a clean appearance to glass/acrylic fixtures and aquariums.
• Keeping the floors clear of debris and water.
• Taking out trash when needed.
• Sanitize touchpoints.
• Stocking guest areas.
• Responding to requests from any department.
• Specialized tasks as needed.
• Inventory management.
• Ability to positively communicate with guests, staff and other volunteers.
Yes, we won’t lie — it can be a dirty job. But, believe it or not, it is very rewarding and pretty fun! E/O volunteer shifts are available 7 days a week with daily shift times of 10am-2:00pm and 2:00pm-6pm. This is a weekly commitment.
Guest Experience volunteers are ambassadors to CMA, providing first impressions and enhancing the visitor experience! Volunteers in the Guest Experience department should possess a positive, outgoing personality, enjoy interacting with people, and be excited about the Aquarium’s mission. Guest Experience volunteers engage CMA guests and attend to their needs. Tasks include: greeting guests in the ticketing line, facilitating their entry into CMA, manning the glitter tattoo station, and roaming throughout the building engaging guests about our work and mission. Volunteers must be comfortable with standing and walking on cement, going up and down stairs, and moving quickly from one task to another. Guest Experience volunteer shifts are 7 days a week with daily shift times of 10am-2:00pm and 2:00pm-6pm. This is a weekly commitment.
In the Mammals Division, some of your responsibilities as a volunteer may include the following:
• Learning and assisting in food preparation – a large majority of the day is spent sorting and inspecting fish, processing fish, and washing dishes.
• Conducting behavioral observations, maintaining behavioral logs – records of feeding and observation sessions are maintained daily.
• Participating in the daily maintenance of animal exhibits – more cleaning!
• Narrating presentations for visitors of the aquarium.
• Interacting with encounter participants and guests of the aquarium.
The Marine Mammal volunteer program is tailored to meet your personal abilities, experience level, and educational background. Marine Mammal volunteers should have no expectation of animal contact / handling. Marine Mammal shifts are 7 days a week with daily shift times of 6am-11am, 8am – 1pm, 12pm-5pm, or 2pm-7pm. This is a weekly commitment.
The CMA Rescue Team has volunteer positions available in both Stranding Administration and Stranding Rescue Response. Stranding Administrative Volunteer: Support the mission of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s and the work of the Rescue Department through attending, teaching, and developing department trainings as assigned, representing the aquarium at outreach events, and promoting stewardship of the marine environment. Administrative volunteers will assist with day-to-day department functions including equipment management, monitoring the emergency Rescue Response Hotline, responding to distressed and injured marine life, and data entry.
Rescue Response Volunteer:
- Obtain knowledge of Rescue policies, procedures, and day-to-day functions.
- Provide guest and public interaction for all stranding-related responses.
- Perform behavioral observations on stranded marine mammals.
- Assist with public outreach to promote conservation within the community.
- Communicate clearly and professionally both verbally and in written form.
- Assist the Rescue Team in response to stranding events when contacted.
- Assist other departments as needed and when requested.
- Perform other duties as needed.
*For Rescue Response, a swim test is required within 90 days. Our Rescue Team volunteers are on a flexible schedule with 8 hour minimum monthly commitment to remain active members of the Rescue Team.
Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biology
In the Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biology Department, some of your responsibilities as a volunteer may include the following:
• Follow all Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) requirements for all aspects of resident sea turtle care, demonstrate knowledge of permitting and reporting for FWC.
• Assist in the care of resident sea turtles and a variety of aquatic species, including: food preparation, feeding, exhibit maintenance, cleaning and sanitizing working areas, maintaining animal records and performing routine medical care.
• Assist with resident enrichment, target behavior, and medical management behavior.
• Ability to perform guest focused presentations to the public regarding our resident animal collection.
• Demonstrate a guest focused attitude with the ability to educate the public about the impact of human interaction to include, but not limited to, lighting, beach debris, habitat destruction, and marine pollution with regard to sea turtles.
The Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biology volunteer program is tailored to meet your personal abilities, experience level, and educational background. Sea Turtle volunteers should have no expectation of animal contact/handling, however, there may be opportunities to interact with resident sea turtles and other aquatic species under the direct supervision of staff. Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biology shifts are 7 days a week with daily shift times of 9am-1pm and 12:30pm- 4:30pm. This is a weekly commitment.
Sea Turtle Conservation Program Education
The primary responsibility of the Sea Turtle Conservation Program Education volunteer is to assist and support the growth and development of the Amigos de las Tortugas project. This project was designed in line with CMA’s mission and vision, and its main purpose is to develop, implement, and/or maintain activities, and events that promote sea turtle and environmental stewardship, increase awareness about various environmental issues in the Spanish-speaking community and involvement in conservation-based activities. The Education volunteer will also participate in other educational outreach events as opportunities arise. Commitment: A minimum of 4 hours a week or able to present one workshop a week.
Essential Job Functions:
• Lead and assist with workshops and training for the Amigos de las Tortugas project as needed, either in person or virtually.
• Educate Spanish-speaking groups of different age ranges, including children (kindergarten through grade 12) and adults.
• Assist with the creation of new curricula and/or document translation.
• Other duties as assigned.
Sea Turtle Rehab
In the Sea Turtle Rehab Department, we are responsible for the health/safety of our animals and strive to provide the best care possible so they have the best chance of release.
As a new volunteer some of your responsibilities may include the following:
• Develop an understanding of sea turtle natural history and anatomy.
• Interact with guests to educate them about the natural and human interaction occurrences that bring patients into the hospital and the process of rehabilitation.
• Assist in the rehabilitation of sea turtles (and possibly other animals in rehab) including food preparation, habitat maintenance, animal feeding & handling, triage, routine medical care, and release.
• Participate in ongoing projects that contribute to the conservation of sea turtles, including strandings and necropsies.
The Sea Turtle Rehab volunteer program is tailored to meet your experience level and educational background. Sea Turtle Rehab shifts are 7 days a week with daily shift times of 6am-11am and 12pm- 4pm. This is a weekly commitment.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium offers a unique experience for our guests while providing music, food and a fun atmosphere with an outstanding marine facility as an overlay. All proceeds from events stay with us here at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to assist in our mission to rescue, rehabilitation, and release. Our Special Events volunteers are on a flexible schedule with a minimum commitment of 1 event per month to remain active volunteers.
Please remember most of our departments require commitment to a weekly reoccurring shift, same day and time each week. If you are not available for a weekly commitment, please review the requirements for our Rescue or Dive Team positions as they may be a better fit.
All CMA volunteer positions require a minimum four-month commitment and is designed in a way that is best suited for those looking for a long-term role as part of a team. If this is not a good fit for you, we can retain your application for a later time.
New volunteers are assigned their weekly shift based on their availability for our current shift openings, and compatibility with the role as indicated in their application.
PLEASE NOTE: Application fees are non-refundable and applying does not guarantee acceptance into the program.