Volunteer Opportunities

How can you get involved?

The Texas State Aquarium is a unique, not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers to ensure a quality guest experience. We have a great group of volunteers who help keep our plants, animals, and habitats healthy and our guests happy. No matter what your skills, we have a place for you! As one of the top aquariums in the nation and a leader in informal science education, the Texas State Aquarium is a wonderful place to give back to the community. For more information, email volunteer@txstateaq.org or call 361.881.1381.

Volunteers at the Texas State Aquarium receive:

  • Orientation program and handbook
  • Free admission to the Aquarium
  • Earn a membership once you’re an Active volunteer
  • Special recognition and volunteer appreciation events
  • Discounts in the gift shop and Pepsi Shoreline Grill
  • Specialized training on exhibits, operations, animals, and conservation (depending on position)
  • Volunteer newsletters to keep you informed
  • Opportunities to meet new people with similar interests
  • Opportunity to support a recognized leader in tourism, informal education, conservation, and rehabilitation

 How do I become a volunteer at the Texas State Aquarium?

1) Complete an online application.

2) Attend an information session! Our upcoming volunteer information sessions are:

  • Saturday, July 18
    • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 8
    • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 20
    • 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 10
    • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 15
    • 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Please call 361.881.1381 to confirm the time of the next session. Please come dressed to participate in a tour of our facility – close-toed shoes must be worn in order for you to participate in the tour.

3) Complete an interview with TSA Volunteer Staff.

4) Pay non-refundable $35 program fee (only if selected into the volunteer program.)

5) Pass a criminal background check if 18 or older. If under 18, provide two letters of recommendation from teachers, employers, or community leaders.

Other Volunteer Requirements:

  • Must provide proof of completion of the Hepatitis B vaccine series.
  • Must complete 30 hours of Guest Ambassador Program prior to being eligible for an interview for any animal care, dive, or wildlife care positions. (There is no guarantee of acceptance into any of these programs.)
  • Must complete any other training classes and pre-requisites required for your chosen position.

Volunteer Program staff will communicate with you via email or telephone to keep you informed as you move through the application process.)

If I want to volunteer, what else should I know?

  • Volunteers are required to follow the uniform guidelines, behavior agreements, all animal care policies and procedures, and other policies and procedures as set forth in the Volunteer Handbook.
  • Most volunteer shifts are scheduled in 4-hour increments.
  • Volunteer positions are based on the interests of the volunteer, the skills required, availability of positions, scheduling availability, and ultimately acceptance into the program.
  • ALL positions require a volunteer to be over the age of 18.
  • Some positions, such as diver, also require a volunteer to have outside certifications.

Adult Volunteer Positions

Naturalist

Naturalists are “volunteer guides” who share their knowledge of the Aquarium animals and habitats with the guests. The only thing you need to bring is enthusiasm and the ability to work a 3-hour shift once a week. We provide the training. This is a high public interaction position working towards a goal of ultimate guest satisfaction.

Guest Ambassadors

Guest Ambassadors assist in welcoming guests and assisting them with direction and general information about the Aquarium as well as conducting surveys and learning to interact with guests using our BioFact carts. This is a high public interaction position working towards a goal of ultimate guest satisfaction.

Animal Husbandry

Animal Husbandry includes the areas of fish/invertebrates/reptiles, birds/small mammals, and wildlife care rehabilitation. You must have the ability to work a 4 hour shift and maintain a (mostly) regular schedule. Volunteers help prepare food for the animals and keep the animals healthy and the exhibits clean.

Dive

Dive volunteers help to maintain exhibits and assist with programming. Divers must be Open Water dive certified, will need to have a doctor’s clearance, and pass a check-out dive. Divers get credit for bottom time and overall volunteer time.

Administrative

Administrative volunteers help stuff envelopes and packets, office work, filing, file conversion to electronic storage, prepare mail-outs and may do some computer work.

Education

Education volunteers help out with outreach programs and special projects are needed. Activities are indoor and outdoor.

 

Additional Volunteer Opportunities

Guide Partner Program (12-13 years old)

The Guide Partners Program pairs one child with one adult (parent or guardian). They will work as a team, attending training and starting out as apprentice guides, this program in ONLY available in the Naturalist category. They will also work as a team as they move from one exhibit area to another and interact with guests.

Opportunities: Provides an opportunity for families to work and learn together.

 Requirements:

  • Each volunteer must complete an online application.
  • Attend an information class. Please call the Volunteer Department at 361-881-1381 to confirm time of next session. Please come dressed to participate in a tour of our facility – close-toed shoes must be worn in order for you to participate in the tour.
  • Complete interview with Guide Program Area Coordinator.
  • Pay non-refundable $35 program fee (only if selected into the volunteer program.)
  • Pass a criminal background check if 18 or older. If under 18, provide two letters of recommendation from teachers, employers, or community leaders.
  • Must provide proof of completion of the Hepatitis B vaccine series.
  • Participation in the training program.

 Benefits:

  • Development of child/adult teamwork
  • Building self-confidence
  • Taking part in positive social interactions
  • Learning about the marine environment
  • Taking positive conservation action

 Aquateen Program (14-17 years old)

AquaTeens is an exciting way for teens to explore the opportunities in zoo and aquarium careers. We are looking for positive, responsible students with an enthusiasm for learning and having fun. This is a year-round program that requires a commitment of 32 hours per month during the summer (June, July, and August) and 4 hours per semester for Fall and Spring. You must reapply each year. Applications are now open!

Learn More

 Court-Ordered Community Service

We now accept individuals seeking court-ordered service hours. Click here to apply for required community service.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Texas State Aquarium! For more information or to be added to our mailing list, email volunteer@txstateaq.org or call 361.881.1381.

Click here to apply