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?

  • Complete an online application.

Click here for application

Attend an information class! Our upcoming volunteer sessions are:
  • August 4
  • September 16
  • October 6
  • November 3
  • **No December session**

Please call 361.881.1381 to confirm the 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 TSA Volunteer Staff.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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. Application will open next on February 1, 2019.

 AquaTeen Opportunities:

  • Guest Services– Greet and open doors for guests, serve as TSA mascot, complete guest surveys, and act as directional guides and sources of information for guests.
  • H-E-B Splash Park– Help with keeping area clean, and kids safe and entertained.
  • SeaCamp– Assist SeaCamp counselors with daily projects, and act as an extra set of eyes and ears.
  • Family Learning Center– Help prepare for daily programs, keep area clean, help with arts and crafts. Will also help in the Weston’s Library area (keep area clean, help with story time, and learn basic library procedures).
  • Pepsi Shoreline Grill – Assist with keeping area clean, and with preparing food.
  • Fundraising – Work airbrush tattoo machine, games, arts and crafts to support various aspects of the volunteer department.
  • Recycling– Assist with weekly recycling at the Aquarium and participate in scheduled Adopt-A-Beach clean-ups.
  • Exhibit Guide– Learn about the habitats and animals at the Aquarium, assist visitors, and answer questions about the exhibits.

 2nd Year and Beyond Opportunities (in addition to above):

  • Animal Husbandry Assistant– Help Aquarists, Keepers, and Trainers with the care maintenance of the animals and exhibits (volunteering in this area is based on knowledge, training, and experience obtained at the Aquarium.)
  • Dolphin Bay and Wild Flight Interpretation Assistant– Help keep Dolphin Bay and the Hawn Wild Flight Theater clean and ready for visitors, help seat visitors for the program and generally assist Interpretation staff at Dolphin Bay. (Volunteering in this area is based on knowledge, training, and experience obtained at the Aquarium. AquaTeens will not have any direct contact with the dolphins or birds.)

*Applications will open on February 1, 2019

Requirements:

  • Be between the ages of 14-17
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • Participate in an interview process
  • If accepted, complete the required training and meet schedule requirements
  • Deadline for applications is April 15
  • To get more information click here.

*Program start dates are subject to change.

To be added to our mailing list, please email volunteer@txstateaq.org or call 361.881.1381.

Group Volunteer Opportunities

The Texas State Aquarium has a variety of opportunities for groups to volunteer. Whether you are a Boy/Girl Scout troop, fraternity, sorority, church group, etc., we have something for you!

If you are interested in a group volunteer opportunity, email volunteer@txstateaq.org or call 361.881.1381. Click here for a group application.

Please be sure to provide the following information so we can help you identify the correct group volunteer opportunity for you:

  • Group name
  • Name of the main group contact
  • Contact email address
  • Contact phone number
  • Number of participants in the group
  • Date(s) or timeframe interested in volunteering
  • The type of group volunteer activity you are interested in
  • If applicable, the number and age of volunteers under 18

 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!