Job Openings >> Trainer
Department:Marine Mammals
The Trainer level is responsible for overall care and conditioning for animals in the Oceanarium department. The department consists of teams that care for Cetaceans, Penguins and Otters, and Sea lions, and Animal Ambassadors. The Trainer position cares for animals while also providing an educational experience for the visitor. This position conditions behavior from start through completion utilizing positive reinforcement and operant conditioning principles.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • Demonstrate commitment to Shedd’s vision, mission, and values.
  • Ensure health and well-being of the animals
  • Demonstrates a commitment to good relations with fellow staff members, visitors, volunteers, community leaders, and contractors by promoting positive attitudes, good will, cooperation, and providing high standards of customer service
  • Maintain a clean and healthy environment for the animals, staff, and aquarium guests.
  • Clean the kitchens, utensils, floors, windows, pools, and support areas and any other area or item utilized in the department.
  • Prepare diets for all the animals which include thawing, sorting, weighing, cutting, formula preparation, vitamin administration, heavy lifting, and frequent exposure to cold temperatures.
  • Regular diving in cold saltwater for purposes of cleaning, pool inspection, and general maintenance.
  • Interact with the guests daily by answering guest questions about the animals and the facility.
  • Perform various tasks including evening functions, special employee training and seminars, volunteer guidance and interactions, special maintenance or construction projects, public speaking and student interviews.
  • Attend regularly scheduled meetings for intra-departmental communication which include meetings prior to each animal session or presentation, animal group meetings, staff meetings, and additional meetings as needed.
  • Maintain detailed records of all animal interactions and observations which include diet, vitamins, medication, behavioral notes, medical notes, animal weights, physical observations, graphs, temperatures, and any other records deemed important to the care of the animals, the facility, or daily staff operation
  • Narrate public presentations if needed and guide private, behind the scenes tours as needed.
  • Engages in regular interactions with animals including training sessions, physical exams, public presentations, and play sessions.
  • Under direction of senior trainers and supervisors, actively participates in the progression of animal training goals and standards. Develops behavior to facilitate public presentations, public programs, animal management and care.
  • Provide regular interactions with the animals and guests including a wide variety of different training session types and public presentations and guest interactions in a supportive role.
  • Maintains a superior level of showmanship while performing primary/key roles in daily presentations, guest interactions, and other programs as applicable.
  • Coaching less experienced staff.
  • Embrace a flexible work schedule that includes weekends, holidays and non-standardized hours.
  • Work in an environment with daily exposure to cold salt water.
  • Daily lifting in excess of 40 pounds.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Zoology, Biology, Life Sciences or related area is preferred. Equivalent experience will be considered in lieu of degree.

  • Minimum of two years’ experience working with marine mammals, birds, or other exotic animals or an equivalent amount of experience at another facility training animals
  • Strong knowledge of utilizing positive reinforcement and operant conditioning principles.
  • Demonstrated ability to condition basic behaviors from start to completion.
  • Proven ability to work well within teams and departments Designations/Certifications:
  • Open water diving certification required.
Other Skills and Characteristics:
  • Ability to work well with others in a diverse team environment and communicate proficiently with colleagues and guests.
  • Demonstrates commitment to growth.
  • Must have good hearing, vision.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills.
  • Competent swimmer.
  • Able to receive and apply feedback.
  • Able to provide effective feedback.
  • Ability to work holidays and weekends.

We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ community, veterans and active duty military, parents, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from all cultural backgrounds to apply. Shedd Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone to our team. If you need a reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know. In your application, please feel free to select which pronouns you use (For example – she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs).
This opening is closed and is no longer accepting applications
ApplicantStack powered by Swipeclock