Volunteer at the Aquarium

Donate your time to help us and receive special benefits.

At the Oregon Coast Aquarium, visitors find more than a fascinating variety of marine animals. They find volunteers who greet them, answer their questions. They find volunteers planting native shrubs, painting a wall or cleaning exhibit windows. And behind the scenes are found more volunteers, diving to clean and maintain our exhibits, helping children in the classroom or preparing food for the animals, all working to carry out the mission of the Aquarium, "... so the public will better understand and cherish the natural resources of the Oregon coast."

Benefits of Volunteering

Join the nearly 400 volunteers that share your passion for marine science. Become a volunteer at the Oregon Coast Aquarium and receive opportunities for educational enrichment and social interaction. You'll receive special benefits as a volunteer including:

  • Training classes on marine animals and the natural history of the Oregon coast.
  • College credit is available through the Oregon Coast Community College.
  • Social opportunities with your volunteer colleagues.
  • Recognition for your own individual service and contribution to the Aquarium.
  • Discounts in our gift shops.
  • Lectures and continuing education opportunities by Aquarium staff and guest speakers.
  • Free passes to the Aquarium for you and your immediate family.
  • Membership to the Aquarium after you have completed 50 hours of volunteer service.

Volunteer Opportunities

There are volunteer positions available in many departments, and one is just right for you. For naturalist volunteering, training is offered each Spring and Fall.

Since all volunteers are not alike, neither are our volunteer jobs.

  • Naturalists work directly with the public at exhibits and displays, answering questions, giving demonstrations and assisting visitors.
  • Animal care assistants help our animal husbandry staff with food preparation, observation and record keeping and exhibit upkeep.
  • Divers help to keep our exhibits clean and our animals healthy by cleaning and maintaining the tanks from the inside out.
  • Greeters provide arriving visitors with information about ticketing, the facility and local attractions and accommodations.
  • Classroom assistants work with Aquarium educators to set up programs, prepare materials and interact with children in a classroom setting.
  • Maintenance volunteers work throughout the facility as groundskeepers, custodial aides and shop assistants.
  • Teens can volunteer during the summer as an naturalist and work on Team Projects at the Aquarium and in the community with a group of their peers during the school year.
  • Special opportunities match your special skills with our special needs.

"The Aquarium makes a significant commitment to its volunteers through the first-class training program and supportive staff, in both education and animal arenas. This commitment makes it a joy to volunteer and to share my experiences with the visitors at this highly rated facility."
Julie Shafer, volunteer.

Job Shadows

Third Wednesday of the month, from October through May
Animal husbandry job shadow opportunities for high school juniors and seniors are offered on the third Wednesday of each month. Available departments include: marine mammals, birds and fish / invertebrates. Other departments may be available upon request. Each shadow date offers one student per department a chance to spend a morning experiencing how Aquarium keepers care of our animals and what their jobs are like. The program is FREE, but availability is very limited.

Call 541-867-3474 or email volunteer@aquarium.org for more information. Download Job Shadow flyer (PDF) | Download Job Shadow Application (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can volunteer?

Adult volunteers: 18 years or older.
Teen volunteers: 14-17 years old.

How often do I volunteer?

A volunteer’s schedule can change depending upon their position and duties.

What experience do I need?

Experience is dependent upon the volunteer position. Many volunteer positions require no previous experience and we will provide training.

What if I have special needs?

Most special needs are not a barrier to volunteering.

What if I have questions?

You can call 541-867-3474, or send an email to volunteer@aquarium.org. We're looking forward to hearing from you.

How do I get started?

Click on the appropriate link shown below to download your volunteer application in PDF form. Complete the form and then return it to us to start your new adventure in marine conservation!