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Senior Aquarist

2 Year

Negotiation of salary with the employer is possible because they do not reveal it. Work experience in the same field for at least 24 months is a must-have for this job. Before you apply, consider if the internship type of job offered by SEA LIFE is right for you. July 2, 2024 is when the job vacancy for Senior Aquarist was advertised, and it will be closed on July 30, 2024. The employer is seeking qualified candidates for a job in Bloomington, but may also be open to considering remote workers who meet the qualifications. The work site is at Bloomington , MN , Bloomington , MN.


Senior Aquarist



As part of the SEA LIFE at Mall of America Displays Team, this Senior Aquarist position requires a dedicated individual to lead the Displays team as they maintain and care for a variety of tropical and temperate marine and freshwater aquatic animals and displays, as well as reptile and amphibian displays.  The Senior Aquarist should be SCUBA certified or able to become SCUBA certified and must be capable of delivering a high standard or work performance in the areas of exhibit standards, animal and exhibit husbandry and welfare, diving, and guest experience under the direction of the Displays Curator.  As the lead worker of the Displays department, the Senior Aquarist is expected to maintain high levels of professionalism and work ethic to provide a good example to the Displays team.  The Senior Aquarist must act as a liaison to both the Curator and Displays Supervisor and the Aquarist 1s and 2s and Husbandry Assistant.  This is a full-time, benefited position.  

Key Objectives/Responsibilities:

  • Lead the team in providing excellent daily husbandry to all the aquariums’ animals, and ensuring all husbandry techniques are up to the highest standards. 

  • Ensure accurate daily records for aquarium systems, exhibit specimens, dive related, and animal health related paperwork are being maintained. 

  • Ensure the highest level of animal welfare is being maintained.

  • Participate in the Animal Ambassador program and work with the Animal Ambassador program lead Displays staff and Education staff to ensure the highest quality of programming is being delivered.

  • Assist with specimen transports, water quality testing, quarantine, diagnosis and treatment of fish disease. 

  • Work with the Displays Supervisor and our Veterinarian on weekly vet rounds; keep excellent notes and provide team with weekly veterinary summaries.  Also working with the Curator, Displays Supervisor, and Veterinarian to regularly evaluate and update animal diets as necessary.

  • In the absence of the Displays Curator and Displays Supervisor, direct the daily work tasks for the Displays team and manage any issues as they come up.  Lead morning and/or weekly meetings as necessary.

  • Oversee the Training and Enrichment programs and aid the Displays team champion in the development, implementation, and evaluation of SLMN’s Training and Enrichment programs.

  • Work with Displays Team to provide the animal care, cleaning and maintenance of aquarium displays requiring SCUBA diving (i.e. 200,000-gallon tropical ocean display) 

  • Maintain company issued dive gear and diver areas to the standards and expectations of SEA LIFE policies and protocols. 

  • Assist Displays Team with the husbandry and life support of aquarium systems while ensuring a consistently high standard of animal care. 

  • Assist in the continual development of the display areas in line with the long-term goals of the company. 

  • Ability to meet AZA, USDA and Merlin Health and Safety standards. 

  • Other duties as assigned

Background, Experience & Qualifications


  • Minimum of 3-5 years of aquatic animal experience in a professional aquarium environment with demonstrated knowledge of safe animal handling practices and maintaining a safe working environment.

  • Ability to obtain Rescue Diver SCUBA certification

  • Experience in the husbandry of a variety of tropical and temperate marine and freshwater teleosts and invertebrates, elasmobranchs, cephalopods, cnidarians, sygnathids, reptiles, and amphibians, all to include display maintenance, behavioral observations, record keeping, nutrition, diet preparation, feeding techniques, disinfection procedures, and water quality.  Specialization in Cnidarian husbandry, coral husbandry, and/or Quarantine preferred, but not required.

  • Experience with the maintenance and operation of life support systems including sand filters, canister filters, bag filters, UV sterilizers, protein skimmers, and ozone generators. 

  • Knowledge of water quality parameters for various marine and freshwater environments.

  • Experience using water quality testing equipment used in testing Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Salinity, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Alkalinity, Calcium, Copper and other water quality parameters.  

  • Experience performing necropsies to include slide preparation, organ identification, and disease identification.  

  • Knowledge of disease identification and treatments.

Dive Experience: 

  • Valid Open Water SCUBA certification from a recognized recreational or commercial diver training agency.  Rescue Diver certification preferred.

  • Preferred 1-2 years of recent dive experience in a public aquarium setting with a minimum of 15 dives completed in a large volume display of 70,000+ gallons.

  • Ability to pass a swim test and a dive physical within 3 months of hire. 

  • Ability to dive with sharks, rays, fish, eels and sea turtles in a closed environment.  

  • Ability to assist with underwater animal collections for medical examinations.

  • Ability to perform underwater maintenance and dive shows for public presentation.  

  • Ability to obtain and hold a current First Aid, CPR, AED, DAN O2 certification. 


B.A/B.S. degree in Life Sciences (Biology, Marine Biology, Zoology, Psychology) or a two-year certification from an accredited aquarium science/zoological program is required.  

Other Requirements:   

  • Proven leadership, communication (verbal & written), and organizational skills with the ability to assist in directing the work of and training fellow Aquarists and Husbandry Assistants 

  • Ability and willingness to communicate effectively in public forums to aquarium guests

  • Must interact and communicate with guests, management, veterinarians, and other individuals and be able to deliver quality customer service

  • Ability to maintain a clean/organized work environment  

  • Ability to work effectively with limited or no supervision 

  • Requires the ability to effectively follow directions and observe/remember details 

  • Requires the ability to maintain a friendly, polite, service-oriented demeanor. 

  • Effective decision-making skills are required.  

  • Must be able to communicate and support the Aquarium’s mission and goals 

  • Ability to obtain and hold valid Minnesota Driver’s License. 

Benefits of Merlin Entertainments

  • Excellent health care options (medical, dental, and vision that encourage preventative care).

  • Outstanding Paid Time Off (PTO) that allows for adventure, rest, relaxation, or recuperation.

  • Merlin Magic Pass for friends and family to enjoy the parks & attractions

  • Recognition Programs and Rewards

  • 401(k) program with company match

  • Tuition reimbursement programs

  • Numerous learning and advancement opportunities



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Bloomington, MN

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