Volunteering at Shedd FAQs

Is there an application deadline?

We are always accepting applications for those who are able to meet our minimum commitment of 6 months or one year.

How quickly will I be accepted for a volunteer position?

This depends on your interests and availability, as well as our volunteer needs. We receive several applications every week, and currently have waiting lists for most positions.

How long is my application held?

We keep all volunteer applications on file for one year.

What is the process for bringing on a volunteer?

When we have a volunteer opening, we look through applications in the order they were received for matching interest and availability. Prospective volunteers are contacted by email and given further details about the opening.

If the position is a fit, the prospective volunteer is asked to come in for an interview with the volunteer staff and/or other departments. After the interview(s), you will be asked to complete an electronic background check and your references will be contacted.

All new volunteers must attend an orientation, where they learn about policies and procedures, receive a volunteer shirt and ID badge, and have the chance to meet other individuals new to Shedd! After orientation, volunteers start within their assigned departments and learn their roles.

Do you offer summer volunteer opportunities?

We offer a summer-only position every year with Guest Engagement. The applications are currently closed for 2014. Check back in February of 2015 for the next opportunity.

Do you offer group volunteer opportunities?

Group volunteer opportunities are very limited. Generally these are only available from late spring through early fall with our horticulture and Great Lakes teams.  Please contact us for more information.

Do you offer internships?

Shedd Aquarium offers internships year round. Please visit our internships page for listings and application instructions.

I am interested in working at Shedd. Are you hiring?

Please visit our job page for current opportunities.

Can I learn to dive at Shedd?

Shedd Aquarium does not offer dive certification courses. Divers applying to the volunteer program must already be certified and have at least 30 hours of logged open water dives. Please see the position descriptions for further requirements.