Teen Work-Study

Shedd is looking for bright, outgoing and motivated teens for our work-study program, either in the summer or on weekends during the school year. Three categories are available to students: gardening (Green Gardeners), guest experience (Shedd Ambassadors), and interpretation (Young Naturalists).

Applicants should possess or want to develop strong communication skills and a connection to Shedd's collection and mission, and have a desire to work in a team environment interacting with the public. This is a professional paid work experience.


Check back for Spring 2015 program application.

Age and Requirements

Applicants must be enrolled in high school at the time of the program (minimum of 15 years old). A work permit is not needed to apply. 

A work permit is required for accepted applicants who are 15 years old.

Program Dates

Fall 2014 dates
July 15—Applications due
Aug. 12—Interviews for selected applicants
Sept. 23—New employee orientation
Sept. 28—Foundational training
Oct. 5—Foundational training
Oct. 11—On-shift training*
Oct. 12—On-shift training*
Oct. 18—Shifts begin (Saturdays and Sundays)
Nov. 8—Field trip to Black Partridge Woods (Lemont, IL)
Dec. 13—Final event celebration
Dec. 31—Teen work-study program ends

*These work days are mandatory. You must attend to be part of this program.

Hours and Schedules

During the fall and spring seasons, participants work Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. During the summer season, participants work three days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.



I enjoyed working at the Shedd because of the people that I met, both co-workers and guests, and being able to connect them to the world around us through the animals. Often you can see the excitement in their eyes and their enjoyment and it just makes your day happier and so much more enjoyable!

- Participant, Summer 2013


I love working at Shedd because my summer has a benefit to society. Working here promotes conservation and saving natural resources. I can be a part of so much more than a building with fish, and I'm so proud!

- Participant, Summer 2013


I enjoy working at Shedd because Shedd offers valuable life skills and caters to a passionate hunger for knowledge. The "grown-up" working world doesn't have to be boring and tedious; it can involve squaking like a penguin and sliding down slides on your belly. Shedd offers a new outlook on the world while teaching the value of business and professionalism, and that's rare to find in a first job.

- Participant, Summer 2013