Teen Work-Study

Shedd is very excited to offer another season of our work-study program starting this coming September 2018. This session will run through mid-May 2019. 

Shedd is looking for bright, outgoing and motivated teens for our work-study program on weekends during the school year.

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.

Three positions are available to students: guest experience (Shedd Ambassadors), interpretation (Young Naturalists), or reporter (Teen Learning Lab Reporter, returning work study participants only).

Shedd Ambassadors

Individuals interested in guest services will work with Shedd's guest experience staff to master unique customer-service techniques and incorporate the aquarium's mission in everyday actions. They will gain insight into the professional skills, problem-solving techniques, and fast-paced approaches that are needed to ensure a positive guest experience and a fulfilling on-the-job experience.

Young Naturalists

Individuals interested in sharing animal information with guests will work with Shedd's guest engagement staff to learn the art of connecting animals with guests while in Shedd's exhibits. They will facilitate theme-based interpretation, play engagements, and other educational experiences.

Teen Lab Reporters

Individuals interested in the Teen Lab Reporter track MUST have already completed one season of work-study in another track. Teen Lab Reporters interpret at posts that help connect guests to stories of how teens have supported Shedd's animals and staff. Reporters will also work in Shedd’s Teen Learning Lab to create compelling digital narratives of what is possible for teens at Shedd Aquarium.


Applications for 2018-2019 School Year are now closed. Check back soon!

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

  • Tuesday, August 1stApplications Due
  • Tuesday, August 28thInterviews (evening hours)
  • Wednesday, August 29thInterviews (evening hours)
  • Thursday, September 20thNew Employee Orientation (evening hours)
  • Saturday, September 29thTeambuilding Field Trip                           
  • Saturday, October 6thTraining
  • Sunday, October 7th:  Training
  • Saturday, October 13thTraining
  • Sunday, October 14thTraining
  • Saturday, October 20th: Regular shifts start
  • December 22nd – 30thBreak
  • Saturday, April 6th, 2019Stewardship Field Trip
  • Saturday, May 11th, 2019Final work day

Hours and Schedules

During the fall and spring seasons, participants work Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During the summer season, participants work three days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


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What our participants had to say

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!"

“I learned that I fit into a program where it takes a lot of people working together to accomplish a common goal. Everyone has different strengths and if we combine them all, we can accomplish anything.”

“This really added to my understanding of animal behavior (which includes their eating nuances, training behavior, etc.) and of the practices at Shedd to monitor and maintain animal health.”