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A volunteer smiles at the camera holding a tray of native plants that will be planted on floating wetland islands on the South Branch of the Chicago River.
A Fishes Intern above the Caribbean Reef exhibit,

Learn from the pros with a Shedd internship

Learn and practice new skills under the guidance of Shedd staff. Gain insight into the behind-the-scenes operations that support Shedd’s mission. Connect with others passionate about the natural world. Walk away with valuable experience.

Internship opportunities at Shedd Aquarium

From Animal Care to Marketing, Conservation Research to Public Relations, internships are offered in a variety of professions. Opportunities vary from season to season.

We welcome applications from all levels of experience, including those seeking career exploration or changes, gap year students, freshmen, sophomores, and those seeking first internships.

Applicants must have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. Interns are responsible for securing their own housing accommodations and transport. Shedd Aquarium is accessible via public transit.

While exact dates vary, application and internship periods fall within the windows below.

Internship Season Spring Summer Fall
Application Period January March August
Internship Period March-May June-August October-December

What are the benefits of being a Shedd intern?

  • Admission to the aquarium and other cultural institutions
  • The chance to see how Shedd works behind the scenes
  • Gift shop and café discounts and discounted parking while interning
  • Helping to spark compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world
  • Meeting a diverse group of staff members, interns and guests who share a passion for aquatic life

A dolphin peers through an underwater window at the viewer.
A Magellanic penguin stands on the rocks of its Polar Play Zone habitat, other penguins visible in the background swimming on their stomachs in the water.

Veterinary Internship Opportunities at Shedd

For those pursuing careers in the veterinary field, Shedd Aquarium offers two focused opportunities. Both offer interns the chance to learn and participate in the day-to-day workings of an aquarium animal hospital, which provides care for a large collection of fishes, marine and terrestrial mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and invertebrates.

Please note, these programs have specific education and application parameters.

Interns are responsible for securing their own housing accommodations and transport. Shedd Aquarium is accessible via public transit. Veterinary opportunities are unpaid.

Veterinary Technician Internship

Enrollment in, or graduation from, an accredited Veterinary Technician program is required. Applicants should be available for at least four weeks.

Internships may not be offered in all seasons.

Season Spring Summer Fall
Application Period November 1 - December 1 February 1 - March 1 August 1 - September 1

See all of our current openings

Veterinary Externship

Enrollment in a Veterinary Medicine program is required. Applicants should apply 1 year prior to their clinical year (third year for most).

Selected externs will be scheduled for one 4-week block during the next academic year. Shorter or longer blocks may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Application Period Externship Period
September 1 - November 1 June - May of the following year
Ex. September 1 - November 1, 2023 Ex. June 2024 - May 2025

See all of our current openings


Internship FAQs