Open 9 am - 6 pm
Museums for All (EBT) passes are sold out until June 1st. General Admission tickets may still be available.

Join the Shedd Family

At Shedd Aquarium, volunteers are valued partners. They can be found in almost every area of the aquarium: preparing food for our animals, sharing stories with our guests, testing water samples, and even diving. And that’s just the surface!

We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ community, Veterans and active duty military, parents, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from all cultural backgrounds to apply. Shedd Aquarium is an equal opportunity organization and welcomes everyone to our team. If you need a reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know.

Looking for group, short-term, or service hour volunteering? 

Check out our Shedd Aquarium Action Days program.


 All Opportunities 

Click on the descriptions below to learn more about our volunteer opportunities. Make sure you review these carefully, as each role has different schedules, commitments and requirements.

Fishes Husbandry Volunteers

Enjoy the messier aspects of maintaining our animals by preparing food, cleaning animal care and support areas and assisting with other important tasks. While animal contact is minimal, individuals gain experience and learn while working closely with our expert staff members. Animal care experience is helpful but not required.

Learn More , on the Fishes Husbandry Volunteers page

Diver Volunteers

Dive below the surface at Shedd and see things from our animals’ perspective. These volunteers help with cleaning and maintenance of exhibits, equipment, and support areas, along with preparation and set up of gear. Divers will be assigned to a specific habitat based on qualifications and needs, and may assist with additional related tasks. At all times, divers abide by strict safety and husbandry protocols.

Shedd provides all necessary dive equipment. Dive certification and experience is required – see full details below.

Learn More , on the Diver Volunteers page

Aquarium Ambassadors

Spark curiosity, compassion and conservation for the aquatic animal world with Shedd’s diverse audiences. Choose one or more specializations to share amazing animal stories in exhibits, connect guests to animals at touch pool habitats and in learning labs, and inspire conservation through hands-on activities both at the aquarium and in the community.

Learn More , on the Aquarium Ambassadors page

Marine Mammals Husbandry Volunteers

Enjoy the messier aspects of maintaining our sea lions, sea otters, penguins and birds of prey by preparing a variety of frozen foods, cleaning exhibit and support areas and assisting the animal care specialists with other critical tasks. (This role does not include work with the whales and dolphins.) Tasks can be physically demanding and include exposure to cold temperatures and saltwater. Although animal contact is minimal, you’ll work closely with and learn from our expert staff. Animal care experience is helpful, but not required.

Learn More , on the Marine Mammals Husbandry Volunteers page

Horticulture Volunteers

Shedd’s lakefront location is surrounded by gardens designed for our growing conditions, and volunteers help keep them looking great. Help is needed from late spring to early fall with garden maintenance tasks.

Learn More , on the Horticulture Volunteers page

Aquarium Host Volunteers

This is a great way to get involved with Shedd if you have limited or changing availability. Aquarium hosts help with special events including: Jazzin’ at the Shedd, fundraisers, exhibit openings and other evening events; learning events like summer camp and overnights; conservation events like Shedd Action Days, and administrative tasks like data entry and filing.

Learn More , on the Aquarium Host Volunteers page

Water Quality Volunteers

This role is ideal for those interested in the scientific aspects of Shedd. Every day water-quality lab volunteers analyze water samples from around the aquarium. performing wet-chemical analyses, cleaning lab equipment and glassware, and recording data for distribution to staff. 

A minimum of high school A.P. chemistry, 1 semester of college chemistry, or 2+ years of experience in a laboratory setting is required. Familiarity with basic aquarium water parameters and tests is helpful.

Learn More , on the Water Quality Volunteers page