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Maine State Aquarium (MSA)

closed for the season

Reopening May 2015

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194 McKown Point Road
W. Boothbay Harbor, Maine

(207) 633-9559

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MSA Home > Jobs & Volunteering

Maine State Aquarium Job & Volunteer Opportunities

Applications are PDF files and may require Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader software (download here free) to read or print.   Submit all applications to the address at the bottom of this page.

Please select a position, or scroll down the page:

Admissions Receptionist | Volunteer (Adult) | Junior Docent Volunteer

Seasonal Admissions Personnel

Job Description: The Maine State Aquarium is hiring full & part-time positions for Admissions Receptionist. The Admissions Receptionist position is a season long position (May –October) requiring aquarium office and administrative support performing varied tasks both in the admissions/gift shop space and in administrative offices. The right candidate will be responsible for the operations of the Aquarium Gift Shop, including but not limited to: gift shop sales, admission & program fees, inventory management and organization, seasonal memberships, group registrations and sign-in, staff timekeeping, closing procedures and cash-outs, bathroom cleaning, and other duties as applicable and as needed by administrators. Strong work ethic, responsibility, flexibility, organization, and customer service skills are necessary.
Previous experience is a must, management experience is preferred.
Part-time position (Memorial Day to Labor Day) is also available.

Job description, requirements, and duties summary (pdf file, 2 pages)

Wage: Starts at $8.00/hr to be determined based on experience.

Benefits: In addition to competitive wages and a positive working environment, staff will receive a 20 % gift shop discount, & complimentary passes for immediate family members. Staff will also have the opportunity to participate in field trips and programs, as well as other opportunities that arise. No health benefits are available. Staff will also receive 2 free non-uniform t-shirts to keep.

Hours per week: Approximately 40 per week (5 days), to include evenings, weekends and holiday work and occasional overnight participation. Part-time position is 16 hours (2 days) weekly, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Date begin: Mandatory Training will be May 5-9, 2014.

Deadline for Applications: March 7, 2014 by 5pm EST (received).
No telephone interviews will be conducted for this position. On-site interviews are required.

For an application, please download the Receptionist Application, pdf file, 1 MB or request materials from the address listed below. The applicaton may be filled out electronically and e-mailed, or printed, filled out, and mailed, with other documentation.


Volunteer Positions

Needed from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day weekend, with some needs in Sept.

Overview (brochure) of volunteer programs at Maine DMR - pdf file, 2 pages, 394 kb.  PDF files may require Adobe Reader software (download here free).


Aquarium Volunteer (Adult)

Job Description: The position for Aquarium Volunteer at the Maine State Aquarium involves interaction with and education of the general public visitors to the aquarium. The individual must be comfortable speaking in front of an audience and communicating with a variety of ages. The position involves answering questions on topics relevant to the Gulf of Maine and its inhabitants, and involves the use of live animals and props for demonstrations, as well as answering general information questions about the local area, and the Department of Marine Resources. Staffing of two touch tanks in the aquarium gallery will require the individual to initiate dialogue with guests and provide assistance with handling of the touch tank animals and other hand’s on activities. Volunteers may get the opportunity to assist “behind the scenes” helping with daily maintenance of aquarium exhibits. This may include participating in water quality monitoring, exhibit cleaning, feeding and collecting of specimens, and may also be requested to assist in the reception area at the admissions desk/gift shop. Volunteers assist our Educators with general daily activities and presentations, including set-up and clean-up each day and maintenance of the facilities. In addition volunteers can assist with a variety of education projects, either to enhance the existing programs & exhibits or to help create new ones. We are always in need to extra hands and help in a variety of areas around the facility. In addition to aquarium hours, we have had volunteers teach classes or additional activities, develop materials, organize files and photographs, assist in landscaping (on Burnt Island), help set-up and break-down events, assist in the seasonal set-up and break-down of the aquarium, collect animals, assist at events and fairs, and many other activities. There is something for everyone and groups are encouraged to inquire!

Benefit: This is a volunteer position in a fun, educational environment with great people. Our volunteers enjoy a 10% discount in our gift shop as well as opportunities to participate in special aquarium events and presentations. Volunteers also get complimentary Seasonal Pass, which includes immediate family members (only), a free t-shirt, and a certificate for all completed hours at the end of the season.

Hours: We ask that volunteers commit to at least one 2-hour shift per week, or at least 8 hours total per month.

Dates needed: May through September, 2014. June, July, and August are critical volunteer months, especially around local events and holidays.  There will be a training session Saturday, June 28th 2014. Ongoing seasonal training may also be available for adult volunteers.

Applications are accepted January 1 through June 1st of each season. You can download the Volunteer Application, pdf file, 115 kb or request an application packet from the address listed below.


Junior Docent Volunteers (Ages 14-18)

Job Description: Why are lobsters different colors? How do sea stars move? How many rows of teeth do sharks have? These are just a few questions that our Junior Docents will be able to answer. Using natural objects and live animals, our docents will educate the aquarium visitors about marine invertebrates, different Gulf of Maine fish species, and other interesting native marine wildlife. The position for Junior Docent at the Maine State Aquarium involves interaction with and education of the visitors to the aquarium. The individual must be comfortable speaking in front of an audience and communicating with a variety of ages. The position involves daily interaction with school groups and the general public, helping to provide assistance handling the animals and providing information at our two touch tanks and other exhibits. The Junior Docent will also have opportunities to work “behind the scenes” assisting with daily maintenance of aquarium exhibits and care of animals. They may have the opportunity to participate in special Aquarium events, field trips, and special programs. Each docent will also be assisting our educator staff when giving public presentations, helping to set-up and clean-up as necessary, as well as helping with general maintenance duties each day to keep the facility in positive shape for our guests. They will each be required to complete an assigned project during their volunteer time at the Aquarium which may include the development and presentation of a marine related topic.

Qualifications: Public speaking experience and strong interest in marine biology is essential. We are looking for high-school students who are 14-18 years old, with strong and positive communication skills. The ability to work in a busy environment with lots of different people is a must, as well as being able to work in a friendly and professional manner. The right candidates will be able to work successfully alone and as part of a team, will have a strong desire to learn, and are highly motivated individuals.

Benefit: This is a volunteer opportunity with credit towards community service hours. The experience is fun, educational, and enables students to gain valuable experience at a small aquarium, shadow educators and aquarists, and make positive contacts for references. Our docents also receive a discount at our gift shop, free t-shirt, and complimentary admission for immediate family members. Docents who have completed minimum hours and required service project will receive certificate & evaluation, community service credit, and service gift.

Youth volunteers who are not interested in the Junior Docent program (with all requirements) may still apply to volunteer for hours only, but must attend mandatory training.

Docents who do not meet service requirements or who do not meet expectations during their service period and who are asked to leave the program will not receive credit for any service hours.

Hours per week: Docents are expected to commit to at least one 2 hour shift per week, or two eight hour shifts per month, for a total commitment of at least 32 hours throughout our season, May-September. July and August are our busiest months and will be where we need the most help.

For an application, please download the Junior Docent Volunteer Application, pdf file, 118 kb or request an application packet from the address listed below.

Application deadline: May 30th, 2014 - received by 5pm, EST.

Training: MANDATORY TRAINING (FOR ALL ACCEPTED APPLICANTS) will take place Saturday, June 28th 2014. Please plan accordingly as new junior docents are required to attend this training date - no exceptions.


Please submit all application materials to:

Aimee Hayden-Roderiques
Maine State Aquarium
P.O. Box 8
194 McKown Point Road
West Boothbay Harbor, ME 04575

For more information, applications or questions, please contact Aimee at (207) 633-9542 or by email at