Aquarium Manager Job Description [Updated for 2024]

aquarium manager job description

In the world of marine conservation and recreational aquatics, the role of an aquarium manager has never been more critical.

As environmental awareness grows and interest in marine life flourishes, the demand for skilled professionals who can effectively manage, maintain, and develop our aquariums surges.

But what exactly is expected from an aquarium manager?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker looking to understand the nuances of this role,
  • A hiring manager defining the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply fascinated by the operations of aquatic management,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we present a customizable aquarium manager job description template, designed for easy posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Aquarium Manager Duties and Responsibilities

Aquarium Managers oversee the operations, staff, animals, and facilities at aquariums.

They’re responsible for the wellbeing of the aquarium’s marine life and ensuring visitors have a positive experience.

Their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing the care and health of marine life, ensuring their habitats are clean and safe
  • Managing aquarium staff, including hiring, training, and scheduling
  • Planning and implementing public outreach and education programs
  • Coordinating with veterinary services for the treatment and preventive care of marine life
  • Maintaining and monitoring the quality of water within the aquarium’s tanks
  • Developing and managing the aquarium’s budget
  • Ensuring compliance with animal welfare regulations and standards
  • Planning and overseeing the design and installation of new exhibits
  • Engaging with the public and media to promote the aquarium’s mission and activities
  • Ordering supplies, equipment, and feed for the aquarium
  • Conducting regular safety inspections and implementing necessary repairs or upgrades


Aquarium Manager Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a dedicated and experienced Aquarium Manager to oversee all operations, staff, and overall care of our marine species.

As an Aquarium Manager, your responsibilities include supervising feeding, cleaning, and introducing new species to the tanks.

You should also ensure the safety and happiness of all marine life under your care.

Our ideal candidate possesses a strong passion for aquatic life, has excellent knowledge of marine species and their requirements, and has proven management skills.



  • Oversee the daily operations of the aquarium including maintenance, cleanliness, and safety
  • Manage a team of aquarium staff and volunteers
  • Ensure the health and well-being of all marine life by coordinating feeding schedules and veterinary care
  • Coordinate the introduction of new marine life into the aquarium carefully
  • Work with educators and staff to develop and implement educational programs
  • Ensure compliance with all state and federal laws regarding marine life and aquarium operations
  • Manage inventory of aquarium supplies
  • Ensure all staff are properly trained and certified as necessary



  • Proven experience as an Aquarium Manager or similar role
  • Knowledge of aquatic life and their ecosystems
  • Familiarity with the latest aquarium technologies and industry trends
  • Strong management and team building skills
  • Ability to handle emergencies calmly and efficiently
  • Degree in Marine Biology, Zoology or a related field is preferred



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Opportunity to work closely with unique marine species


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Aquarium Manager
  • Work Environment: Work primarily takes place in the aquarium setting, with potential exposure to aquatic animals and wet and damp conditions.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Director of Marine Operations or General Manager.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $45,000 minimum to $75,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does an Aquarium Manager Do?

Aquarium Managers oversee the overall operations of public or private aquariums.

They primarily ensure that the aquarium, its exhibits, and the aquatic life it houses are well-maintained and healthy.

This can include managing the cleanliness and safety of the tanks, feeding and caring for the aquatic life, and ensuring a suitable environment for each species.

Aquarium Managers work closely with marine biologists, veterinarians, and other professionals to maintain the health of the marine life.

They might also be involved in breeding programs and conservation efforts.

Additionally, they oversee staff scheduling, training, and performance, ensuring that the team is knowledgeable and equipped to handle their duties effectively.

Aquarium Managers often handle the administrative tasks of the facility, which can include budgeting, ordering supplies, maintaining records, and ensuring compliance with animal welfare regulations.

They may also liaise with educational institutions or research organizations for collaborative efforts or educational programs.

In public aquariums, they play a crucial role in visitor engagement, making sure that exhibits are engaging and educational.

They may plan events or programs, manage the gift shop, and handle customer complaints or queries.

The role of an Aquarium Manager can vary depending on the size and focus of the aquarium, but in all cases, they are responsible for the smooth operation and overall wellbeing of the aquatic life and the satisfaction of visitors.


Aquarium Manager Qualifications and Skills

An Aquarium Manager should exhibit a range of skills and qualifications that align with the unique demands of managing a public or private aquarium, including:

  • Scientific knowledge of aquatic life, ecosystems, and conservation, capable of educating staff and public about the importance of marine life.
  • Understanding of aquarium systems and equipment to maintain a healthy environment for aquatic life.
  • Excellent organizational and management skills to efficiently run daily operations, such as feeding schedules, tank cleaning, and maintenance.
  • Strong communication skills to engage with the public, staff, and various stakeholders, and to promote the aquarium’s mission.
  • Leadership and team management skills to guide and motivate the aquarium staff.
  • Budgeting skills to manage finances, including operational costs, staff salaries, and funding for conservation projects.
  • Problem-solving abilities to quickly address any issues that may affect the health of aquatic life or the safety of visitors and staff.
  • Experience with public relations and marketing to drive visitor numbers and promote educational programs.


Aquarium Manager Experience Requirements

Aspiring Aquarium Managers often start their journey in marine biology, aquaculture, or similar fields, accruing years of relevant experience in these areas.

At entry-level, candidates may have 1 to 3 years of experience, often through internships or part-time roles in marine biology labs, zoos, or aquaria.

This experience provides them with basic knowledge and understanding of marine animal care and aquarium operations.

Candidates with 3 to 5 years of experience usually have more specialized roles such as Marine Biologist, Aquarist, or Aquarium Educator.

These roles deepen their understanding of marine life, exhibit management, and aquarium maintenance.

Those with more than 5 years of experience are typically ready for managerial roles.

In addition to their technical skills, they often have experience in areas like staff management, public relations, and budgeting.

Prior leadership roles, project management experience, or experience managing a small aquarium can be particularly advantageous.

Furthermore, experience in developing and implementing aquarium conservation and education programs is highly valued for an Aquarium Manager role.

This demonstrates a commitment to the promotion of marine conservation, which is a key aspect of an aquarium manager’s job.


Aquarium Manager Education and Training Requirements

An Aquarium Manager typically requires a bachelor’s degree in marine biology, zoology, or a related field.

Some roles may also prefer candidates with a master’s degree in these fields, or a degree in business management, considering the managerial aspect of the job.

Experience is highly valued in this role, with many positions requiring several years of work in an aquarium or zoo setting, often in a supervisory role.

Practical skills such as water quality management, aquatic animal care, and knowledge of safety protocols are essential.

In addition to this, aquarium managers must have a good understanding of budgeting, operations, and human resources as they may be in charge of staff management and financial planning.

While not mandatory, certifications in Scuba diving, wildlife rehabilitation, or animal behavior may enhance an applicant’s profile and increase their chances of securing a managerial role in an aquarium.

Continuing education and staying up-to-date with the latest research and trends in marine biology and aquatic conservation is also beneficial for Aquarium Managers.


Aquarium Manager Salary Expectations

The average salary for an Aquarium Manager is $51,677 (USD) per year.

However, the actual earnings can significantly vary depending on the size and location of the aquarium, years of experience in the field, and the level of education of the individual.


Aquarium Manager Job Description FAQs

What skills does an Aquarium Manager need?

An Aquarium Manager should have strong leadership and management skills to effectively manage a team.

They should also have a good understanding of aquatic life and the operations of an aquarium.

Excellent problem-solving skills, customer service skills, and knowledge of safety standards are also important.

They should also possess a solid understanding of budget management and the ability to work under pressure.


Do Aquarium Managers need a degree?

Aquarium Managers usually hold a degree in Marine Biology, Zoology, Animal Science or a related field.

Some positions may require advanced degrees or certifications, while others may prioritize practical experience over formal education.

It’s also beneficial if they have management or business administration training.


What should you look for in an Aquarium Manager resume?

Look for experience in managing or supervising in an aquarium or similar setting.

A background in marine biology or zoology is also important.

Proficiency in managing budgets, personnel, and facility operations should also be demonstrated.

Certifications in areas like SCUBA diving or animal handling may also be desirable.


What qualities make a good Aquarium Manager?

A good Aquarium Manager should have a passion for marine life and conservation.

They should be an effective communicator who can interact well with staff, visitors, and potential donors.

Attention to detail, problem-solving abilities, and leadership skills are also crucial.

They should also be able to make quick decisions in emergency situations and maintain a high standard of animal care.


What are the daily duties of an Aquarium Manager?

An Aquarium Manager oversees the daily operations of an aquarium.

This includes supervising staff, managing budgets, planning and coordinating exhibits, and ensuring the health and welfare of the animals.

They may also conduct staff meetings, liaise with vendors, and engage in public relations activities.

Additionally, they ensure compliance with safety regulations and animal welfare standards.



And there we have it.

Today, we’ve unveiled the magic behind the role of an aquarium manager.

And guess what?

It’s not just about feeding the fish.

It’s about curating a captivating underwater world, one tank at a time.

With our handy aquarium manager job description template and real-world examples, you’re ready to dive in.

But why just dip your toes in?

Immerse yourself further with our job description generator. It’s your next wave in creating detailed job listings or polishing your resume to perfection.


Every tank is a portal to a different aquatic universe.

Let’s create those enchanting experiences. Together.

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