Internships at the National Aviary offer a variety of hands-on experiences that cannot be obtained anywhere else!

Students can intern in several different departments including Animal Programs, Marketing, Horticulture, and more. 

We post all of our available internships on this website.  If you do not see one that interests you, please continue to check online for any new internship postings.  Unfortunately, we cannot reply to those who are not inquiring about a current internship posting.

Flitezone Bird Show and Conservation Education Intern

Title: Flitezone Bird Show and Conservation Education Intern

Department: Education

Salary/Pay Range: All internships are unpaid. HOUSING IS NOT PROVIDED

RESPONSIBILITIES: Interns will work under the direct supervision of the National Aviary's Education Trainers to produce multiple free-flight bird shows. This internship focuses on the training of a collection of approximately 70 birds. Staff is responsible for the daily care of all birds in the education collection including hornbills, parrots, birds of prey and other mixed species. Staff is also responsible for the training of all birds featured in shows as well as birds used for educational classes and guest experiences.
This internship provides the opportunity to learn about the following:

  • Care and maintenance of all birds in the education collection
  • Daily diet preparation for parrots and birds of prey
  • Observation of various bird behaviors
  • Operant conditioning techniques for training show and husbandry behaviors
  • Free-flight bird shows
  • Participation in an enrichment program
  • Public speaking skills
  • Conservation education
  • Participate in in-house and outreach education programs
  • Participation in formal intern workshops

Daily intern responsibilities include: cleaning bird enclosures, diet preparation and providing enrichment to all birds in the education collection. Interns are also responsible for assisting with the maintenance of bird enclosures including perching, repairs and preventative maintenance. There may also be various building projects.

Interns will have the opportunity to observe and possibly assist with daily training sessions. They will also assist backstage during shows that will run twice daily. Interns will also have the opportunity to assist with daily guest experiences and to attend formal workshops on topics such as bird training and captive raptor management.

Additionally, interns will assist with classes and outreach programs. They may also help with educational camps and special events.

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE: Education Trainers and interns work in a very fast-paced environment. Due to the nature of the work, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds
  • Must be able to prepare diets that include mice and chick
  • Must be able to work as a member of a team and independently
  • Must be a self-starter with a positive attitude
  • Must be able to positively interact with the public
  • Must speak fluent English
  • Must have US citizenship or show current VISA*
  • Should be considering a career in the animal care or animal training field

All of our staff are required to pass both a PA Child Abuse Investigation and a Criminal Background Investigation in order to work at the National Aviary. If an applicant is not a resident in the U.S. for the last seven years, the applicant is required to pay for and pass a background investigation through our vendor that processes our out-of-country investigations. If applicant is under age 25, the residency cut-off will be based on the number of years back to age 18. Example: A twenty year old must be a US resident since turning age 18 (two years); otherwise, the out-of-country investigation requirement will apply.

*Canadian citizen may instead provide identification required by our vendor.

Summer 2015 INTERNSHIP:

Accepting Resumes: Sunday, March 1, 2015 - Sunday, March 29th, 2015
Internship Start Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Internship End Date:  Monday, August 17th, 2015


Accepting Resumes: Monday June 15th, 2015-Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
Internship Start Date: Wednesday, September 9th, 2015
Internship End Date:  Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

Winter/Spring 2016 INTERNSHIP:

Accepting Resumes: Thursday, October 15th, 2015-Sunday November 15th, 2015
Internship Start Date: Wednesday January 6, 2016
Internship End Date:  Wednesday May 11, 2016

If this is an opportunity that interests you, please forward your resume, cover letter, and reference letter to Christa Gaus at


Marketing & Communications Internship

Title:Marketing & Communications Intern

Department: Marketing



  • Assisting with the planning and execution of major marketing events, working with marketing and sales initiatives.
  • Conduct research needed for various marketing projects.
  • Implement marketing tactics related to publicity, advertising and promotions.
  • Assisting with the preparation and distribution of press releases, maintaining press clip library and statistics.
  • Other Duties as assigned.


  • Ability to think innovatively and creatively
  • Ability to take initiative
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
  • Detail oriented thinking
  • Ability to work independently, quickly and under pressure
  • Marketing and/or Public Relations coursework a plus.
  • Willingness to assist as needed in on-site and off-site events
  • Ability to multi-task


  • College Junior or Senior with a concentration in Marketing, Communications, Business, English, Journalism or Public Relations
  • Proficiency in Microsoft office
  • Past or current involvement in an any of the following areas: marketing, communications, event planning, customer/guest services
  • Be able to work a flexible schedule and attend events outside of normal work week, minimum 20 hours/week required
  • All staff are required to complete a PA Child Abuse Clearance Form and State Criminal Background Check prior to beginning work at the National Aviary.

If you are interested in the Marketing & Communications internship, please email resume and cover letter to National Aviary Marketing Coordinator, and indicate which semester you are interested in: Spring (January-May), Summer (May-August), Fall (August-December)


Avian Hospital Internship

Job Title: Avian Hospital Intern

Department: National Aviary Veterinary Hospital

Salary/Pay Range: Unpaid - HOUSING IS NOT PROVIDED

Internship Session: See below

RESPONSIBILITIES: The National Aviary's hospital is a leader in bird health, providing advanced medical care for a large bird collection of over 200 different species.  The hospital also has a preventative medicine program to help prevent common diseases through vaccinations and parasite control.  For visitors, we give a daily educational program, which is called “Meet a Patient”, highlighting one of the recovered patients and describing its specialized medical care.

The Hospital Internship Program provides a unique opportunity for students, veterinary technicians, zoo keepers, and others interested in birds to work directly with a diversity of birds and medical conditions.  The interns are primarily responsible for avian husbandry in a medical setting and receive significant hands-on experience in this area.  Interns feed and clean the hospitalized birds and make customized diets and housing to meet their medical needs. Other responsibilities include assisting with physical therapy by swimming injured waterfowl, providing enrichment, monitoring patients, stocking medical supplies, and keeping the hospital clean, including doing laundry.  Interns can observe medical procedures throughout the day.  There are occasional opportunities to assist the veterinarian and veterinary technicians with the administration of medicines, wound care, recheck examinations, medical record-keeping, and procedures such as blood collection and x-rays.  The interns are also taught a new topic each day in avian medicine or husbandry by the vet techs or vet in ‘intern rounds’. 

Internships are unpaid and housing is not provided. Interns are accepted year round, and the schedule can be made to accommodate college students or work schedules.  We require at least 2 days a week but prefer 5 days a week.  Internship length is a minimum of 3 months but can be up to 6 months in certain circumstances. 

QUALIFICATIONS: Must be at least 18 years of age, able to lift 50 pounds and climb stairs. Must be able to work both on a team and independently, have a good work ethic and positive attitude, and have the ability to interact positively with the public.  Applicants can be pre-veterinary students, veterinary technician students, veterinary technician graduates, or others with a strong interest in avian medicine. Chosen applicants must be able to pass the required  PA Child Abuse History Clearance and the PA Criminal Background Investigation in order to have final acceptance as an intern.

If this is an opportunity that interests you, please forward your resume and cover letter to Sarah Shannon, Veterinary Hospital Intern Coordinator at

Spring (3-5 months) 

Application period: October 1-21
Start: January/February
End: March-May

Summer (3-4 months) 

Application period: March 1-21
Start: May/June
End: August

Fall (3-4 months)

Application period: July 1-31
Start: August/September
End: November/December

Winter (2-3 months) 

Application period: September 1 - 21
Start: November/December
End: January/February