National Aviary Internships

The National Aviary will be accepting applications for 2023 internships during the following periods:

  • Accepting winter applications through November 20, 2023
  • Internships run from January 8, 2024 – April 26, 2024; with orientation on January 6, 2024

Interns at the National Aviary gain professional experiences and real world skills, earn college credits, forge lasting connections, and explore career paths in animal care, the zoological feed, or nonprofit management. There is an internship for almost every career path at the National Aviary. Interns may help provide care for the birds, assist with educational programs, develop marketing campaigns, and assist with the planning of major fundraising events.

Internship Opportunities

The National Aviary offers a wide variety of internship opportunities. Please check below for available on site and remote listings.

  • Ambassador Animal Internship

    Ambassador Animal Internship – On site

    Join the National Aviary’s Animal Programs team this upcoming semester as an Ambassador Animal Intern. Gain valuable experience in animal care, training, guest engagement, and enrichment. Our department cares for a variety of species including parrots, birds of prey, and other mixed species who participate in conservation education programs including free flight shows, classes, outreaches, and up-close encounters.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Care for a variety of ambassador animals
    • Maintain habitats
    • Prepare diets for various species
    • Observe various bird behaviors
    • Observe operant conditioning techniques
    • Assist with Free-flight bird shows
    • Create animal enrichment
    • Public speaking
    • Observe diverse conservation educational experiences
    • Participate in formal intern workshops

    Education, Experience and Skills:

    Ambassador Animal Trainers and interns work in a very fast-paced environment. Due to the nature of the work, applicants must:

    • Be able to lift 50 pounds
    • Prepare diets that include mice and chick
    • Work around allergens such as nuts, fish, and latex
    • Work as a member of a team and independently
    • Be a self-starter with a positive attitude
    • Interact positively with the public

    Additional Requirements:

    • Must be at least 18 years of age
    • Work a minimum of 3 days a week for fall and spring semesters and 5 days a week for the summer
    • Must be willing to work weekends and holidays
    • Must be willing to work 7:30AM-4:00PM

    For students who are eligible for work study through their college: Speak with your financial aid or student advisor within your college or university to establish the National Aviary as an approved work study site.

    To Apply:

    Interested applicants should provide a cover letter, resume, and letter of recommendation to Anna Mazur at

  • Animal Collections Internship

    Animal Collections Internship – Onsite

    Animal Collections Department

    Interns work with our aviculturists to learn about husbandry, training, and education as the Animal Collections Department encompasses all of those areas.  We are looking for college students and recent graduates who are interested in the animal care and zoo fields.  This internship is very competitive, and an application does not guarantee an interview. 

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Daily husbandry – cleaning exhibits, diet feed out, etc.
    • Food Prep – diet prep, cleaning dishes, etc.
    • Daily Presentations – crowd control, assist aviculturists, lorikeet feedings


    Education, Experience and Skills:

    • Current college student or recent graduate – biology, zoology, psychology, or other animal care majors preferred
    • Self-starter who can work as a team as well as independently
    • Considering career in animal care field

    Additional Requirements:  

    • At least 18 years old
    • Lift 50 lbs
    • Comfortable working indoors and outdoors in all weather conditions
    • Comfortable interacting with the public
    • Work at least two days/week (Fall and Winter sessions) or four days/week (Summer session)

    Interested applicants should provide a cover letter, resume, and letter of recommendation to Bri Crane,

    Only those applicants selected for interviews will be contacted directly.


  • Education Programs Internship

    Education Programs Internship – Onsite

    The goal of this internship is to provide students valuable experience in the field of informal education. Our work incorporates practices from environmental, conservation, and informal science education. Interns considering a career in classroom-based, informal education, or public engagement in AZA organizations will gain valuable experience on engaging learners of all ages and backgrounds. The Education Programs intern will work under the direct supervision of the National Aviary’s Education Programs team, including the Curator of Education and the Program Specialist. This internship focuses on developing, facilitating, and evaluating a variety of conservation-based programs and experiences, including on-site programs for schools, families, and scouts, educational events, and community outreach.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Public speaking
    • Conservation education
    • Observing diverse educational experiences
    • Participate in formal intern workshops
    • Assist in development and preparation of educational programming
    • Assist with delivery of on-site and outreach educational programs
    • Assist in preparation and facilitation of educational events
    • Plan and execute a conservation-based educational experience

    Education, Experience and Skills:

    Education programs staff and interns work in a very fast-paced environment. Due to the nature of the work, applicants must:

    • Be enthusiastic about engaging with a wide variety of audiences in support of the National Aviary’s mission
    • Interact positively with public audiences of all ages
    • Work well in a team and independently
    • Be a self-starter with a positive attitude

    Additional Requirements:

    • Must be at least 18 years of age
    • Availability to work a minimum of three days a week is preferred
    • Availability to work weekends is preferred

    Interested applicants should provide a cover letter, resume, and letter of recommendation to Katie Manion at

  • Veterinary Hospital Internship

    Veterinary Hospital Internship – Onsite

    The Hospital Internship Program’s mission is to provide an immersive education experience by teaching students skills in avian medicine through patient care. The internship provides a unique opportunity to gain experience caring directly for a wide variety of patients, as well as the birds within our Special Care Program in the Teaching Hospital.  You’ll also observe and learn to assist the veterinary staff in procedures and administering daily treatments.


    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Patient care for Special Care Program birds (cleaning, feeding, enrichment, monitoring)
    • Observing and assisting veterinary staff with medical procedures
    • Independently study cases, behavior, anatomy and protocols including pharmacy, treatments/procedures, lab and surgery with an established curriculum
    • Medical rounds with veterinary staff


    Education, Experience and Skills:

    • Currently enrolled or graduated with degree in Pre-veterinary, Veterinary, Veterinary Technician, Zoology, Wildlife or similar programs.
    • Strong interest in birds and avian medicine
    • Strong work ethic
    • Dedication & desire to learn
    • Time management skills
    • Communication/Teamwork
    • Attention to detail


    Additional Requirements:

    • Must be at least 18 years of age
    • Must be able to work both as a team and independently

    Interested applicants should provide a cover letter, resume, and 3 references to Jess Lindberg   


“The Animal Collections staff was incredibly kind and always ensured that we were included in a variety of experiences that broadened our knowledge of animal care…there were always plenty of opportunities to learn something new and practice our developing skills.”

-Summer 2022 Animal Collections Intern

Read more Internship Testimonials here!

Applying for an Internship

The National Aviary posts all available internships on this website.  If you do not see an internship listed that relates to your career path, please continue to check online for any new postings. All National Aviary internships are unpaid and housing is not provided.

All National Aviary interns must have U.S. citizenship or provide a current visa. All staff and interns are required to pass criminal background checks. For questions relating to these requirements, please contact

For general internship questions, contact

In The News

See All News

Missing Spooky Season Already? Check Out This Halloween-Inspired Wedding | Pittsburgh Magazine

The ceremony and reception were held at the National Aviary, infused with nods to Halloween!

Read More »

Have your photo taken with Santa and a penguin at the National Aviary | PennLive

The Holiday Happenings seasonal event at the National Aviary includes an opportunity you are not likely to get anywhere else.

Read More »

One Tank Trip: National Aviary | Fox8

Bird-watching is a popular activity around Northeast Ohio; one of the best places in the country to see our fine-feathered friends is only a One Tank Trip away.

Read More »

New African penguin arrives at National Aviary | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A new African penguin is waddling around the National Aviary.

Read More »

National Aviary welcomes new penguin to its flock | CBS News

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The National Aviary welcomed a new African penguin to its flock.

Read More »