Internships

National Aviary Internships

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

Please note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the National Aviary is not currently accepting applications for internships.

  • Animal Ambassador

    Animal Ambassador Internship

    Department: Animal Programs

    The goal of this internship is to provide students valuable experience in the animal care and training field. They will work under the direct supervision of the National Aviary’s Education Trainers.  The internship focuses on the care and training of the Ambassador Animals comprising approximately 95 animals, including hornbills, parrots, birds of prey, and other species. These animals appear in flight shows and other education programs including classes, outreaches, and encounters.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Care for a variety of ambassador animals
    • Prepare diets
    • Observe various animal behaviors
    • Observe operant conditioning techniques for training show and husbandry behaviors
    • Assist with Free-flight bird shows
    • Create animal enrichment
    • Public speaking
    • Assist with in-house and outreach education programs
    • Participate in formal intern workshops
    • Maintain habitats

     

    Education, Experience and Skills:

    Education 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

     

    You may be able to earn Work Study funds for at least a part of your internship.  Students who have been granted Work Study financial aid should apply and confer with your institution about establishing the National Aviary as an approved work-study site.

  • Animal Collections

    Animal Collections Intern

    Department: Animal Collections

    Animal Collections Interns work with our aviculturists to learn about husbandry, training, and education as the Animal Collections Department encompasses all of those areas.  This internship is open to college students and recent graduates who are interested in careers in animal care and zoo fields.

    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
    • Able to work any day of the week
    • Speak fluent English
    • Comfortable interacting with the public
    • Work at least two days/week (Fall/Winter sessions) or four days/week (summer session)

    You may be able to earn Work Study funds for at least a part of your internship.  Students who have been granted Work Study financial aid should apply and confer with your institution about establishing the National Aviary as an approved work-study site.

  • Conservation Education

    Conservation Education Intern

    Department: Education Programs

    The goal of this internship is to provide students valuable experience in the field of informal environmental education. The internship focuses on creating and delivering conservation-based educational programming, including on-site programs and tours, off-site outreaches, and/or summer camp.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Public speaking
    • Conservation education
    • Observe diverse educational encounters
    • Participate in formal intern workshops
    • Assist in the creation and preparation of educational programing
    • Assist with delivery of in-house and off-site education programs
    • Assist in preparation of special educational events, such as theme days
    • Assist in small group encounters
    • Assist in summer camp
    • Plan and execute a conservation-based education opportunity or event

    Education, Experience & Skills:

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

    • Interact positively with public audiences of all ages
    • Work as a member of a team and independently
    • Be a self-starter with a positive attitude
    • Be comfortable around animal diets that include mice and chick
    • Be comfortable working closely with a variety of bird species
    • Be able to work around allergens such as peanuts, fish, and latex.
    • Be able to lift 50 pounds

    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 flexible hours 
  • Horticulture

    Horticulture Intern

    Department: Animal Collections

    The horticulture intern works with our horticulturist to learn about landscape maintenance and design, tropical foliage plant care, and zoological horticulture.  We are looking for college or technical school students and recent graduates who are interested in horticultural careers.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Daily maintenance – Irrigation, weed control, pruning, etc.
    • Seasonal projects – Plantings, transplants, propagation, etc.

    Education, Experience and Skills:

    • Current college or technical school student or recent graduate – horticulture, landscaping/landscape design, botany, biology, or other plant-related majors preferred.
    • Self-starter who can work on a team as well as independently.
    • Considering a career in horticulture or landscaping fields.

    Additional Requirements:

    • At least 18 years old.
    • Lift 50 lbs.
    • Comfortable working indoors and outdoors in all weather conditions.
    • Speak fluent English.
    • Commit to at least 300 hours (summer session) to complete the internship.
    • Work at least three days/week (summer session), Monday-Friday.
  • Marketing Photography

    Marketing Photography Intern

    Department: Marketing and Communications

    This internship is geared toward students interested in a career in photography, marketing, or graphic design, with a focus on interactive photography. Interns will assist the National Aviary’s Marketing Department with elevating the National Aviary’s visual content, and telling the National Aviary’s story through creating and editing photography and video.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Create short digital videos for social media, including filming, editing, and producing
    • Take photos of guest experiences, summer camps, animal encounters, etc
    • Consistently file new photos according to organization standards
    • Other duties as assigned

    Education, Experience and Skills:

    • Experience with DSLR
    • College Junior or Senior with a concentration in Photojournalism, Design, Marketing, or Communications
    • Knowledge of digital media editing software
    • Ability to think strategically with a focus on our goal of elevating visual content
    • Attention to detail
    • 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

    Additional Requirements:

    • Must be at least 18 years of age
    • Proficiency in PC operating systems
    • Past or current involvement in an any of the following areas: photojournalism, digital media creation, digital media management, marketing, communications
    • Be able to work a flexible schedule and attend events outside of normal work week, minimum 15 hours/week required

Applying for an Internship

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Aviary is currently not accepting internship applications. Please check back to learn of open opportunities in the future.

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 HRJobs@aviary.org.

For general internship questions, contact info@aviary.org.

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