Internships

National Aviary Internships

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


Summer: February 7 through March 7, 2023
Fall: June 7 through July 7, 2023

Summer Internships begin: May 22, 2023

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.

“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!

Internship Opportunities

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

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 HRJobs@aviary.org.

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

  • Ambassador Animal Internship

    Ambassador Animal Internship – On site

    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 Animal Programs Department.  The internship focuses on the care and training the Ambassador Animal collection comprised of a variety of species including parrots, birds of prey and other mixed species. These birds appear in free flight shows and other education settings including classes, outreaches, and encounters.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

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

    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 lbs
    • 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.

    To Apply:

    Interested applicants should provide a cover letter, resume, and letter of recommendation to Anna Mazur at anna.mazur@aviary.org

  • Animal Collections Internship

    Animal Collections Internship – On site

    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: 

    • Must be least 18 years of age
    • 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)

    To Apply:

    Interested applicants should provide a cover letter, resume, and letter of recommendation to Bri Crane, brianna.crane@aviary.org

    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

    To Apply:

    Interested applicants should provide a cover letter, resume, and letter of recommendation to Katie Manion at katie.manion@aviary.org.

  • Guest Operations Internship

    Guest Operations Internship – Onsite

    The National Aviary is seeking a Guest Operations Intern who is interested in learning the ins and outs of sales operations and hospitality in a cultural organization. Geared towards college students, graduate students, and recent graduates, interns will split their time between our Guest Operations, Group Sales, and Visitor Services teams.  They will have the opportunity to assist in a variety of projects tailored to their personal goals regarding guest experience, admissions, group sales, retail, and public programming.

    Internship Goal:

    At the end of this internship, interns will have a comprehensive understanding of fundamental role that hospitality plays in an organization’s sales operations. Interns will successfully complete a project based on their individual interests that will directly improve the Aviary’s operations.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Greeting guests and completing the check-in process for general admissions, encounters, groups, and events
    • Utilizing a Point-of-Sale System for admissions, retail, and scheduling
    • Answering general inquiries received via email and telephone
    • Enhancing guest experience by promoting memberships and educational programs
    • Assisting the Senior Manager of Guest Operations with administration of POS system, reporting sales goals, and evaluating guest experience
    • Assisting Manager of Retail Services with daily retail operations in the gift shop including purchasing, receiving, and stocking merchandise
    • Assisting in the management and promotion of the Aviary’s online gift shop
    • Assisting Sales Coordinator with coordinating and promoting public programs
    • Having an understanding of the National Aviary’s history and engaging guests with accurate and interesting information

    Education, Experience and Skills:

    • A college student or recent graduate with a major in Business, Marketing, Communications, Sales, Hospitality Management, Nonprofit Management, or a related field.
    • Experience in visitor-facing roles preferred (i.e. retail, reception, barista, etc.)
    • Experience with a POS and CRM systems preferred
    • Highly professional, respectful, and responsive when interacting with guests and colleagues especially in a fast-paced environment
    • Proficient in written and oral communication skills with attention to detail
    • Working well on a team and being adaptable to a constantly changing work environment

    Additional Requirements: 

    • A minimum of 16 – 20 hours per week
    • A flexible schedule including one weekend day per week and very occasional evening shifts

    To Apply:

    Interested applicants should provide a cover letter and resume to Valeri Richards at Valeri.Richards@aviary.org.

    Only those applicants selected for interviews will be contacted directly.

  • Horticulture Internship

    Horticulture Internship – Onsite

    Interns work with our horticulturist to learn about plant identification, plant care and propagation, landscape maintenance, and integration of horticulture with animal care and ecology.  We are looking for technical students, college students, and recent graduates who are interested in horticultural and zoological horticulture fields.  This internship is very competitive, and an application does not guarantee an interview.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Daily maintenance – irrigation, weeding, pruning, etc.
    • Special projects – planting, transplanting, assisting with hardscape installation, etc.
    • Public interaction – answer general questions, short-answer one-on-one education to the public when appropriate, etc.

    Education, Experience and Skills:

    • Current technical school or college student or recent graduate – biology, ecology, horticulture or other natural science majors preferred
    • Self-starter who can work as a team as well as independently
    • Considering a career in horticultural field

    Additional Requirements: 

    • Must be at least 18 years of age
    • Able to use stairs and 6’ ladders
    • Lift 50 lbs
    • Comfortable working indoors and outdoors in all weather conditions
    • Comfortable interacting with the public
    • Work at least two days/week

    To Apply: 

    Interested applicants should provide a cover letter, resume, and letter of recommendation to Sara Showers, sara.showers@aviary.org

    Only those applicants selected for interviews will be contacted directly.

  • Marketing and Communications Internship

    Marketing and Communications Internship – Remote/Onsite

    This internship is geared towards students interested in a career in non-profit or cultural attraction marketing and communications. Interns will assist the National Aviary’s Marketing Department with event planning, developing marketing campaigns, digital media, and conducting research. This is a hybrid position.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Assist 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.
    • Assist with the preparation and distribution of press releases, maintain press clip library and statistics.
    • Creating social media content, including writing/photography/video birds, animals, special events, guest experiences, etc.
    • Consistently update internal and external digital media archives.
    • Other duties as assigned.

    Education, Experience and Skills:

    • College Junior or Senior with a concentration in Marketing, Communications, Business, English, Journalism or Public Relations
    • 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
    • Video editing a plus
    • Ability to multi-task

    Additional Requirements:

    • Must be at least 18 years of age
    • Proficiency in Microsoft office
    • Past or current involvement in an any of the following areas: marketing, communications, event planning, customer/guest services
    • Consistent internet access; this internship involves working remotely

    Hours, Start Date, Duration:

    Flexible within business hours (8:00 am to 5:00 pm). A minimum commitment of 20 hours per week is required. The internship will start in the summer at a mutually agreed upon date and may continue into the academic year depending on mutual interests and satisfactory performance. This is an unpaid internship.

    To Apply:

    Interested applicants should provide a cover letter, resume, and letter of recommendation to Molly Toth, molly.toth@aviary.org

  • Philanthropy Internship

    Philanthropy Internship – Remote

    The National Aviary is seeking a current college student, graduate student, or recent college graduate who is interested in serving as an intern and providing a wide range of database, copy writing, research, administrative, and general support to the National Aviary’s Philanthropy Department. In return, the National Aviary will provide a structured program in which the intern has the opportunity to gain experience in and familiarity with areas such as fundraising, philanthropy, special events, Membership acquisition and retention, avian conservation issues, and the day-to-day operations of a nonprofit organization with a national and global reach. The Philanthropy intern will report to the Manager of Institutional Giving, and will collaborate with the Manager of Philanthropy Services, Manager of Philanthropic Partnerships, Senior Manager of Philanthropy, and Director of Philanthropy. This position supports the entire philanthropy team. Please note, this is a hybrid position with opportunities for remote and in-person work.

    Specific Responsibilities:

    Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

    • Assist Philanthropy staff with donor and Member communication, including writing correspondence
    • Manage projects related to our special events
    • Assist with writing grant proposals, Member renewal letters, and other copy
    • Perform research of potential donors, partners, and sponsors as needed
    • Data entry
    • Reach out to potential donors and sponsors to discuss opportunities
    • Develop fundraising strategies with the assistance of the Philanthropy team

    Qualifications:

    • Strong writing and research abilities
    • Ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and verbally
    • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially Word and Excel
    • Past or current involvement in any of the following areas: development (yes, fundraising for your scout troop, church, marching band, student council, etc. counts), membership, special events, marketing
    • Experience with writing for social media is a plus
    • Desire to learn more about fundraising and philanthropy
    • Excellent interpersonal skills and attention to detail
    • A demonstrated commitment to the National Aviary’s mission and values
    • High ethical standards and personal integrity

    Additional Requirements:

    • Preference will be given to students earning credits for their internship
    • Job listing is for a part-time, unpaid internship, with an estimated 15-20 hours/week
    • No housing provided

    What to expect:

    • A collaborative environment with some tasks that are tailored to your interests
    • Regular check-ins to assess progress and exchange formal feedback
    • A fun and unique working environment (Depending on the intern’s location, there may be opportunities to work onsite. However, this is primarily a remote position.)

    Hours, Start Date, Duration:

    Flexible within business hours (8:00 am to 5:00 pm). A commitment of 15-20 hours per week is required. The internship will start in the summer at a mutually agreed upon date and may continue into the fall depending on mutual interests and satisfactory performance. This is an unpaid internship.

    To Apply:

    Email cover letter and resume to Kelly Haase, kelly.haase@aviary.org

  • 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
    • Work 7 am to 4 pm
    • Able to lift at least 25 lbs and climb stairs
    • Must be able to work both as a team and independently

    To Apply:

    Interested applicants should provide a cover letter, resume, and 3 references to Jess Lindberg, jess.lindberg@aviary.org   

In The News

See All News

Kidsburgh’s 2023 big guide to summer camps in Pittsburgh and the region | Kidsburgh

The National Aviary summer camps are superhero-themed and focus on the amazing adaptations that birds possess.

Read More »

7 Adorable Proposal Stories – & What We Can Learn From Them | DatingNews.com

On one particular occasion, the National Aviary was able to pull off a grand proposal that included penguins playing as the true love masterminds behind it all.

Read More »

Feed A Sloth At National Aviary In Pennsylvania For An Adorable Adventure | Only in Your State

Explore the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, a family-friendly destination that’s home to countless birds and a few mammals – from penguins and bald eagles to sloths.

Read More »

How Are Visitors — And Birds — Reacting To The National Aviary’s New Wetlands? | Pittsburgh Magazine

Four months after the National Aviary opened its $3 million renovated Wetlands exhibit, the space is getting high marks — not only from visitors, but also from the birds.

Read More »