Volunteer and child at the Touch Pool

Do you love the Monterey Bay Aquarium? Share the love by becoming one of our volunteer guides. Help visitors from around the world explore the wonders of Monterey Bay and beyond, and share our mission to inspire conservation of the oceans.

Check our volunteer openings


More than 900 volunteers guide visitors through our exhibits, staff our information desk, and work behind the scenes in husbandry operations, marketing, visitor programs and other areas. Whether you are a professional or a homemaker, retired or work full-time, a teacher or a student, the Aquarium needs your skills and talents.

Commitment: Anyone 18 years or older may volunteer on weekdays or weekends. Most volunteer positions ask for a commitment of one year, working one shift of four hours each week.


Volunteer Roles

Aquarium Guides

Our largest group of volunteers (over 500 people!) work as Aquarium Guides. They answer questions about everything within the Aquarium, interpret exhibits for our visitors and staff hands-on stations like the Touch Pool and the Kelp Lab. Aquarium Guides not only know all the best stories about Monterey Bay, they know how to make visitors' faces light up with discovery!

Interested? Our 12-week Apprentice Guide program is a great way to "get your feet wet" and see if guiding is for you. Apprentice Guides take a six-day training course, then work with a mentor Guide. Many Apprentice Guides choose to take the more in-depth guide training course (held once each year) to become full-fledged Guides. The Apprentice Guide training is held twice a year. This opportunity is open to individuals 18 years and older.

Information Desk Volunteers

"What should we see first?" Information Desk volunteers meet and greet visitors from around the world, making suggestions—and getting big smiles—in several languages.

Animal Care, Exhibit Diving & More

Our Husbandry Operations department, Sea Otter Program, Tuna Research and Conservation Center and other programs recruit volunteers on an as-needed basis. If you'd like to volunteer your animal care or scuba skills, contact us to find out about opportunities. You must be at least 18 years old.

Check our volunteer openings

For more information, e-mail volunteers@mbayaq.org.

Teen Conservation Leaders

Teen Conservation Leaders (TCLs) provide an important volunteer service to the Aquarium, our guests and our communities. During a fun and intensive two-week training at the beginning of summer, TCLs learn basic marine biology and ocean conservation. Upon completion, TCLs provide exhibit interpretation for our guests or support our summer camp programs. As TCLs, students develop important job and life skills, build self-confidence and earn community service hours. Regular conservation experiences connect students with opportunities to better understand science and conservation in the local community.

Additional opportunities are available to TCLs who have time to volunteer during the school year and subsequent summers. Students can assist in special events at the Aquarium, support a variety of education programs or interpret exhibits for guests. TCLs cultivate lasting relationships with their peers, adult volunteers and Aquarium staff. No matter which of these adventures students choose, they'll take home memories of a lifetime!

Learn more about Teen Conservation Leaders

Recruitment for summer 2014 is now closed. Applications for summer 2015 will be available January 2015. For more information, e-mail teenprograms@mbayaq.org.