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Career Opportunities at Dolphin Research Center

Join the Dolphin Research Team! Discover the exciting career opportunities available here at DRC.

Visual Communications Staff (Full-Time, Temporary)

Visual Communications Staff (Full-time, Temporary)

Join our Visual Communications Department if you enjoy working outdoors around the water, interacting with people and watching dolphins at play. Photograph program participants to provide lasting memories of their experiences.  This is a team department and most projects involve working closely with other VisComm staff members and co-workers from other departments.  We are currently have a Full-Time Permanent and a Full-Time Temporary positions.  Note:  all photographs and videos are the sole property of Dolphin Research Center.  Any photos taken with your own camera and your equipment are for your personal use and are not to be sold or published.  This is NOT the position for someone hoping to transition to a marine mammal trainer.

Position responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Taking candid digital still photos of guests and dolphins during public programs.
  • Working directly with guests to select and process print and/or digital photos.
  • All phases of video recording, capturing, and editing. 
  • Types of projects include promotional, educational, documentary, narrative and visual music montage.
  • Photographing and video recording DRC dolphins, programs and events to support corporate-wide needs.
  • Creating corporate publications including advertisements and marketing pieces.
  • Creating on-site informational and directional signage.
  • Tracking and maintaining production schedules.

Abilities and Skills:

  •   Graphic Arts skills are required to create, edit and produce publications and signage.
  • Mac and Windows-based computer skills are required. 
  • Familiarity with digital photography and videography is required.
  • Knowledge of Final Cut Pro/X and Adobe Creative Suite software is required.
  • Must have physical agility and good balance, be able to take steep steps while climbing on and off our floating docks.
  • Must also be able to squat and/or kneel to take photographs and/or shoot video.
  • Must be able to work long days in the Florida Keys heat.

If interested, please submit a cover letter, resume, DRC application and samples of work (including portraiture or photographs with people as well as any other type of work such as video).


Secondary Responsibilities

mittee participation depending on special interests and workload




Guest Services Staff (Full-Time Temporary and Full-Time Permanent)

Guest Services Staff (Full-Time Temporary and Full-Time Permanent)


Position Responsibilities:

  • Understanding each interactive program from cost to content, length, restrictions and daily availability for reservations and walk-in (staff members in GS experience each program).
  • Know basic content of each narrative session (GS staff will attend and observe these).
  • Be able to give basic information on published  research projects  (surface understanding – we have greater detailed handouts for guests who are more intensely interested in these projects).
  • Direct questions to appropriate Education staff member regarding the various education opportunities (i.e. DRC Training Institute (DRCTI), Dolphin Labs/Dolphin Camps, Distance Learning) and provide appropriate literature and contact information.
  • Understand Special Needs Department protocol and use it for interactive programs and walk-in guest.
  • Assist the Visual Communication Department with the editing and sales of photos.
  • Process membership purchases application.
  • Follow procedures regarding members arriving at DRC.
  • Process admissions in addition to walk-in interactive programs.
  • Maintain communication with Animal Care and Training Staff for availability of programs.
  • Know protocol for guests visiting our facility during a wild cetacean stranding and why it is extremely crucial to follow the protocol.
  • Perform opening/closing and balancing of end-of-day reports.
  • At end of day, restock public restrooms and take out rubbish/recyclables daily.

Abilities and Skills:

  • Must foster a love for, and protection of, our animals and marine environment.
  • Possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills for assisting visitors of all countries and languages and anticipate their needs often based on limited knowledge of English.
  • Maintains a calm demeanor under stress or stressful situations.
  • Can deal with difficult people and situations.
  • Possess problem solving skills.
  • Maintains confidentiality regarding our research, animals, and staff.
  • Neat in appearance, confident speaking voice, and works well both with others, or independently without instruction.
  • Comfortable using computers and multiple software applications.
  • Use of cash registers or cash drawers, both computerized and manual; be able to count change back without using a register if necessary.
  • Must be extremely flexible in day-to-day operations of facility.
  • Reliable and on time daily.
  • Weekend work is required.

If interested submit a cover letter, a DRC application and a resume to drc-hr@dolphins.org or fax to 305-289-8902 or mail to Human Resources, Dolphin Research Center, 58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, FL 33050

Animal Care & Habitat Apprentice (Full-Time, Permanent)

Animal Care and Habitat Apprentice (Full-time, Permanent)

Dolphin Research Center (DRC) currently has a full-time opening for an Animal Care and Habitat Apprentice.  DRC is a not-for-profit education and research facility dedicated to teaching, learning and caring about marine mammals and the environment we share.

Position Responsibilities:

Major duties of this position in our Animal Care and Habitat Department may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Maintain records and systems.
  • Assist with stocking fish within freezer.
  • Maintenance of buildings, equipment, vehicles, and boats.
  • Maintain and repair filtration systems.
  • Perform safe removal of sea life from lagoons.
  • Cleaning, maintenance, and repair of floating docks and in water fencing.
  • Assist with land and water construction projects.
  • Maintenance and repair of netting and dive equipment.
  • Attend to plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and automotive needs.
  • Support Medical and Animal Care and Training staff with care of dolphins, sea lion, exotic birds and other DRC animals, including but not limited to weighing animals, transferring to different lagoons/habitats, in-water medical check-ups, etc.
  • Participate on Manatee Rescue Team.

This is NOT the position for someone hoping to transition to a marine mammal trainer. 


  • Successful candidate will be a flexible, responsible, organized, and motivated individual who demonstrates excellent “team player” skills.
  • Must be physically fit, able to lift 75 pounds, and have a high comfort level in the water.Must be dedicated to the animals’ care, safety and well-beingat all times.
  • Will either be diver certified or be willing to become diver certified.
  • Must possess general “handy-man” skills, knowledge of dive equipment maintenance is a plus.
  • Must have a clean driving record.
  • Must be able to work outdoors in the Florida heatand other extreme weather conditions.


DRC currently offers medical benefits, life and disability insurance plan, a 401(k) retirement plan, flexible spending accounts, employee assistance program, paid holidays, vacation, sick, and overtime, as well as personal growth and training opportunities.  DRC seeks to provide for the well-being of its employees and our wage combined with our generous benefits creates a competitive total package that is right for our environment. 

If interested, please submit a resume and a DRC application to drc-hr@dolphins.org or mail to Human Resources, Dolphin Research Center, 58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, FL  33050

Education Program Host (Full Time, Permanent)

Education Program Host (Full-Time / Permanent)

We are looking for an engaging, entertaining person who would love an exciting environmental career.  Programs Hosts narrate live-action, ever-changing presentations of DRC’s dolphins and sea lions. This is a full-time position and week-end hours are required.   

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Greeting and entertaining guests.

  • Giving presentations, teaching workshops and/or seminars.
  • Narrating public dolphin and sea lion sessions.
  • Conducting guest and kids’ activities.
  • Checking in and coordinating participant/student activities.
  • Monitoring dolphin observation and activities with participants/students.
  • Transporting DolphinLab students in a 15 passenger van.
  • Assisting in program preparation and development.
  • Assisting in preparation of pre-class and post-class activities and paperwork.
  • Assisting with the processing of information requests.
  • Assisting with resource and equipment maintenance.


  • Successful candidate will be outgoing, have excellent presentation/public speaking skill and be excited about DRC and our family of dolphins and sea lions.
  • Must be passionate about sharing their excitement and knowledge with our guests. 
  • Will be flexible with their availability, as work schedules can change weekly (evening and week-end hours are required). 
  • Must have physical agility and good balance, be able to take steep steps while climbing on and off our floating docks, and be able to assist guests onto and off of our floating docks. 
  • Must also be able to squat and/or crouch to take photographs. 
  • Must be able to work long days in the Florida Keys heat. 
  • Must have ability and desire to work with a variety of people, especially youths, on a regular basis is a must. 
  • The successful applicant will be a responsible, organized, motivated, self-directed individual who demonstrates excellent “team player” skills. 
  • Must have a clean driving record (helpful to have a Florida driver’s license) and computer experience. 
  • A Bachelor's degree is required for this position, however candidates actively pursuing this degree will also be considered.

If interested, submit a cover letter, resume and a DRC application to drc-hr@dolphins.org.


Salary & Benefits


The cost of living in the Keys tends to be high and salaries, for the most part, are not competitive with the national average. This is particularly true at DRC, which is still maturing as a not-for-profit corporation. Starting salaries vary according to an applicant's educational background, experience, and particular job responsibilities. The starting annual salary for an entry-level employee at DRC averages $21,000. Many staff members find it necessary to supplement their income through other means.

DRC seeks to provide for the well being of its employees and our salary combined with our generous benefits creates a competitive total package that is right for our environment.

DRC offers an excellent benefits package including health insurance, a 401(k) plan, paid holidays, paid vacation, paid sick leave, gift shop discounts, work clothing, and complimentary Dolphin Encounters. However, the most important benefits are the extraordinary rewards employees encounter on a daily basis: feeling the elation when a dolphin demonstrates a new behavior for the first time, watching a child grin in excitement when she sees a dolphin burst out of the water into a flip, sitting quietly on a dock observing the fluid grace of dolphins, experiencing the sense of satisfaction when a student grasps a new concept, witnessing the magical moment when a learning-disabled child utters his first word. Moments such as these are the true rewards, the unique benefits of working at Dolphin Research Center.

How To Apply


If you are interested, please send your resume and completed application by email to drc-hr@dolphins.org or fax them to the Human Resources Director at (305) 289-8902. You may also mail them to Dolphin Research Center, Human Resources Director, 58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, FL 33050 or stop by the center and complete an application in person.

Dolphin Research Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Resource Library

Our Mission - Through education, research and rescue, Dolphin Research Center promotes peaceful coexistence, cooperation and communication between marine mammals, humans and the environment we share with the well being of DRC's animals taking precedence.
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