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Career Opportunities at Dolphin Research Center

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

Education Summer Chaperone - 2019




Available June 6 – August 9, 2019

Dolphin Research Center currently has an opening for a qualified residential chaperone for youths in our popular DolphinCamp & Teen DolphinLab programs. See for more information about DolphinCamp & DolphinLab. Youth and Teen DolphinLabs are offered each summer for children ranging in age from 10 to 17. Classes run back to back during the summer. Each class is one week in length, running Saturday afternoons through Friday mornings.

DolphinLab is DRC’s premiere educational program.  It has a lasting impact on our students, providing them with an unforgettable experience and an unparalleled education about dolphins and the environment we share.  The Summer Chaperone should relate well with young people, yet be able to maintain discipline and control. The Chaperone must be able to coordinate the movement of a group of 14 students, assist in integrating diverse personalities, and handle any emergencies that may occur during the week.

The Summer Chaperone is entitled to free room and board at the DolphinLab dormitory, for the entire nine-week period of June 6 – August 9, 2019, during our youth and teen classes. The Chaperone is invited to participate in DolphinLab seminars and workshops to gain and develop knowledge regarding marine mammals.


The Summer Chaperone is required to sleep in the upstairs quarters adjacent to the students’ rooms and may bunk in the same room with students of the same sex during full weeks. The Chaperone will have an additional private room available downstairs for private space.  All meals are provided during the DolphinLab sessions.  


The Chaperone will generally have one free night each week between classes, however, please note: there are some weeks where students may stay over for successive programs, and in this case, the chaperone will not have an evening off.

Position Responsibilities

Qualifications:  This position requires a responsible, mature individual who is energetic, enthusiastic, self-motivated, flexible, and able to deal with long hours.  This position can be challenging and requires extreme flexibility working in a fast-paced environment with children and teens. It is always quite rewarding.  Candidates must have extensive experience working with youth in a supervisory capacity. Experience supervising youths overnight is preferred but not required.  Previous experience in the DolphinLab program is preferred but not required. Candidates must be available for the full nine-week duration of DolphinLab programming, have a clear driving record, and pass a background check and fingerprinting; hiring is contingent upon meeting these qualifications.

Major Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Responsible for pick-ups (Saturday mornings) and drop-offs (Friday mornings/afternoons) of minor participants at the Key West airport; travel may be with or without a DolphinLab coordinator.
  • Driving a 15-passenger van when transporting students to and from the Key West airport, or to and from DRC each day.
  • For the first day of Lab, Saturdays: assisting DolphinLab coordinators in greeting class members, assigning dorm rooms, distributing linens, folders, and name tags, and ensuring all class members are present and ready for their first activity.
  • Conduct daily continental breakfast set up and break down; preparing and cooking dinner for all minor participants each night following the last activity of the day.
  • Coordinating evening educational and recreational activities for participants.
  • Ensuring the dorm is kept clean and tidy; this may include sweeping/mopping the common room and kitchen floors periodically throughout the week.
  • Saturday through Thursday, the chaperone must be responsible for the students from 4:30 pm until 9:00 am the next day.
  • Fridays are typically the chaperone’s night off, however, the chaperone may also be required to be responsible for any teens staying over in our three-week series of Basic/Intermediate/Advanced classes.
  • Ensuring all students are up and ready to go in time for the first activity each morning; reviewing daily schedule with students and assisting staff with scheduling changes.
  • Supporting staff in assuring students’ adherence to all DRC guidelines for grounds, dorm, and interaction with dolphins, staff, and volunteers.
  • Reviewing “Rules and Guidelines for Minors” with students and assisting staff in enforcing these.  The chaperone is responsible for enforcing all rules after the last activity of the day, 4:30 p.m. until 9:00 a.m. the following morning.
  • Ensuring all copies of medical information and treatment authorization forms are at the dorm. Informing staff of any medical emergencies and assisting in handling any that arise.
  • Informing staff of any potential problems with student behavior or interaction that is potentially disruptive and assisting staff in dealing with them.
  • Ensuring that all students complete and return program evaluations, assisting with all closing responsibilities and preparing students for timely departure.
  • Accompanying students on field trips and assisting Instructors with coordination.

Salary for the position is $360.00 per week plus room and meals while DolphinLab is in session during the nine-week period of June 6 – August 9, 2019. The best benefit is being able to participate in the seminars and workshops for our college-accredited program, DolphinLab, at no cost. Additionally, the Summer Chaperone may visit DRC during the day to observe educational behavior narrations, and informational Theater presentations. For a full-time chaperone that commits to the entire nine-week period, DRC offers a 15% gift shop discount. Please note: There is no hands-on interaction with the animals; however, (s)he may purchase an interactive program through Guest Services if (s)he wishes to interact with the dolphins.


If interested, submit a cover letter, resume and a DRC application to

Dolphin Research Center is an equal opportunity employer


Sales Associate - Part Time

Part Time Sales Associate

Apply in Person at the Dolphin Research Center Gift Shop 

Job Description

  • To provide the highest quality of customer service to the guests by combining appropiate sales skills with an awareness of customers and their needs.
  • Basic computer knowledge.
  • Suggest specific merchandise and offer product advice.
  • To be familiar with all merchandise in the selling area.
  • Maintain a professional attitude with sincerity and enthusiasm, demonstrating a commitment to the visitor as the most important person in the store.


  • Must be at least 16 years old.
  • Must have transportation.
  • Ability to meet federal, state and local requirements for employment.
  • Ability to lift moderately sized boxes and goods, weighing up to 25 pounds.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule including weekends and holidays.


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

Guest Services Staff (Full-Time Permanent and Part-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 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 or mail to Human Resources, Dolphin Research Center, 58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, FL  33050

Accounting Assistant (Full Time - Permanent)

Accounting Assistant (Full-Time- Permanent)

Major duties of this position in our Accounting department may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Post cash receipts in accounting software.
  • Process Accounts Payable, disburse A/P checks and maintain vendor files.
  • Maintain inventory and ordering systems for office supplies and services.
  • Place orders for merchandise being applied to credit card or on account purchases. Monitor all charges placed on credit card accounts on a daily basis.
  • Post and prepare monthly A/P accruals.
  • Prepare journal entries for posting to GL system.
  • Reconcile various GL accounts on a monthly basis.
  • Assist with year-end close and audit preparation.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Associates degree in business or accounting preferred.
  • 3-5 years’ experience in Accounts Payable in a computer-based environment..
  • Strong computer skills including Microsoft Excel.
  • Responsible, organized, and motivated individual who demonstrates excellent “team player” skills.

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 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.

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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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