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Career Opportunities at Dolphin Research Center

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

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

Postdoctoral Researcher

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dolphin Research Center (DRC) invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher to join our research group studying dolphin behavior, cognition, and welfare. DRC is a not-for-profit education and research facility, home to a family of dolphins and sea lions, located in the Florida Keys.

The successful candidate should hold a PhD in comparative psychology, zoology, animal behavior, animal welfare, or a related field. The specific area of specialization is open to negotiation. This postdoctoral position will be responsible for analyzing and publishing studies using existing long-term data sets, and will also have the opportunity to design and conduct novel observational research projects in their area of interest. The topic of the long-term data will be discussed, but might include animal personality, lateralization, husbandry, and/or social behaviors.

Our ideal candidate will have:

  • a proven track record of peer-reviewed publications
  • the ability to communicate scientific concepts and arguments clearly and compellingly, both orally and in writing
  • an excellent understanding of study design and statistics
  • the ability to work well both independently and as part of a team

The position is for one year initially, with a possibility of renewal contingent on performance and mutual satisfaction.

Starting date is flexible between June - October, 2019.

To apply, please submit the following to, with the subject line “Postdoc application”:

  • a cover letter describing your motivation, research interests, experience, and goals
  • your CV
  • pdfs of up to 2 of your key publications or submitted manuscripts
  • contact information for 2 academic references

Complete applications are due by December 1, 2018.

For further information, please contact Dr. Kelly Jaakkola at


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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