Animal Care Internship
Dolphins Plus internship program offers a unique opportunity for undergraduates, graduate students and recent college graduates interested in obtaining practical experience in the marine mammal care and training field. Working individually and in teams alongside our professional animal care staff and onsite research and education departments, interns delve into all aspects of day-to-day facility operations. From assisting with daily husbandry procedures with our resident population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), to collecting data for ongoing research projects, to participating in educational briefings for our daily interactive programs, interns enjoy a truly immersive educational curriculum that creates a valuable foundation for a career in animal care and training.
We are looking for candidates who are highly motivated and show strong interest in the animal care and training field. All competitive applications will be considered. No internship experience is required; however, priority will be given to applicants with relevant experience and academic backgrounds. The goal of Dolphins Plus Animal Care and Training Internship is to expose participants to the marine mammal care and training field by offering a hands-on learning experience. Our three-month internship also introduces young professionals to the privileges and responsibilities of working alongside our resident population of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), as well as the important research and education opportunities made possible by zoos and aquariums.
- Assist animal care staff with daily operations including, but not limited, to:
- Facility Cleaning and Maintenance
- Diet Preparation
- Daily Husbandry Procedures
- Training and Enrichment Sessions
- Leading Daily Public Educational Presentations
- Directing Guests During Interactive Programs
- Guest Relations and Customer Service
- Data Collection, Entry and Analysis to Support Ongoing Research Projects
- Participate in a three phase, comprehensive lecture series and complete relevant exams.
- Receive constructive feedback through informal and formal evaluations.
- Earn interactive experiences as incentives for successful completion of goals and checkpoints.
Note: Handling experience is not guaranteed. Interns are required to pass two training exams in order to be considered for an introductory b-pointing opportunity with our dolphins.
Application - Required Documents
- Completed Application
- Cover Letter
- Current College/University Transcripts (official or unofficial)
- Two Letters of Recommendation
- Letters of recommendation must not be from friends or family, but rather professors, employers, supervisors, mentors, or another professional source. All letters must be sent on institution letterhead with a valid signature. Letters may be included in your application packet (in individual envelopes each sealed and signed by the reference) or emailed directly by the person providing your reference to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mail Documents To
Please mail all above documents, together in one packet, before the application deadline to:
Dolphins Plus Inc.
Attn: Animal Care and Training Intern Coordinator
101900 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL 33037
This internship is no joke. This will completely give you a kick-start into the Animal Care industry. Not to mention falling in love with some of the greatest animals (and people) on the planet.Sarah M.
The internship at Dolphins Plus changed my life! The experience of participating in diet preparations, facility maintenance, data entry, and being part of the day to day operations solidified my dreams of becoming a marine mammal trainer one day!Cassie Snyder, Animal Care and Training Intern (Summer 2010)
The Dolphins Plus Animal Care and Training Internship was a great experience and showed me just how much hard work and dedication goes into marine mammal training. It helped me to achieve my life long dream of becoming a trainer at Dolphins Plus!Jordan Walker, Animal Care and Training Intern (Winter 2009)
I just wanted to mention that this was the most organized internship that I have ever had. I really appreciated that I always had something to work on so that I was moving forward each day. I really loved getting to intern at Dolphins Plus this summer! Thank you for everything!Cori S.
The summer animal care and training internship of 2018 was AMAZING! My semester finished later than most, so I ended up having to start the internship later and they were extremely helpful and understanding! The trainers caught me up to speed and made sure that I was on track to do well! I also learned so much more at Dolphins Plus than I have anywhere else. This program is a great one for any level of intern, whether it is their first internship or their third.Allie H.
I completed the summer 2018 Animal Care and Training Internship at Dolphins Plus. It was an amazing experience and I will never forget my time there. As if seeing the dolphins everyday wasn't rewarding enough, all of the trainers and staff were extremely nice and eager to have you learn as much as you can during your time here. I fell in love with this facility, my fellow interns, and the amazing trainers that have taught me so much. I would highly suggest this internship if you have an interest in the marine mammal training field.Amanda A.
This was an amazing internship experience! It was well-rounded with lots of elements of education and animal training, providing me with unique opportunities to help me pursue my future career. I would recommend this internship for anyone looking to learn more about this field and gain valuable experience that would help them acquire a trainer position some day.Jessica B.
Dolphins Plus is an amazing facility and the animal care and training internship was such a great experience! I learned so much about the marine mammal training field and made the greatest friends (humans and dolphin) along the way. This internship will show you all of the hard work that goes into marine mammal facilities and has encouraged me to continue pursing my dreams of becoming a dolphin trainer one day!Alyssa A.
I absolutely loved the internship at Dolphin's Plus. It is by far the most hands on experience I have had in the marine mammal internship field. I recommend this internship to everyone.Anna W.
I really loved this internship. It was nice to work in an atmosphere where everyone cared for one another in addition to caring for the animals. I was able to learn an immense amount of skills and knowledge that will forever stay with me as I progress through this field.Caleb B.
I came to Dolphins Plus for the dolphins, and ended up staying for one of the most wonderful group of people I've ever had the pleasure of working alongside. This internship will absolutely jump-start your advancement into the animal care industry!Trenton (Fall 2018)
My Summer internship at Dolphins Plus was an incredibly rewarding experience. The knowledge I gained from the amazing staff and animals is valuable and I will carry it/build upon it throughout my future career.Alyssa B.
To put it simply, this internship was the most extraordinary thing I have ever done. I fell in love with six beautiful Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, met the most amazing people, and spent my entire summer immersed in an environment that fostered learning, personal growth, and a desire to make a difference. There may have been many buckets to clean and lots of daily tasks to do, but it never felt like work.Anna B. (Summer 2020)
Dolphins Plus is an amazing place to ask questions, grow as a future animal caretaker/trainer in an uplifting team setting, and to experience the presence of some inspiring animals and people.Katie M. (Summer 2020)
This internship has been my most enlightening professional experience to date. Any intern lucky enough to participate in this program will fall in love with the animals, the staff, Key Largo, and the world of marine mammal trainingEmily A. (Summer 2020)
The animal care internship with Dolphins Plus was one of the most beneficial additions to my education thus far. I felt extremely valued and a true part of the team. I would recommend this internship to anyone that is thinking of going into an animal related field.Rachel C. (Summer 2020)
Make sure you enjoy and have so much fun every day during your internship because trust me when I say time will fly. You will learn so much every day and be given many responsibilities. And seeing the dolphins every day is the bestKaitlyn B (Summer 2020)
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be fluent in English
- Have completed at least 1 semester of college/university
- Be available for a minimum of 12 weeks (approximately 40-hour/week)
- Be willing to accept the internship as an unpaid position
- Be willing to work both independently and in a team setting
Dolphins Plus does not provide housing. However, the Internship Coordinators are available to assist interns in identifying affordable housing near Dolphins Plus. Interns must be capable of maintaining financial stability throughout the duration of the internship, including the cost of housing (including utilities), transportation, meals, travel, and personal expenses. Candidates must be motivated, independent and able to take initiative. They should be physically fit, proficient in deep water, and capable of lifting up to 50lbs, as well as be able to withstand long periods of time outdoors in warm climate (~75°-95°F) and varying weather/environmental conditions (sun, rain, humidity, mosquitoes).
INTERNSHIP DATES AND DEADLINES
Winter Session: Mid-November to Mid-February (Application Deadline: August 15th)
Spring Session: Mid-February to Mid-May (Application Deadline: November 15th)
Summer Session: Mid-May to Mid-August (Application Deadline: February 15th)
Fall Session: Mid-August to Mid-November (Application Deadline: May 15th)
*Please note that these are strict deadlines and our programs are highly competitive. Materials received after the deadline will not be considered.