Animal Care Internship

The field of marine mammal care and training is one of exciting, rewarding and challenging opportunities for animal enthusiasts. Yet, without hands on experience, animal training can be a very difficult and competitive field to pursue. Most facilities seek educated and charismatic individuals who are eager to serve the marine mammal community. Our facility offers internships developed to educate individuals interested in pursuing career choices in the following areas: Biology, Marine Biology, Psychology, Animal Behavior, Oceanography, Ecology (Environmental Protection), Education, and Communication. We offer both credit and non-credit internship opportunities.

Why Apply

Have you always loved marine mammals and been interested in the field of animal training? Do you love the earth and want to help make a difference? Are you passionate about public education and want to assist with our mission for conservation? Then our internship programs are a great fit for you! Ocean Connections is actively interviewing for fall, winter, spring and summer internship positions. Our programs teach individuals how to be an animal care and environmental specialist. Learn about animal diets, facility care, animal training, medical programs, and assist our staff in educating the public about how to care for the environment.

Our Internship Program has been recognized by Milwaukee Area College Internship Consortium (MACIC) for demonstrating best practices and exceptional mentorship to students pursuing work related experience. Want to experience the progam for yourself? Apply Now!

Animal Care Internship

About Our Program

Ocean Connections is a globally recognized leader in the field of marine mammal care and training. We receive internship and volunteer applications from around the world. Our internship programs have been designed to provide participants with valuable experience in a wide variety of activities that occur throughout a trainer's day. Interns are trained to assist our animal care staff in the following areas:

  • General understanding of the care and husbandry needs of marine mammals
  • Dietary requirements and food preparation for marine mammals
  • General water quality understanding
  • Public presentations: hosting, guest interaction, crowd control, safety, trainer assistance
  • Interactive programs: guest interaction and assistance, safety
  • Public interaction: professionalism, assistance, question and answer, safety
  • Facility maintenance and sanitation
  • Animal observations
  • Training session and procedural assistance
  • Animal behavior and training
  • Environmental enrichment
  • Current conservation issues


  • Interns must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Individuals receiving college credit must be eligible for credits though a college or university.
  • Students and sponsoring universities (Mentoring Professor) must agree to Ocean Connections policies and release forms.
  • Interns must supply Ocean Connections with a completed application, resume, and two letters of recommendation. Students pursuing college credit must also submit a written confirmation from their sponsoring professor.
  • College credit or non-credit interns must be willing to commit to the required hours.

Ocean Connections offers several seasonal internship programs. Summer interns are required to work 4-6 days per week.  Off-season interns, (fall, winter, and spring), are required to work 2-4 days per week.  Term length varies depending on season and weekly commitment but is a minimum of 14 weeks.  Interns must commit to the term and weekly schedule highlighted in their acceptance letter.  All interns will be assigned independent readings and projects to be completed during their time with us.  Internships are on a voluntary basis, therefore will have no financial compensation. 


Ocean Connections is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization which operates the primary location within the Milwaukee County Zoo in Milwaukee, WI. Our sister facility is located at Hersheypark in Hershey, PA.  Animal Care internships are available at both locations. Please be sure to indicate your preference in location on the application below. Note that preferences will be considered but are not guaranteed.

Get Involved

We are actively looking for individuals that are 18 years of age or older and that are highly motivated. If you are interested in applying, please apply below or contact our Intern/Volunteer Coordinator for more details. Due to the large number of resumes received and the limited number of positions available, we recommend getting your applications in as soon as possible for consideration.

Deadlines for Application

Term Term Length Appplication Deadline
Summer Approximately  May 15 - Labor Day March 25
Fall - Winter Approximately September 15 - January 1 July 15
Winter - Spring Approximately January 15 - May 15 November 15


Animal Care Internship