To become a Marine Mammal Caregiver you should take as many of the science courses as possible in high school and in the first year of university. Courses in Developmental Psychology and Social Psychology are extremely valuable to the position. However, the most important way to prepare for this career is to have practical animal experience.
Previous experience working with animals could include veterinary clinics, pet stores, farms or in aquariums or zoos. Successful candidates, in addition to having some previous history interacting with animals will have good public speaking abilities and people skills. The ability to think clearly quickly and with common sense are helpful traits. You should also be a certified diver and possess a valid driver’s license. Since 3 or 4 caregivers work with a group of animals at one time, each caregiver should be able to work as part of a team. The ability to communicate with other trainers is essential because everyone needs to know how the animals are doing. The caregivers work with all the marine mammals, making their work environment varied and extremely challenging.
Marine Mammal Caregivers are responsible for the animal’s mental and physical health. In addition to the actual training, caregivers must keep up to date records about all of the animals, prepare food, clean habitats, perform general maintenance and cleaning duties, interact with the public, do enrichment with the animals and carry out training discussions.
Working as a Marine Mammal Caregiver is both interesting and rewarding. Imagine interacting and bonding with animals every day, it is no wonder the competition for these jobs is so high!