Life Support Engineer

The National Aquarium is seeking a Life Support Engineer (LSE) to perform daily operations and monitor LS equipment for the large exhibit systems throughout the aquarium facility. The LSE is responsible for monitoring and maintaining water levels, back washing large sand filters, monitoring/adjusting air flow and ozone generator adjustments and all other equipment vital to the operation of life support systems as directed by the senior engineering staff or Manager of Life Support.The scheduled hours for this position are: Monday through Friday 1pm-9pm.

Essential Functions:

  • Inspect ozone generators, pumps, motors, blowers, chillers, etc and report problems to Lead Engineer and/or Manager of Life Support.
  • Operates life support systems for the large aquarium exhibits: Atlantic Coral Reef, Open Ocean, Wings in the Water (Ray Tray), Animal Planet Australia and the Dolphin exhibit
  • Operation of large sand filters, including back washes
  • Perform water transfers between Pier 3 and Pier 4 buildings
  • Monitor water levels in the exhibits and top off as needed
  • Monitor and adjust tank temperatures per protocols
  • Prepare artificial sea water as formulated by the Chemist; follow protocol for brine transfer, chemical additions, and laboratory notification
  • Daily visual inspections of filter readings, valve positions, flow rates, and pressure differentials
  • Maintain daily log sheet documentation
  • Monitor readings and trends in Metasys (software used by LS); recognize issues and respond per protocols established by Director of Life Support.
  • Measure salinity and residual oxidant levels as directed by the lab or engineers
  • Understand principles of biological, mechanical and chemical filtration
  • Manage the daily applied dose adjustments for ozone use in the Dolphin exhibit as directed by Resident Engineer
  • Reporting
  • Daily documentation of log sheets, computer entries as directed by Sr. Engineer
  • Update Ozone Distribution List with daily status of the Dolphin pool adjustments
  • Contact designated Biological Programs staff of important updates that affect their exhibits
  • Complies with all safety protocols established by NAI
  • Adheres to all organizational and departmental policies and procedures
  • Other duties as assigned or required

Qualifications/Position Requirements:

  • Competencies: Proficient with commonly used software (Outlook, Word, Excel) and Metasys as applied to NAIB life support. Should have mechanical aptitude and logical problem-solving skills. Detail oriented and observant.
  • Problem Solving: Able to apply logic to tracing pipe lines, basic mechanical skills and equipment maintenance. Demonstrate complex problem-solving skills and the ability to remain calm and professional during emergency procedures.
  • Human Relations: Interacts with LS engineers, Biological Programs staff (aquarists, dolphin trainers, curators) on a daily basis
  • Accountability: Honesty and open communication is essential
  • Human Resources: Non-supervisory position
  • Knowledge of water filtration, water chemistry, aquarium keeping and related life support equipment preferred.
  • Able to lift and carry 50 pounds, climb ladders, work nights and weekends as needed, and have basic swimming skills

The National Aquarium is committed to diversity and invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.


Recently named one of Baltimore's Best Places to Work, the National Aquarium opened in 1981 as a nonprofit aquatic education and conservation organization, the jewel of the city's Inner Harbor redevelopment. SmartCEO Magazine honored the National Aquarium with the Healthiest Workplace award and the Corporate Culture award in 2016. With a mission to inspire conservation of the world's aquatic treasures, the Aquarium is consistently ranked one of the nation's two top aquariums and has hosted over 51 million guests since opening.

Today, the National Aquarium builds on a 35-year history of local, regional and global conservation initiatives that provide real solutions for protecting marine life, ecosystems and aquatic communities. Its Animal Rescue team has rescued, rehabilitated and released hundreds of marine mammals and endangered sea turtles throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Its Animal Welfare and Science teams participate in important research efforts to confront pressing ocean conservation issues and advocate for smarter policies at local, state and federal levels. Through education, research, conservation action and advocacy, the National Aquarium is pursuing a vision to change the way humanity cares for our ocean planet.

HOW TO APPLY Interested and engaged applicants should apply through our website Requests for reasonable accommodation can be made by e-mailing [email protected]

Meet Some of National Aquarium's Employees

Curtis B.

Conservation Project Manager

Curtis works with Baltimore students and community members participating in conservation projects. His goal is to empower Chesapeake Bay Watershed residents to become environmental stewards of their own communities.

Chris N.

Manager Of Life Support

Chris oversees mechanical operations at the Aquarium. He ensures all water filtration systems are functioning properly—maintaining water quality is a vital part of the animals’ care.

Back to top