Associate Veterinarian
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Position Description

Position Title: Associate Veterinarian

Department: Veterinary Services

Classification: Exempt

Reports To:  Vice President of Veterinary Services

Position Summary

The Department of Veterinary Services at Mississippi Aquarium is seeking applicants for an Associate Veterinarian.  The Associate Veterinarian will provide clinical and preventative health services to the Mississippi Aquarium’s resident animals including dolphins, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, elasmobranchs, invertebrates, and other mammals.  In the absence of the Vice President of Veterinary Services the individual will serve as primary clinical veterinarian. The individual selected will have a unique opportunity to aid in the development of a new veterinary program at Mississippi Aquarium.  It is essential that the Associate Veterinarian work independently, efficiently, and collaborate with all other departments at the aquarium.  The ideal candidate will represent Mississippi Aquarium in a positive light and be enthusiastic and committed to all aspects of the job.  A competitive salary, full benefits, continuing education compensation, professional memberships, and MS state licensure are included in the compensation package.    

Mississippi Aquarium’s veterinary hospital will include digital radiography, ultrasound, rigid and flexible endoscopy, anesthesia capabilities, and an in-house diagnostic lab.  The Animal Research Center (ARC) will have a satellite hospital to serve animals undergoing quarantine.  In the future, the veterinarian may also provide support for rescue and rehabilitation efforts.  There is potential for the Associate Veterinarian to perform clinical and/or field research depending on the individual’s interest and skill level.  The veterinary department at Mississippi Aquarium currently consists of the Vice President of Veterinary Services and one technician.  


  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris (VMD), or equivalent degree with license to practice veterinary medicine in the United States
  • Medical experience with cetaceans, birds, reptiles, fish, elasmobranchs, and invertebrates
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including weekend/holiday, and on-call as needed
  • Mississippi state license or ability to obtain one within 3 months of hire
  • USDA category II accreditation or ability to obtain accreditation within 3 months of hire
  • Willingness to mentor veterinary students, veterinary intern, veterinary technicians, and volunteers
  • Ability to work outside in all types of weather and temperatures
  • Willingness to participate in rescue and rehabilitation of animals
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality in sensitive situations
  • Strong time management skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to effectively work with many different teams of people at the aquarium
  • Competency in Microsoft Office
  • Valid MS driver’s license

Additional desired qualifications:

  • Completion of a zoo/aquatic internship or residency program
  • Minimum of 3 years’ experience as a veterinary in an aquarium or zoo
  • Experience with ZIMS/Species 360 record keeping software
  • Research experience and scientific manuscript publication

Note:  This position will involve exposure to inclement weather, dust, potentially dangerous and unpredictable animals, potentially dangerous machinery, restraint devices, toxic chemicals and/or drugs, and zoonotic diseases.  Occasional use of protective clothing or equipment will be required. For example, googles, mask, gloves, gowns, and other items as necessary.

Position Attributes


  • Provide clinical and preventative health care for animals at Mississippi Aquarium
  • Implement quarantine exams and treatments for animals under quarantine at the Aquatic Research Center (ARC)
  • Perform necropsy exams and write reports
  • Participate in laboratory work including interpretation of cytology, hematology, and parasitology samples
  • Mentor veterinary students, technicians, volunteers, and veterinary intern
  • Attend rounds with husbandry staff to address animal health concerns/issues
  • Ensure practices and procedures fulfill AZA, USDA, MS state, American Humane, and AMMPA standards
  • Maintain up to date animal records using ZIMS software
  • Provide nutritional advice for animal diets
  • Represent Mississippi Aquarium at professional meetings and in various forms of media as needed
  • Provide veterinary support for animal transports
  • Work closely with all departments of the aquarium as needed
  • Write standard operating procedures for the veterinary department as directed by supervisor
  • Help to maintain equipment in good working order
  • Other duties as assigned or required

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job.  Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Team Requirements

  • Safety and Security - All Team Members are required to adhere to all Mississippi Aquarium safety and security standards.
  • Attendance & Appearance - To maximize the guest’s experience, all Team Members are required to adhere to Mississippi Aquarium standard operating procedures regarding attendance and dress code policies as it relates to individual job functionality.
  • Sales & Guest Services - Our forward-thinking business model requires listening and understanding the needs of our guests both internal and external.  To that end, we must always be focused on the guest experience which is the key driver for return guest visitation and increased sales.
  • Team Partnership - All Team Members are focused on supporting each other to complete the guest experience.  Therefore, supporting, facilitating, and participating in activities that promote team effectiveness is vital to our Organization.

Physical Demands & Work Environment

The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job:

  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 150 pounds helping to lift accident victims.
  • Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color and peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time.
  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
  • Successful completion of pre-employment drug screening, background check and SCUBA dive physical release form.
  • In good health and capable of performing strenuous and/or heavy physical labor.
  • No history of allergy related to animals or plants, which might interfere with ability to work.
  • Ability to remain on feet for long periods of time, climb stairs, bend and stoop.
  • Ability to work in all weather conditions.
  • No impairment of sight, smell, hearing, touch, balance and agility of movement which might interfere with ability to work.
  • Physical strength, including the ability to lift up to 50 pounds.
  • Immunocompetence (possible exposure to infections, zoonotic and parasitic disease).