Volunteer Diver Full Requirements

Job Description:

A volunteer diver assists PPG Aquarium husbandry staff with in-tank maintenance of warm and cold water exhibits, primarily: Ocean, Flooded Forest, Sea Otter, Penguin, and Sand Tiger Shark exhibits. Volunteer divers also participate in special event activities that further the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium’s mission. Duties include cleaning acrylic panels, cleaning and maintenance of artificial rockwork and corals, assisting with in-tank maintenance, dive show demonstrations and keeping current on the exhibits and collection. In addition, a diver must learn to interpret the collections behavior, to keep accurate records, and maintain clean work areas. Occasionally, a diver may be requested to assist Aquarium staff in other areas or exhibits as needed.

While volunteering, safety must always be a top priority. The volunteer diver must be familiar with all safety procedures as specified by the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium reserves the right to remove any volunteer from the program if his or her actions do not represent the Aquarium in a safe, professional, courteous, and knowledgeable manner.

Application Process:

Step 1: General Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Hold an Open Water SCUBA certification (or higher) by a recognized agency (PADI, NAUI, etc).
  • Supply all diving equipment for aquarium dives (except tanks and weights).
  • Background check letter or a Money order of $10 for the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium to conduct a PA background check (cost for out-of-state check varies). Click here for PA background check website.
  • Negative TB test (proof of your results is required on your orientation day).
  • Two forms of proper ID:
    • Driver’s license or photo student ID
    • Birth Certificate
    • Social Security Card
    • Or Valid passport
    • Voided personal check is needed if you want direct deposit
    • Pay-stub from previous employer or proof of paid $52 EMS tax

Step 2: Dive Application Forms

Step 3:  Items that require annual renewal

  • Submit annual equipment maintenance receipts on BCDs & Regulators
  • Submit an annual copy of your valid DAN Insurance card.
  • Submit a copy of your current First Aid & CPR Training as needed, or obtain within 3 months of volunteering.
  • Complete AAUS medical re-evaluations as needed.

Step 4: Once your paperwork is complete

  • Submit paper work to the Dive Safety Officer & Volunteer Coordinator at volunteerdiverinfo@pittsburghzoo.org.
  • You will then be contacted to join an Orientation day.
  • Complete an in-water dive skills evaluation.

Step 5: Throughout your participation

  • Attend mandatory Volunteer Dive Meetings.
  • Remain up to date with PPG Aquarium policies.
  • While in the water and at the aquarium, all volunteer divers must present themselves accordingly. Appearances should be neat and conservative. At all times, remember that you are representing the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
  • All new divers will be signed up to the Volunteer Diver Yahoo Groups, where volunteers can co-ordinate with buddies, set dive schedules, and contribute to our online members' forum.