Become an ORCA Wildlife Officer

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately our Wildlife Officer season for 2020 was cancelled, with the start of the 2021 Wildlife Officer season being delayed.  Our Wildlife Officer team can’t wait to get back out to sea soon, and we look forward to sharing their blogs with you as soon as we can.

Become an ORCA Wildlife Officer

A key part of ORCA’s education and outreach work are the Wildlife Officer programmes we deliver in the North Sea, the Hebrides, English Channel and the Bay of Biscay each year. 

Working in close partnership with our friends at Brittany Ferries, DFDS and Caledonian MacBrayne, ORCA Wildlife Officers spend a couple of weeks up to six months working at sea, meeting tens of thousands of passengers.

Brittany Ferries
Caledonian MacBrayne

Our Wildlife Officers educate passengers on the marine wildlife around them during their voyage and even showing them the wonders of the ocean.

Our Wildlife Officers often show someone their first ever whale or dolphin!

Each year we recruit and train dedicated, passionate and energetic individuals to join our team, giving them a once in a lifetime experience and the perfect start to a career in conservation.

ORCA Wildlife Officers

Wildlife Officer vacancies

Applications for our Wildlife Officer Poisitions are now closed. Keep an eye on the ORCA Vacancis page to find out about future roles. 

Wildlife Officer Placements

ORCA Inspiring & Educating People

The perfect way to get a glimpse of life as an ORCA Wildlife Officer is to take part in one of our Wildlife Officer placements.

These four week residential programmes give a handful of people the chance to get a behind the scenes experience living and working at sea with our teams, learning how to become a Wildlife Officer.

Participants will live on board one of the ferries and are fully immersed in the day to day ORCA Wildlife Officer programme, delivering presentations, running deck watches and engaging with passengers under the supervision of our experienced team. 

Wildlife Officer Placement applications are currently closed. 

The programme is £695 per person and includes:

  • A ship based ORCA Wildlife Officer experience, including marine mammal identification and surveying experience, environmental education training and a hands on passenger engagement programme.
  • Accommodation (same sex shared cabins) and food whilst on board.
  • An ORCA merchandise pack, including a hat and a t-shirt
  • A free place on ORCA’s Marine Mammal Surveyor course (after the Placement)
These placements offer a rare chance to gain practical conservation experience that is essential for a career in marine conservation and environmental education, and as such they are incredibly competitive.

ORCA Wildlife Officer Routes

ORCA Wildlife Officer routes

Wildlife Officer Placements

ORCA run an application process each year, with placements taking place throughout the spring and summer. Wildlife Officer Placement applications are currently closed.

Keep an eye on the ORCA vacancies page to find out about future roles. 

From our Officers...

The Wildlife Officer placement was so inspiring! I felt the work I was doing was of great value and so rewarding. I've become so much more confident and independent after doing the placement and would say it was a total life changer! 

I had so many highlights, getting to see so many whales every day felt so rewarding and special. I will never forget seeing fin whales so close to the boat with the sun bouncing off of them. So beautiful! I also loved working with the Wildlife Officers and certainly made some great friends.

I'm so grateful for my time with ORCA and sing the charity’s praises to everyone! It’s made me grow as a person, so thank you so much for the opportunity and I can't wait to work alongside the charity more!

Lily Pinner, ORCA Wildlife Officer Placement, Bay of Biscay, 2019

This placement and my time on board has taught me a great deal of things about living at sea, marine wildlife (particularly cetaceans) and also a lot about myself as a person.

These four weeks have improved my patience, my appreciation and understanding of cetaceans along with my ability to inspire and educate others about the importance of marine conservation.

I can say without a doubt that this placement is unlike anything else I've experienced and is one of the best things I have ever done.  Although my 4 weeks are over, I was able to make memories that will last a lifetime - I sincerely hope this is only the beginning of a wonderfully exciting journey with ORCA and cetacean (and marine) conservation.

Kelly Forsythe, ORCA Wildlife Officer Placement, Bay of Biscay, 2017