Become an ORCA Wildlife Officer

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, Caledonian MacBrayne and Isles of Scilly Travel, ORCA Wildlife Officers spend a couple of weeks up to six months working at sea, meeting tens of thousands of passengers.

Brittany Ferries
DFDS
Caledonian MacBrayne
Isles of Scilly Travel

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 typically open in November or December, with positions starting in the spring of the following year. It is an incredibly competitive process, with hundreds of candidates vying for just a handful of roles.

Vacancies will be posted online when they are available, so keep an eye out and good luck!

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.

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 in the Bay of Biscay, individual cabin in the North Sea) 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 opening in January each year, with placements taking place throughout the spring and summer.

Vacancies will be advertised online so keep your eyes peeled and we hope to see you out at sea soon!

From our Officers...

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

My ORCA adventure on board the DFDS King Seaways is now over, but I cannot be sad as it has been more than I could have ever hoped for.

I genuinely can't thank everyone at ORCA enough for this incredible experience.  It has been one of the best things I have ever done and I know it is just the beginning of a wonderful future with ORCA.

If you are reading this and considering applying for 2018, all I can say it - DO IT! You will not only get to see some amazing birds and cetaceans but you will also learn so much and meet some fantastic people.

Beccy Colvin, ORCA Wildlife Officer Placement, North Sea, 2017

In this section...

Train to be a Marine Mammal Surveyor

Train to be a Marine Mammal Surveyor

Book a Whale & Dolphin Sea Safari

Book a Whale & Dolphin Sea Safari

Become an ORCA Wildlife Officer

Become an ORCA Wildlife Officer

ORCA in Schools

ORCA in Schools

Make a Small Change

Make a Small Change

Photography Competition

Photography Competition