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Aquarium of the Pacific

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Aquarium of the Pacific

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Aquarium of the Pacific FAQ

Have questions about working at Aquarium of the Pacific? Read answers to frequently asked questions to help you make a choice before applying to a job or accepting a job offer.

Whether it's about compensation and benefits, culture and diversity, or you're curious to know more about the work environment, find out from employees what it's like to work at Aquarium of the Pacific.

All answers shown come directly from Aquarium of the Pacific Reviews and are not edited or altered.

19 English questions out of 19

9 November 2021

Does Aquarium of the Pacific offer an employee assistance or workplace counselling program?

Pros

Good benefits, chance to meet many new people. Training on various topics including in depth first aid.

Cons

Pay raises were low, far and few between. Revolving door with employees. Managers tend to bully.

Good benefits, chance to meet many new people.

9 November 2021

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15 April 2022

Does Aquarium of the Pacific offer unlimited holiday?

Pros

Sometimes the department has pizza or cereal parties. During holidays, employees can win prizes for doing puzzles. Complimentary tickets are handed out quarterly and for holidays. Holiday pay is double when working, 4 regular hours when not working. First come, first serve massages for employees during holiday weekends. Open-mic mornings and paper airplane contests are conducted. Some night events you can take home food or things left behind (with permission of course). During Halloween and Christmas, employees can partake in themed activities which are fun. Being able to view schedules and trade shifts is easy. Management usually doesn’t hassle you about wanting to drop shifts or trade them. Starting wage is slightly above minimum wage, which is nice because some positions are minimal. Generally, your fellow employees are nice and fun to work with. And being able to see the animals is always a plus.

Cons

Underneath the surface, this business is no different than big businesses. -Lower level employees are disposable. People have been let go for very minor offenses. Doctor’s notes are not accepted as a reason to miss work (unless it is for COVID). -While having a uniform is fine, having to wear khaki pants is not. They dirty easily and are no fun for women if you catch my drift. A black pants option would be nice. -On-site HR can be a hinderance at times when they protect upper level management from legitimate complaints from employees, like sexual harrassment or intimidation. -Administration, the ones above management, are out of touch with the constantly changing work climate and have trouble adapting to the quick evolution of technology, leaving lower level employees with devices that are constantly breaking down and needing maintenance and leaving lower level management to pick up the pieces and do all the work. -Communication is either non-existent or inconsistent. One person will say one thing while another will come in and say something contradictory. Employees usually learn of changes to the aquarium via social media or word of mouth or very last minute emails, which is extremely frustrating since Guest Services is the largest department in the company. -There is very little room for growth within the department because administration likes to hire from the outside rather than promote from within, which leads to a high turnover rate and low department morale. -There is ZERO diversity within salaried positions in Guest Services and has remained so in the 5+ years I’ve been with the company, which is very disappointing because Long Beach is one of the most diverse cities in the country, but that is not reflected past the entry level. The only POC in salaried positions are in housekeeping and maybe one in security, so make what you will of that. -The new GS manager oversteps his boundaries and asks personal questions while also sharing personal information, making employees uncomfortable. Talks about how his significant other is ethnic which comes off as fetishization which is a form of racism. Since GSM and the next highest person in the department are still rather new, they don’t understand how the department runs yet and have begun to put blame on employees when admins get on their backs rather than take accountability and listen to employees and lower level management about how to fix issues. -There are NO metal detectors/bag checks for either employees or guests, which makes for a very unsafe working environment when there have been an increase in shootings immediately around the aquarium. -Days off can be difficult to get off during peak times like around spring break, summer, winter (basically all year is peak time). -Sometimes lower level employees will abide by the rules they were told to follow during training and a lead or higher will undermine them and/or not have an employee’s back. This usually happens with unruly guests. -There are many positions within the one department. Some of the positions are minimal which involve very little thinking or doing (passing out maps/greeting). Others are intense and involve a lot of problem solving (handling large sums of money/processing data). With the exception of training positions, every other position is paid the same amount per hour, which some find to be unfair. -There is very little protection against unruly or handsy guests. An employee can be assaulted and nothing will be done because security can’t put their hands on a guest. Some of the employees are underage (minimum hiring age is 16) and the company sometimes forgets that there are extra labor laws that come with that. -Grand Prix: This is notoriously the most stressful time for the aquarium and exerts a lot of man power and what seems like a lot of money. Hours worked are extended and are not paid a premium, some employees are expected to stand out in the hot sun for those 10 hours in offsite locations, and buses and shuttles are used to get the very few guests the aquarium gets during this weekend to and from parking sites, adding more pollution in the air.

Advice to Management

This is more for the administration above management since the first three levels of management don’t really make any decisions, try to promote from within into salaried positions. There are several employees within the department who have been with the company for over a decade who are still in the same place they were when they began. There are some perfectly qualified people here for the positions you have been hiring from the outside for. That’s why the adored head of the department packed up and went somewhere else. Hire some POC in salaried positions. Several employees have voiced concerns about this, but this has fallen on deaf ears because nearly everyone in admin is non-ethnic, including all of HR and all of the operation-heads. Update the technology used. Why are we still using clickers and tallying things on paper, we’re not in 1998 anymore. Get some turnstiles or motion counters that have already existed for about 15 years; then you wouldn’t have so many people coming in unaccounted for. Some of the positions should be eliminated as automatic functions can take their places. Allow premium pay on positions like the information desk, breaker, and night events where more physical work is being exerted. I suppose this would be for our new CEO, close for the weekend of Grand Prix! This was something that used to be done before the previous CEO became money-hungry and had the aquarium stay open during this time. The aquarium cannot possibly be profitable during that weekend with how many resources are spent. If we are going to be forced to work Grand Prix weekend, then a premium should be paid (slightly above minimum wage is not enough). Please get metal detectors or at least do bag checks. This has been in talk for years and I fear someone will have to lose their life on property before anything is really done.

Days off can be difficult to get off during peak times like around spring break, summer, winter (basically all year is peak time).

15 April 2022

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31 May 2021

How are the career development opportunities at Aquarium of the Pacific?

Pros

Wonderful atmosphere, great environment, good benefits. Hours are reasonable

Cons

Pay is okay, hard to develop and grow in career

Pay is okay, hard to develop and grow in career

31 May 2021

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4 April 2021

What kind of career opportunities exist at Aquarium of the Pacific?

Pros

It's undeniably a cool place with many awesome animals. While there isn't too much opportunity for advancement, managers do (usually) help people work on new goals if they have them.

Cons

Super crowded with people. Guests are out of control more often than not. Some departments are way understaffed and some have people just sitting around all day. There is a lot of gossip and drama. Managers are super uptight at least in my department. Exhausting work and not great pay.

Advice to Management

Management should work harder to avoid a toxic workplace culture. They should focus on adequate staffing for the needs of each department. This company is super understaffed compared to others I've worked at.

While there isn't too much opportunity for advancement, managers do (usually) help people work on new goals if they have them.

4 April 2021

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16 May 2021

Does Aquarium of the Pacific have any sort of mentoring programme?

Pros

Staff is amazing, so encouraging and helpful. Pay was great for an internship. Also the pro of being around the animals!!! <3

Cons

Sometimes super busy to the point of stressful, and other times very slow to where you have to keep asking for things to do

Pay was great for an internship.

16 May 2021

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19 English questions out of 19

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