Life Support System Operator

Organization: Houston Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Houston, TX, Country
Job or Internship: Job



The Aquatic Life Support Operator shall be responsible for the daily operation of all Life Support Systems and equipment at the Houston Zoo. These systems will support animals ranging from aquatic animals to terrestrial. The operator will also be responsible for the operation of systems attached to containment features and also public interactive systems. The LSS operator will interface with Zoo animal care staff and Zoo facilities staff to ensure the proper operation and maintenance of the water quality systems. The LSS Operator will provide daily updates on system status and operation to the Aquarium Curator and the Director of Facilities.


 Assist the Aquarium Technicians and Aquarium Curator in the preventative maintenance and repair of LSS equipment.

 Recommend and maintain the stock of required spare parts, tools, and test instruments.

 Understand and interpret water chemistry reports and results, and make recommendations for corrections as needed.

 Assist with special projects, often the design and construction of new aquatic systems.

 Ability to troubleshoot and repair all LSS equipment.

 Ability to use the LSS control system to monitor and record system operation.

 Maintain LSS system logs and records as needed.

 Interface effectively with other departments to maintain the highest quality standards.

 Foster working relationships with other institutions and organizations.

 To perform other duties as requested.

 Follow and maintain all safety policies and procedures.

 Maintain the highest standard of work area cleanliness at all times.


Reports to the Aquarium Curator.



Candidates must have a minimum of two years’ experience in municipal water, water waste treatment, or public aquarium life support system. Must have the ability to diagnose and repair LSS equipment including ozonators, pumps, heat exchangers, air compressors, control systems, and all types of filtration systems. Must be proficient in use of proper test equipment, hand tools, and shop equipment. Must be proficient in the pipe fitting utilizing PVC, FRP, Copper and tubing. Must communicate effectively in English in both written and oral form. Proficiency with Microsoft Office Products is preferred.



The position involves considerable physical exertion, such as regular climbing of ladders, lifting of heavy objects (up to 80 pounds) on a highly frequent basis and/or assuming awkward positions for long periods of time.


There are routine exposures to significant levels of heat, cold, moisture and air pollution. The position may involve periodic exposure to chemical substances and physical trauma of a minor nature such as cuts, bruises and minor burns.


Requires the ability to make closely coordinated eye/hand movements within very fine tolerance and/or calibration demands; or the ability to make rapid closely coordinated eye/hand movements on a patterned response space within somewhat fine tolerance demands; or the ability to make coordinated eye/hand movements within fine tolerances with large equipment as an extension of the worker.


Requires attention to detail and a concern for public comfort through providing a clean and pleasant environment for both zoo guests and staff.