Animal Care Technician

Organization: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium of Metro Parks Tacoma (AZA Member)
Location: Tacoma, WA, Country
Job or Internship: Job

Metro Parks Tacoma is seeking an Animal Care Technician to perform a variety of specialized work including animal care enrichment, training and observation, documentation of behavior and activity and related duties involved in providing overall care to an assigned animal group at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, which includes red wolves, domestic animals in Contact Junction, lemurs, meerkats, wallabies, African cichlids, numerous reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. Metro Parks Tacoma and the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium reserve the right to determine specific work assignments within the zoological department of the zoo operation wherever Animal Care Technicians may be needed. This position will be initially assigned to the Kids’ Zone area, caring for all the species listed above.

CLOSING DATE: Applications must be postmarked by February 7, 2014

STARTING PAY RANGE: $19.43 – 26.89(grade 1026)

CLASSIFICATION: This position is classified as a career full-time non-exempt position. This position is eligible for benefits. This position is a represented position and the candidate selected will be required to join the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 286 and pay union dues.


 Observe animal species on assigned schedule to determine physical and behavioral health and well- being; check animals for abnormalities and report condition to appropriate Curator or veterinarian. Provide behavioral training as appropriate and directed for animals assigned to incumbent’s care.

 Clean animal exhibits and holding areas to assure the health of animals and the presentation of the species in an attractive environment; remove animal fecal and other material on a regular basis.

 Prepare, store and distribute food according to established amounts, types and diets; monitor feeding habits and report any changes or abnormalities; monitor food levels to assure sufficient quantities. Prepare and administer medications, food supplements and vitamins.

 Perform routine maintenance and minor repair of animal exhibits and related systems; prepare new exhibits and input regarding exhibit design and renovation to facilitate cleaning, enhance viewing and improve living conditions for the animals.

 Provide appropriate enrichment to animals in assigned areas of responsibility.

 Communicate with the public regarding animals and related matters; provide keeper talks, answer questions and assure proper presentation of animals in various formats.

 Maintain records and reports regarding assigned species including animal condition reports; conduct research regarding animal species as needed; prepare daily reports, health reports and other reports specific to the assigned area.

 Maintain water quality to keep aquatic animals in a healthy condition as assigned

 Perform behavioral observations; patrol assigned areas of the Zoo or Trek and visually check on animals; perform or arrange for corrective action if problems arise.

 Move and remove animal species to different areas or exhibits as determined by proper care, feeding and safety methods.

 Provide work direction and assist in training volunteers and part-time animal care personnel as assigned; attend staff meetings, educational conferences and seminars as needed.

 Communicate with the General Curator and Lead Animal Care Technician regarding needed supplies, problems regarding exhibits, animal health or public safety issues or concerns. Communicate with veterinarians regarding animal health matters; provide assistance in catching or restraining animals.

 Provide input regarding the collecting, purchase, transfer, propagation or trading of animal species as needed. Conduct and/or participate in conservation programs to assist in the propagation, education, enforcement and other activities related to long-term conservation of assigned species.

 Assure the safety of animals, employees and the visiting public from injury or mishap.

 Other duties as required.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Any combination equivalent to: Bachelor’s degree in biology, zoology or related field and three years related paid experience involving the care and husbandry of animals in a zoo, aquarium, theme park or related environment, preferably in an AZA accredited facility.

LICENSE & OTHER REQUIREMENTS: Must have valid driver's license. Must have the ability to obtain a valid First Aid and CPR Card within the probationary period. Must be willing to work evenings, nights, weekends and holidays, and to be on occasional 24-hour call to respond to emergencies. Employment is subject to a national and Washington State Patrol background inquiry pursuant to RCW 43.43.832. Job applicants must be able to prove authorization to work in the United States at the time of a job offer as required by the 1986 Federal Immigration Reform and Control Act. Documentation establishing authorization to work may include a Social Security Card, picture ID and/or other approved documentation.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: Lifting and carrying heavy objects or animals weighing up to 80 pounds. Pushing. Climbing. Walking. Kneeling and crouching to work with and feed animals. Dexterity of hands and fingers to operate specialized equipment and tools.

ENVIRONMENT/HAZARDS. Exposure to potentially dangerous and sick animals. Exposure to animal fecal matter. Chemicals, fumes, odors, poor ventilation and noise. Contact with dissatisfied visitors. Indoor and outdoor environment. Adverse weather conditions. Cold water while interacting with mammals.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Applicants must submit an official Metropolitan Park District application form. Resumes received without the required application form will not be accepted. Applications can be obtained at the Metro Parks Tacoma Administration building located at 4702 S. 19th St., Tacoma, WA 98405 or by visiting the Metro Parks Tacoma web site at Accommodation to participate in the job application and/or selection process for employment will be made upon request with reasonable notice. Please contact the Human Resources Department for further information. Please clearly indicate the position that you are applying for on the application form. A completed and signed application form in addition to a resume and cover letter is required. A response of "see resume" will not be considered an adequate response and may eliminate you from the process. All qualifying information must appear on the application form. It is the responsibility of the applicant to supply sufficient information and detail to permit a proper evaluation of your qualifications and ability as they relate to the position. It is your responsibility to make copies of your application and/or resume if needed. Metro Parks Tacoma will not return or make copies of any items supplied for the application process.

SELECTION PROCESS: Those applicants showing evidence of meeting the minimum qualifications and appraisal of experience and training may be scheduled for further review. Metro Parks may elect to give an exam to those candidates scheduled for further review. It is the responsibility of the applicant to supply sufficient information and detail to permit Metro Parks to properly evaluate their qualifications and abilities as they relate to the position. The selection process can take six weeks or longer. Please do not contact the Human Resources Department with questions regarding your status.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation, disability or any other merit factor.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS: Metro Parks employees receive 12 paid holidays, 12 days of sick leave, and 12 to 30 vacation days a year depending on length of service with Metro Parks. All employees of Metro Parks Tacoma are required to enroll in the Washington State's Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). All employees are also covered by Social Security. Employees are able to select medical and dental coverage from available plans. Metro Parks contributes a percentage towards the monthly cost of medical and dental coverage for employees and their dependents. Life insurance is provided at no cost to the employee. It is equal to the employee’s annual salary.

EMPLOYMENT: Positions may require weekend shifts and may require night shift, holiday, and overtime. All career positions have a 9-month probationary period. Metro Parks Tacoma is a drug and alcohol free workplace.