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National Aviary

Commissary Assistant Part Time


The National Aviary Commissary Assistant is part of a dynamic and energetic animal programs department performing all job assignments with a positive attitude that reflects the National Aviary’s mission to inspire a respect for nature through an appreciation of birds. The Commissary Assistant prepares diets for a variety of species of ambassador animals including parrots, birds of prey, and mammals.


  • Prepares fruits, vegetables, dry goods and frozen, raw and processed meats for regular and special diets for consumption by zoo animals; washes, cuts and combines food according to diet sheet prescribed by the animal management team.
  • Follows appropriate thawing guidelines for fish, meat, and whole prey items.
  • Butchers whole food items such as chickens, rats, cow, rabbits, and guinea pigs for individual diets
  • Measures, cuts, weighs and counts items to obtain correct amounts of all individual diet items and supplements based on animal needs.
  • Maintains sanitary food preparation areas by cleaning and sanitizing kitchen daily after diets are completed including countertops, floors and equipment.
  • Washes and stores dishes.
  • Makes goal based enrichment following the schedule prescribed by the Curator of Animal Wellness.
  • Interacts with visitors utilizing National Aviary Visitor Engagement protocol

Reasonable Accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for their job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


  • The Commissary Assistant has no formal supervisory responsibilities. The Commissary Assistant may mentor interns and volunteers on diet preparation.


  • Dependable and adaptable
  • Ability to follow written and oral directions
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Good time management and organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently and as a team
  • Ability to perform basic mathematics sufficient to perform calculations in preparing a variety of diets.

Experience Required

EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE: • High school diploma or GED required. • Undergraduate degree in Zoological Sciences, Environmental Education, or similar field or 2 years relevant professional experience in a zoo, nature center, museum, or other informal learning center preferred. • Experience in food handling and diet preparation preferred. • Equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered. OTHER REQUIREMENTS: • Satisfactory Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check and Child Abuse History Certification • Satisfactory FBI Criminal Record Check PHYSICAL DEMANDS: While performing the duties of this job, the employee regularly uses utensils and tools including knives, scissors, scales, and food processors. The employee regularly lifts bags of dry goods or meat up to 50 pounds. WORK ENVIRONMENT: Work environments will include climate-controlled office spaces, public areas where the noise level may be loud, and outdoors where work may need to be done in inclement weather conditions, including extremes of temperature and precipitation. The employee is regularly exposed to various disinfecting agents and common allergens such as latex, nuts, and seafood. POSITION TYPE/ EXPECTED HOURS OF WORK: This is a part-time position. The candidate must be able to work on weekdays, weekends, holidays, and occasionally in the evening as job duties demand.

How to Apply

e-mail Cover Letter and Resume to Cathy Schlott at

National Aviary
700 Arch St
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Phone: 4122589457

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