How to Post Jobs

AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, Commercial Members, Conservation Partners and Society Partners may post free unlimited online job listings as a member benefit. Non-members can purchase job listings. How to post a job

Career Center

Interested in a career in AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums? Learn more about types of zoo and aquarium jobs and relevant education programs in our career center.

Blank Park Zoo

The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa is a non-profit organization and home to more than 2,800 animals representing nearly 240 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, and is fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The mission of the Blank Park Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education, research and recreation.

Seasonal Animal Keeper - Aquatics

The Blank Park Zoo Aquatics team is seeking an aquarist to join the fish, invertebrate, amphibian, and reptile team. The aquarist will be responsible for performing a variety of tasks related to the care and maintenance of aquatic exhibits and quarantine systems, conservation efforts, and zoo facilities.


The following duties are essential to this position. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. These are not to be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive.  Other duties may be required and assigned.

  • Preparing diets and distributing food according to feeding schedules.
  • Cleaning and performing routine maintenance and minor repair of animal exhibits and holding areas to assure the health of animals and the presentation of the species in an attractive environment. Maintain water quality to keep aquatic animals in healthy condition.
  •  Using scuba and surface-supplied air systems for in-tank animal care and exhibit maintenance.
  • Assisting with the administration of medications and treatments according to established procedures and veterinary instructions. Providing assistance in handling or restraining animals in accordance with established safety procedures as necessary to ensure animal welfare.
  • Supervising animal care interns, volunteers and/or temporary keepers
  • Observing animals and evaluating behavior to determine physical and behavioral health and well-being
  • Assisting with animal acquisition, acclimation and quarantine.
  • Serving as a customer service liaison through daily contacts with visitors providing information and answering questions.
  • Involved in professional networking, public relations, media contacts, public speaking and assistance in development and fundraising activities.
  • Participate in training programs in order to develop and maintain desired husbandry behaviors.
  • Comfortably work with venomous and dangerous animals
  • Complete daily record keeping
  • Cover amphibian and aquatic reptile exhibits and holding areas when needed.
  • Other duties assigned by Area Supervisor


The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  1. Must be able to maintain work hours that will serve the needs of the Blank Park Zoo.
  2. Candidate will be expected to operate various equipment.
  3. Ability to act calmly and professionally in all situations such as emergencies and guest interactions.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to successfully perform the essential functions.

  • Standing – Approximately greater than 2/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Walking – Approximately greater than 2/3 of on-the-job time on uneven surfaces such as hills, snow, ice, grass, mud, etc.
  • Sitting – Approximately less than 1/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Driving – Approximately less than 1/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Use of hands to lift or handle – Approximately greater than 2/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Reaching with hands and arms – Approximately between 1/3 and 2/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Climbing or balancing – Approximately less than 1/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Stooping, kneeling, crouching or crawling – Approximately less than 1/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Talking or hearing – Approximately less than 1/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Tasting or smelling – Approximately less than 1/3 of on-the-job time.
  • Weight lifted/Force exerted – Ability to bend, twist, lift >50 pounds, etc. to perform animal keeper tasks, non-continuously.
  • Vision – Close vision, distant vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.


Ability to function in all types of weather including extreme heat and cold. The majority of the job involves being outside.

Experience Required

4 year college degree and paid experience in the zoo field. Experience along with a college degree can be interchangeable at a rate of 1 year of college to 1 year of experience. LANGUAGE ABILITY Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, to staff and to visitors of all ages. COMPUTER SKILLS Intermediate word processing skills, with working knowledge of Microsoft Office required. LICENCES/CERTIFICATES • Valid Iowa motor vehicle license • First Aid / CPR training • SCUBA Certification Open Water minimum

Further Comments

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

How to Apply

Complete the Blank Park Zoo online application and attach a cover letter and resume: 

Blank Park Zoo
7401 SW 9th St
Des Moines, IA 50315
Phone: 515-285-4722
Fax: Blank Park Zoo

Visit our website


Like us on Facebook

I Accept

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. If you continue using our website, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website and you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Find a Zoo or Aquarium Donate to AZA Contact Us Member Login Search the site