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Kansas City Zoo


Under direction, the Life Support Operator performs routine work assignments involving the life support systems throughout the Zoo. This includes ensuring all systems are functioning properly and overseeing day-to-day operations to assure proper water quality, clarity and chemistry. Work areas will include polar bear pool, penguin building (2 penguin pools and multiple saltwater aquariums), sea lion pool, elephant pool, Stingray Bay, otter pool and Missouri Department of Conservation aquarium.
Responsible for general maintenance and operation of all life support systems, including:
  • Establishing a backwashing and pump basket cleaning schedule for all pools and aquariums.
  • Maintaining daily checklists for all life support systems.
  • Following cleaning and preventive maintenance schedule for all life support area equipment, including pumps, filters, meters and ozone systems.
  • Performing equipment function checks and calibrations.
  • Working closely with supervisor to ensure timely ordering of parts, equipment and supplies, such as salt, chemicals and testing kits.
  • Reporting maintenance issues and potential safety hazards to management.
  • Helping to create operational standards for systems.
  • Establishing good working relationships and communication with animal staff to ensure equipment and procedures are working properly.
Performs and records various water samples and testing and acts upon results, if necessary.
Works with supervisor to establish artificial saltwater creation timelines. 
Performs most general maintenance work and equipment repair in life support areas. 
Maintains and keeps proper records in all life support areas. 
*This position may at times be requested to perform other duties or special projects as assigned, which are in the best interest of the Kansas City Zoo.
    1. Have or working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in science based field or related.
    2. SCUBA certification preferred.
    1. Previous experience with and general knowledge of life support systems required.
    2. Knowledge of water chemistry, proper laboratory and quarantine techniques.
    3. Ability to perform repairs and general maintenance on various life support systems and equipment, such as sand filters, protein skimmers, water pumps, meters, generators, air pumps and ozone systems.
    4. Knowledge of safety requirements and protocols required while working with life support systems.
    5. Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office, preferred.
    6. Strong verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills.
    1. Must have valid driver’s license.
    2. Must have or be able to obtain negative TB test.
    3. Must be able to lift 75 pounds and have sufficient mobility.
    4. Must be able to stand for extended periods of time and work in loud areas.
    5. Must be able to tolerate stress and make immediate decisions concerning the safety of animals, employees or the public.
    6. Must be willing to work a flexible schedule, including weekends, holidays and evening hours, in all weather extremes. May be required to report during emergency situations, such as power failure.
    7. Must pass a background and drug screening.
    8. Must be vaccinated or agree to become vaccinated for COVID-19, to work safely with staff and the animals under the team’s care.

How to Apply

Kansas City Zoo
6800 Zoo Drive
Kansas City, MO 64132
Phone: (816) 595-1234

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