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Minnesota Zoo

Minnesota Zoo - Animal Care Technician 3: Marine Mammal Trainer

The Minnesota Zoo encompasses a 485 acre campus and is home to more than 5,300 animals with about 1.29 million guests visiting annually. The Zoo is a coordinator of international conservation and breeding programs and is the State’s largest environmental educator with over 400,000 participants annually. The Zoo’s conservation programs protect endangered species and preserve critical ecosystems and its education programs engage audiences at the Zoo, throughout our region, and around the world.

Job Class: Zoo Keeper

Working Title: Zoo Keeper - Animal Care Technician 3

  • Who May Apply: Open to all qualified job seekers
  • Date Posted: 10/11/2021
  • Closing Date: 10/25/2021
  • Hiring Agency/Seniority Unit: Minnesota Zoological Garden / Zoological Gardens-AFSCME
  • Division/Unit: Biological Programs / Marine Mammals
  • Work Shift/Work Hours: Day Shift / 7:30 am - 4:15 pm
  • Days of Work: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday; occasional after hours and overnights
  • Travel Required: No
  • Salary Range: $20.09 - $28.30/hourly; $41,947 - $59,090/annually
  • Classified Status: Classified
  • Bargaining Unit/Union: 207 - Technical/AFSCME
  • Work Area: Marine Mammals, Aquariums, Life Support
  • FLSA Status: Nonexempt
  • Connect 700 Program Eligible: Yes

Job Summary

This position provides animal and habitat care and maintenance so that healthy, well-adjusted animals, and attractive, instructive exhibits are presented to guests of the Minnesota Zoo in a manner that supports the Zoo’s mission of connecting people, animals, and the natural world to save wildlife. The incumbent ensures appropriate welfare of the animals. The incumbent operates fleet vehicles to move around the Zoo campus.

Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Perform animal husbandry procedures as established so that the highest level of animal health and exhibition are maintained.
  • Perform maintenance and general cleaning of habitats and work areas as assigned so that a neat and clean appearance and pleasant and safe experience are provided for all guests.
  • Prepare, present, and participate in interpretive programs for Zoo guests, staff, and/or volunteers so that staff and guests receive accurate information on the biology, natural history, and conservation of the species in an educational and entertaining manner.
  • Perform other duties as assigned to ensure the smooth functioning of the department and maintain the reputation of the organization as a viable business partner.

Experience Required

Minimum Qualifications Open water SCUBA certification or equivalent Current CPR and 1st AID certification or the ability to obtain certification prior to date of hire One (1) year of experience as a full-time Zookeeper at a zoo or aquarium; OR Three (3) years full-time experience in an established laboratory or field research program involving vertebrate animals and data collection; responsible work experience in a laboratory animal colony or veterinary hospital involving direct animal care and maintenance. Experience must be within the last ten (10) years and include all of the following: Observation of animal behaviors, Preparation and feeding of animal diets, Preparation and maintenance of detailed animal records, and Maintenance of sanitary animal living conditions. Training animals using operant conditioning with positive reinforcement Creating goal-based enrichment items Customer service skills sufficient to work with co-workers and guests courteously and respectfully. Ability to interpret technical literature that relates to the health and management of animals. Demonstrated ability to maintain a work environment that respects and values differences and diversity Valid driver’s license Preferred Qualifications College degree in Biology, Zoology, Wildlife Management, Environmental Education, Ecology or closely related field. Experience working with and caring for animals at an AZA accredited Zoo or aquarium including preparing diets, feeding animals, maintaining sanitary animal living conditions, observing animal behavior, and maintaining animal records. Experience training marine mammals for medical behaviors, enrichment, exercise, and public interpretation/educational programs Experience interpreting animal behavior and providing species specific information to guests Experience with public interpretation of animals, animal behavior and training Experience working with animals in an ambassador setting, including handling and presenting for educational programs for large audiences, small audiences, and/or small groups Experience with training and/or husbandry of pinnipeds Experience with training and/or husbandry of sea otters Advanced or Rescue SCUBA certification or equivalent Ability to work as a firearms team member


GREAT BENEFITS PACKAGE! The State of Minnesota offers a comprehensive benefits package including low cost medical and dental insurance, employer paid life insurance, short and long term disability, pre-tax flexible spending accounts, retirement plan, tax-deferred compensation, generous vacation and sick leave, and 11 paid holidays each year.


$20.09 - $28.30/hourly;

How to Apply

Visit the State of Minnesota Website and apply on line: Search Jobs / Careers in the State of Minnesota ( or visit the Minnesota Zoo website

Search for job ID: 49659

For additional information about the application process, go to

Minnesota Zoo
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Phone: 952-431-9255

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