Connect Your Source for Zoo and Aquarium News and InsightsHow 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.

Chicago Zoological Society / Brookfield Zoo

Assistant Animal Care Specialist

Come work with Brookfield Zoo’s small mammal team where our department includes our Fragile Kingdom desert with Meerkats, Cape Porcupine, Coati, Ocelot, Bat-eared Fox, Genet, Black-Footed Cat, and mole-rats; and our Fragile Kingdom forest area including Prevost’s squirrel, Binturong, Fishing Cat, and Clouded Leopard.  This also includes our Pangolin and Australia sections with White-bellied pangolin, Echidna, Wombat, Grey Kangaroo, Wallaby and Tree kangaroo.

As an Animal Care Specialist at Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo, you will be working with small mammals, marsupials and monotremes.  This is a union position with a contracted rate of pay at $24.86/hour.  This is a full-time position with rotating shifts, including weekends, holidays, and evenings.


Under new leadership, we are looking for dynamic, strong team players with a passion and dedication to help us lead the way in animal care, conservation and research. This is an exciting time to be part of the Brookfield Zoo and the Animal Care Program department.


We take PRIDE in every aspect of our operation, have an exciting, fast-paced work environment and family friendly atmosphere, and our employees enjoy a work environment that is based on respect, openness, cooperation, and involvement. 


Preferred animal experience: Small carnivores including marsupials and monotremes. Prior experience in a zoo setting preferred as is an understanding of zoo-based conservation and breeding programs.


This position contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society by, under close supervision, providing general care for animals and performs related work of maintaining buildings, grounds, and interpretives in assigned area.  Inform, assist, and direct guests as necessary.


Primary duties and responsibilities:

Observe assigned animals closely, routinely, and objectively report to supervisor on their behavior, health, and welfare.  Keep animal records as assigned.  Observe condition of assigned area(s), animal enclosures, and equipment.  Prepare and distribute food as directed.  Clean animal enclosures, pools, and service areas.  Study specific reference materials about animals in assigned area.  Read other zoological and husbandry texts as assigned.  Perform routines of assigned areas and specialized procedures as directed. Demonstrate knowledge of and implement Society-wide and area emergency procedures as directed.


Monitor guests to insure animal and human safety and protection of Society property.  Communicate with and assist guests.  Take initiative to facilitate guests’ appreciation of animals and enjoyment of their visit. Monitor and clean public space(s), plants, and interpretives as assigned.  Report maintenance needs.  Perform minor maintenance tasks as assigned. Other related duties as assigned. 

Experience Required

Position requirements: Bachelor's degree in relevant biological field or equivalent combination of training and/or experience required. Animal care facility, farm, kennel, or equivalent animal experience required. Must possess an understanding of practical principles of animal behavior and the ability to work with live animals safely. Knowledge of natural history, zoology, or animal husbandry preferred. Must be capable of dealing with emergencies calmly and efficiently; learn and integrate information, knowledge, and direction quickly; develop proficiency in routines of assigned areas and specialized procedures as directed; and demonstrate the ability to accurately perform job duties and be reliable. Must be alert and make sound independent judgments. Ability to perceive and act upon relevant changes in animal behaviors and conditions. Good interpersonal skills and decision-making skills required. The ability to interact in a courteous and professional manner. Must have or acquire general knowledge about the Society, gain an understanding of the Society’s mission, and become familiar with and follow Society policies and procedures. Valid driver’s license required. Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language fluently. Spanish fluency a plus, but not required.

Further Comments

Additional Information: The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. Assistant Animal Care Specialist is a one-year probationary position to attain Animal Care Specialist status. Animal Care Specialists are frequently subjected to potential hazards that include direct contact with or close proximity to live animals. These positions are physically demanding, and employees may be subjected to a variety of physical demands and environmental factors and exposures. May be required to undergo physical examinations, including vaccinations, inoculations, blood tests, or other such testing or procedures as may be required by law or deemed reasonably necessary. This is a full-time position with rotating shifts, including weekends, holidays, and evenings. This job description contains the primary duties and responsibilities of the position, but in no way implies that these are the only duties the employee may ever be called upon to perform. The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Workplace safety is the Chicago Zoological Society’s top priority. We require all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 unless they request and receive a religious or medical exemption. New hires must have at least received their first vaccine dose prior to their start date. (Updated 9/16/22)


Benefits, 401K, PTO



How to Apply

If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please visit the CZS Career Center to obtain more details about the position and to apply by submitting your profile.  Please visit our website at  Please use the Advanced Search feature to look for requisition number 2389BR.

Chicago Zoological Society / Brookfield Zoo
3300 Golf Road
Brookfield, IL 60513
Phone: 7086888400

Visit our website

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.