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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

Blank Park Zoo is a 29-acre zoological park located in Des Moines, Iowa. The mission of the Blank Park Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education, research and recreation. Reaching about 500,000 people annually, it is consistently one of the most highly attended cultural attractions in the state. The Zoo has over 2,800 animals in its collection, representing over 240 different species, and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Veterinary Technician

Under the direction of the Hospital Manager/Senior Technician, while collaborating with the Senior Veterinarian, the position of Veterinary Technician has a key role in the implementation of preventive medicine programs. The Veterinary Services Team along with the Animal Care Staff, strive to maintain a hospital culture that is based on high quality patient care and welfare. The ideal candidate should emphasize collaborative and teamwork behaviors but have the ability to take initiative and work independently. This person must have good organizational skills and be able to handle multiple responsibilities during routine and/or under emergency conditions. 

Essential Functions

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Preparing for and performing technical duties during medical and surgical procedures.
  • Performing sample collection and evaluation, including fecal parasite examinations, urinalysis, and other laboratory tests including preparing samples for shipment.
  • Assisting in administration of medications and treatments for animals. 
  • Maintain complete and current computerized medical records as well as performing data entry into ZIMS medical system.
  • Maintain hospital standards of cleanliness including but not limited to sweeping, mopping, removing trash, disinfecting, and when necessary, performing animal husbandry duties. 
  • Follows all protocols to maintain safe conditions for staff and animals.
  • Supervise, direct, and mentor senior veterinary students and veterinary technician students.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Resourceful - Understanding of or ability to research all applicable topics as it relates to modern zoological veterinary medicine.
  • Flexible - Ability to handle a flexible workload with a variety of assignments.
  • Independent - Must be able to operate independently, exercise initiative, and demonstrate capacity for detail and follow-up.
  • Positive - Must be a positive, effective team member and be able to establish professional working relationships.
  • Clear communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Customer – Oriented – Must be able to exercise professional customer service skills at all times, with many different types of people and all situations.
  • Innovative - Ability to propose solutions to areas of concern as related to animal health and welfare.

Supervisory/Management Responsibilities

Collaborates with Hospital Manager to oversee part-time assistant and veterinary students on rotation.

Work Environment

While performing the duties of the job, the incumbent is regularly required to sit and work at a desk for extended periods of time, stand, walk on uneven terrain, climb, and utilize manual dexterity to use various tools, machines, medical and computer equipment. The incumbent is regularly exposed to all types of weather conditions including extreme heat and cold, snow, hail, wind, and rain. Some work is required in small and/or confined spaces. 

Physical Requirements

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

Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles and the like.
☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly   

Moving self in different positions to accomplish tasks in various environments including tight and confined spaces.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally         ☒ Constantly

Remaining in a stationary position, often standing or sitting for prolonged periods.
☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly

Moving about to accomplish tasks or moving from one worksite to another.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally         ☒ Constantly

Adjusting or moving objects up to 50 pounds in all directions.
☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

Communicating with others to exchange information.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally         ☒ Constantly

Repeating motions that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally          ☒ Constantly

Operating machinery and/or power tools.
☐ Never         ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

Operating motor vehicles or heavy equipment.
☐ Never         ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

Assessing the accuracy, neatness and thoroughness of the work assigned.
☐ Never        ☐ Occasionally          ☒ Constantly

☐ Never        ☒ Occasionally           ☐ Constantly

Stooping, kneeling, crouching, or crawling –
☐ Never         ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

Reaching with hands and arms.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally         ☒ Constantly

Tasting or smelling.
☐ Never         ☒ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly

☒ Close vision;  ☒Distant vision;  ☒ Color vision;  ☒ Peripheral vision;  ☒Depth perception;  ☒ Ability to adjust focus

Lifting Requirement.
☒ > than 50 pounds       ☐ Up to 50 pounds        ☐ Up to 40 pounds        ☐ Up to 25 pounds        ☐ Up to 10 pounds

Additional eligibility requirements

  • Must be able to operate independently and collaboratively, exercise initiative, and demonstrate capacity for detail and follow-up.
  • Ability to communicate clearly, professionally, and effectively in all situations such as emergencies and guest interactions.
  • Must be a positive, effective team member and be able to establish professional working relationships.
  • Ability to react calmly and objectively in emergency situations and under adverse conditions.
  • Eligible to obtain an Iowa driver's license.
  • A negative TB test is required.
  • A current rabies titer is preferred.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office required


  • Valid Iowa motor vehicle license
  • First Aid/CPR Training

Other Duties

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 this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Experience Required

Graduate from a AVMA-accredited Veterinary Technology Program 3-5 years of professional work experience in the veterinary field. A minimum of one year clinical experience at a zoological facility is preferred. Ability to handle a flexible workload with a variety of assignments. Must be able to maintain work hours that will serve the needs of the Blank Park Zoo. Employment with the zoo is the employee’s primary employment responsibility. Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing. Eligible to obtain an Iowa driver's license. A negative TB test is required. A current rabies titer is preferred.

Further Comments

Blank Park Zoo is an equal opportunity employer and give employment and promotional consideration without regard to race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, and any other protected class as required by local, state, or federal law.


We seek applicants for employment who are dedicated, hardworking and seek fulfilling employment. In return Blank Park Zoo offers competitive income, benefits, and an excellent working environment.

How to Apply

Please complete the Blank Park Zoo on-line application and attach a cover letter and resume. 

Click here for online application


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

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