Renew your AZA Membership todayHow 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.

John Ball zoo

Senior Zookeeper – Aquatics - Area 2

Be part of the adventure and come Work Wild with us! Have an enhanced experience taking care of our wide range of animals, and enjoy your work day! We are looking for someone passionate about animal care and working with others to join our energetic and fast-paced team to provide the best care as possible to our animals. Come be a part of our growing zoo while helping make a difference!
We inspire our community to be actively engaged in the conservation of wildlife and our natural environment.

We offer incredibly competitive benefits. This includes FREE:

  • Medical plan option
  • Short-term disability
  • Long-term disability
  • Life Insurance
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Dental & vision for employee & family
  • 12 full weeks of parental leave

We offer 6 days of personal time, generous vacation time, and 10 paid Holidays each year. We offer a 7% employer contribution to your 401K, zoo discounts, employee-only zoo experiences, tuition reimbursement, additional medical benefits to meet you and your family's needs, and a FREE Premium Zoo membership for you and your family. 

Come live in the beautiful Grand Rapids where you can find live music, art festivals, outdoor recreation, and nationally ranked food and craft beverages. You can drive 20 minutes and be by the beautiful Lake Michigan, hike and kayak by the Grand River, or stay downtown and enjoy a variety of food and drinks. Grand Rapids is known as Americas’ best beer city, nation's craft beverage capital, and a top 20 U.S. Foodie city. There is a little bit of everything here in Grand Rapids to attract everyone including our growing zoo!


A  Zookeeper  performs technical animal management work in accordance with established procedures and protocols, required for proper care and maintenance of animals under human care at the John Ball Zoo. This includes the care and feeding of exotic and domestic animals; the cleaning and maintenance of buildings, exhibits, and yards; and observation and reporting on the physical and behavioral condition of the animals. This position specializes in the care of chimpanzees, spider monkeys, small primates, and several small mammal species. Zookeepers play an integral role in educating the public and passing on their enthusiasm for animals. 
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Expected to perform advanced animal care and management including, but not limited to animal procedures, escape response, capture and restraint, transports, introductions, and training.
  • Expected to participate as a member of Zoo committees or groups which may include but are not limited to the behavior committee, the dive team, venomous team, sustainability committee, and emergency firearms team. 
  • Ability to serve as an AZA IR as well participate on AZA committees and other professional organizations on the Zoo’s behalf. 
  • Support a variety of Zoo objectives working cooperatively with a wide variety of departments (Education, Conservation, Facilities, Marketing, Development, etc.).  
  • Assist with the development and writing of standard operating procedures and department policies and procedures. 


  • Ability to work with potentially dangerous animals (PDAs).
  • Ability to act as the point of contact for area when managers are not present - including address animal/space issues (unplanned medical issues, escapes, malfunctioning/damaged infrastructure); liaise with other departments and teams as needed; make and communicate changes as needed. 
  • Demonstrated proficiency in positive-reinforcement base training techniques with demonstrated ability to mentor/teach others 
  • Experience developing and writing SOP's, department policies, and animal behavior plans.
  • Ability to lead and direct work of animal care staff and volunteers to support departmental objectives. 
  • Familiarity with electronic record keeping software systems.  (i.e., ZIMS, TRACKS, etc.).
  • Ability to serve in a leadership role when and if necessary, including serving as the designated person in charge in the absence of management.



  • Capable of demonstrating professionalism and maturity at all times
  • Skilled in proper interpretive techniques to relay information to visiting public
  • A strong and effective communicator and a supportive team player.
  • Innovative and willing to look for solutions.
  • Capable of following all zoo and industry safety guidelines.
  • Be a self-starter and enjoy a neat and organized workspace.
  • "Capable of aquatic emergency response (power failures, tank crashes, etc.),
  • Good attention to details and small changes in fish, amphibians, and reptiles
  • Good understanding of water quality management, 
  • Should recognize typical aquatic diseases.
  • Ability to set up aquatic systems and troubleshoot issues
  • Ability to design and execute aquatic quarantine systems and create husbandry guidelines
  • SCUBA certified or capable of being certified
  • Capable of being venomous trained
  • 2 years working with large aquatic systems,fish and aquatic invertebrates. 
  • 5 years experience working with exotic animals in a zoological or aquarium setting

For full job description please email
John Ball Zoo is a drug free facility under federal regulations.

How to Apply

John Ball zoo
1300 Fulton St W
Grand Rapids, MI 6163365062

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.