Job Postings

Assistant Keeper


Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo

Closing Date
May 12, 2019

CZS continues to upgrade and refocus our aquatic collections, and opportunity remains for increasing our collection size and focus as programs grow and continue to develop. We have started expanding our local herp/aquatic conservation projects, which include species such as Blanding’s turtles and Massasauga rattlesnakes, and our Puerto Rican crested toad SSP program has sent thousands of tadpoles back to Puerto Rico in the last couple years. We have added many new species in the last two years, and continue to expand the displays when possible. Our exhibits range from 10 gallon invertebrate exhibits to a 60,000 gallon pacific coast exhibit, and we are expanding with smaller exhibits ranging from 10 to 800 gallons. Existing space is available to continue to expand off-exhibit breeding programs as well, including moon jelly propagation, and our coral collections which, through controlling growth, we are now supplying to other institutions.

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 include: Observe assigned animals closely, routinely, and objectively report to supervisor on their behavior, health, and welfare. Keep animal records as assigned. Prepare and distribute food as directed. Perform routines of assigned areas and specialized procedures as directed. Study specific reference materials about animals in assigned area. Read other zoological and husbandry texts as assigned.

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. Observe condition of assigned area(s), animal enclosures, and equipment. Monitor and clean public space(s), plants, and interpretives as assigned. Report maintenance needs. Perform minor maintenance tasks as assigned. Clean animal enclosures, pools, and service areas. Demonstrate knowledge of and implement Society-wide and area emergency procedures as directed. Other related duties as assigned.

Education and Pre-requisites

Preferred animal experience: Prior experience working with freshwater and marine fish, invertebrates, and corals in a captive setting preferred as is experience building and maintaining small aquatic systems. Good understanding of water quality parameters and Scuba certification preferred

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. Incumbent 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 alert and make sound independent judgments, possess the ability to perceive and act upon relevant changes in animal behaviors and condition, and must learn and integrate information, knowledge, and direction quickly. Good decision-making skills. Must be capable of dealing with emergencies calmly and efficiently; develop proficiency in routines of assigned areas and specialized procedures as directed; demonstrate the ability to accurately perform job duties; and must be reliable.

Good interpersonal skills. The ability to interact in a courteous and professional manner. Incumbent 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. Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language fluently. Spanish fluency a plus, but not required.

Valid driver’s license required for Illinois residents within 90 days of hire; valid out-of-state license required for out-of-state residents. SCUBA Certification required within one year of hire.

Compensation and benefits

This is a full-time union position with rotating shifts, including weekends, holidays, and evenings. Contracted starting pay is $22.57 per hour.

Application instructions

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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 look for requisition 1853BR.