Job Postings

Zookeeper, Aquarium


Houston Zoo

Closing Date
November 2, 2022

Position Summary
A successful candidate for this position is a motivated, energetic, thoughtful, and team-oriented individual with significant experience in the husbandry of teleost fishes, elasmobranchs, aquatic invertebrates, and live food cultures. Our program allows for the opportunity to work with a diverse collection of marine and freshwater inhabitants located across the Zoo, participate in conservation projects, and contribute to the ongoing growth and development of the organization. Our team’s primary goals are to ensure the highest quality of life for our collection, develop critical skills, work towards a sustainable future, and provide innovative solutions to daily challenges.

Job Duties and Responsibilities
• Carries out all aspects of the daily care of assigned animals including cleaning, feeding, exhibit maintenance, general upkeep of support facilities.

• Maintains clean and organized exhibits, holding areas, service areas, keeper areas, and equipment.

• Prepares and feeds appropriate diets as per established feeding practices and diet sheets.

• Administers prescribed medications, supplements, or treatments under the guidance of the Supervisors or Veterinary Staff.

• Records and reports any abnormal animal health or behavioral issues to the Zoo Supervisor.

• Maintains daily reports, logs, training and enrichment records, research, or veterinary records, as appropriate and according to established guidelines. This position requires basic computer skills with ZIMS and Microsoft Office software applications.

• Understands and applies a practical understanding of operant conditioning as it relates to the management of appropriate species in the collection (e.g., elasmobranchs and chelonians).

• Understands and applies the basic principles of animal enrichment as part of the daily management of species under the employee’s care.

• Maintains water quality through filtration, addition of supplements, water testing and water changes where appropriate.

• Maintains aesthetics with various tools typically used on aquaria.

• Identifies potential maintenance or safety issues and reports them to the Supervisor.

• Participates in keeper chats, tours, animal presentations or demonstrations, and/or other public interactions as requested by the Zoo Supervisor.

• Demonstrates proficiency in all duties and all assigned work areas within a specified timeframe.

• May assist with departmental research projects, conservation, AZA, or other industry activities as directed/approve by the Supervisor.

• Contributes to saving animals in the wild through reduction of waste, water and energy usage and inspiring guests and staff to take wildlife-protecting actions.

• Demonstrates a clear understanding of the roles AZA zoos play in conservation and saving animals in the wild.

• Exhibits good teamwork and communication skills both within and outside of the department.

• Actively pursues feedback and strong communication with team members and seeks out additional resources to develop skills for themselves and the team.

• Assists with the training and mentoring of keeper aides, interns, and teenage Zoo Crew volunteers.

• May be required to safely operate a motor vehicle.

Education and Pre-requisites

Education and Experience
• Requires a minimum of three years of animal experience in animal care at an AZA or equivalent facility, gained through employment or internships. Experience working with fishes, elasmobranchs and aquatic invertebrates is required.

• Bachelor’s degree (BA or BS) from four-year college or university in zoology, biology, psychology, animal husbandry or a related field.

• Experience and education may be considered equivalent at the rate of six months of experience per 15 hours of college level credit, up to 60 hours.

• A certificate of completion from an acceptable animal care program may be substituted for a Bachelor’s degree.

• Strong interpersonal, team building, and communication skills.

• Valid Texas driver’s license or ability to obtain one within 60 days of employment.

• Ability to lift up to 50 lbs.

• Open Water SCUBA certification is required.

Physical Demands and Work Environment
• Maintaining body equilibrium to prevent falling when walking, standing or crouching on narrow or slippery surfaces.

• Ability to swiftly respond or move quickly and demonstrate good hand eye coordination in time sensitive situations.

• Activities in which you must convey by spoken word or instruction to other workers accurately, loudly or quickly.

• Moderate physical activity performing somewhat strenuous daily activities.

• Manual dexterity sufficient to reach/handle items, works with the fingers, and perceives attributes of objects and materials.

• Ability to obtain and/or maintain SCUBA certification and dive regularly for exhibit maintenance.

• Outdoors and indoor environment with adequate ventilation.

• Moderate to loud noise.

• Exposure to significant levels of heat, cold, moisture and/or air pollution.

• Exposure to potentially dangerous animals and zoonotic diseases, chemical substances, and physical trauma of a minor nature such as cuts, bruises and minor burns.

Work Hours and Scheduling
• Hours include normal zoo operating hours, weekends, evenings, holidays, special events and extended hours.

• Minimal overnight travel (up to 10%) by land and/or air.

• Ability to provide staff coverage in last minute situations, and flexibility in schedule.

Compensation and benefits

Medical + dental + vision coverage.
401k traditional + roth with match.
Free Houston Zoo membership.

Application instructions

If interested, please apply directly here:

Or visit the Houston Zoo’s career’s page at: