Job Postings

Zookeeper, Herps


Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo

Closing Date
May 12, 2019

CZS has nearly tripled our reptile and aquatics collections in the last five years 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; we have added many new species in the last two years, and more are on the way! 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 several new and exciting reptiles and amphibians coming on-line this year.

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. Prepare and distribute food as directed. Observe assigned animals closely, routinely, and objectively report to supervisor on their behavior, health, and welfare. Keep animal records as assigned. Clean animal enclosures, pools, and service areas. 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. Perform routines of assigned areas and specialized procedures as directed. 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. 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 includes working with reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates in a captive setting; experience building and maintaining small aquatic systems also preferred.


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; and have the ability to perceive and act upon relevant changes in animal behaviors and conditions. Knowledge of natural history, zoology, or animal husbandry preferred.

Must develop proficiency in routines of assigned areas and specialized procedures as directed; must demonstrate the ability to accurately perform job duties; must be alert and make sound independent judgments; must learn and integrate information, knowledge, and direction quickly; and must be reliable. Must be capable of dealing with emergencies calmly and efficiently.
Good interpersonal skills. The ability to interact in a courteous and professional manner. Good decision-making skills. 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.

Compensation and benefits

This is a full-time union position with rotating shifts, including weekends, holidays, and evenings that starts at $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 1855BR.