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Animal Care Technician

Seattle Aquarium
Seattle, Washington, US
Closing date
Oct 20, 2022

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Aquarium / Zoo / Botanical garden
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Job Description


Animal Care Technician

Posted: Open to internal and external applicants

Reports to: Associate Curator of Bird and Mammal

Status: Full-time hourly, benefitted position

Hours of work: Standard hours of work are 7:00am-4:00pm, specific days of the week are Thursday to Tuesday. This position will work at least one weekend day.

Date needed: November, 2022

Posting expires: Posted till Filled

Position description:

The Seattle Aquarium, a leading marine conservation organization, is looking for an Animal Care Technician to join the Bird and Mammal team. The Animal Care Technician is responsible for assigned husbandry duties for the Seattle Aquarium's bird and mammal (BAM) collection. This position will be caring for: sea otters, harbor seals, northern fur seals, North American river otters, various alcids and shorebirds, and the fish and invertebrates which inhabit the bird habitats.

Key functions: Responsible for all aspects of care and management of the bird and mammal collection including but not limited to:

Animal Husbandry:
  • Prepare, store, and distribute food according to established protocols that detail amounts, types and diets; monitor feeding habits, record behavior and observations, and report any changes or abnormalities.
  • Observe animals and evaluate behavior to determine physical and mental health and welfare.
  • Perform routine maintenance, cleaning, and minor repair of animal habitats and back of house holding areas to assure the safety and welfare of the animals and the presentation of the species in an appropriate environment. Monitor water quality to keep aquatic animals in a healthy condition.
  • Work directly with the Aquarium's veterinary services to advise appropriate observations, administer medications and treatments according to established procedures and veterinarian instructions. Provide assistance in handling and/or restraining animals in accordance with established safety and animal welfare/handling procedures as necessary.
  • Apply appropriate operant conditioning techniques and principles with an emphasis on positive reinforcement as described in the Aquarium's Animal Training Manual to condition a variety of medical, natural and exercise behaviors. Design and maintain behavioral plans for each animal to include descriptions of training approximations and behavioral criteria.
  • Design, implement, evaluate, and document, a variety of stimulating objects, activities, and situations (enrichment) for the animal collection as described in the Seattle Aquarium Enrichment Manual to provide mental and physical stimulation and encourage the expression of natural behavior.
  • Maintain specified records and reports on assigned species including daily records and reports in our records data base, reports to the veterinarian, training and enrichment records, welfare assessments, food consumption records and other reports specific to the species.

Required skills and experience:
We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education to meet minimum requirements.
  • BA/BS Degree in biology, marine biology, animal behavior, psychology or related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience in lieu of degree.
  • Minimum of one year of experience involving the care and husbandry of animals in a zoo, aquarium, or related environment. Preference may be given to applicants with operant conditioning experience with the species in the current Seattle Aquarium bird and mammal collection.
  • At least six months of animal care experience at an AZA accredited facility desirable.

Working conditions:
  • Requires handling, working with or exposure to large, potentially dangerous animals, animal diseases, feces, and toxic chemicals.
  • Occasionally required to lift more than 50 pounds.
  • Must be able to be on their feet six or more hours a day, be active through all physical motions.
  • Required to work outdoors year-round, near water, on wet and slippery surfaces and at heights.
  • Must be willing to work evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays when required and an occasional 24-hour emergency call.

Salary and benefits: $24.85 to $26.00 per hour, Dependent on experience . Please include salary expectations in your materials. Full-time staff are eligible for the Seattle Aquarium's comprehensive benefits package to include medical, vision, dental, an employer-funded health reimbursement account, medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts, life insurance, long-term disability, 403b retirement fund with employer match, access to a subsidized ORCA pass, a Seattle Aquarium Family Plus membership and generous paid time off.

How to apply: The Seattle Aquarium is a progressive, equal-opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce. One of our core values is fostering an inclusive community, and we want our staff to reflect our community. To that end, we encourage diverse candidates to apply, including but not limited to Black, Indigenous and People of Color applicants and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Interested candidates should upload a résumé to our online application to be considered. Application review will begin immediately.

Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job by emailing us at

Note: Must pass a background check and motor vehicle records check, upon job offer, to be eligible for this position. Regarding driving records: Within the last three years, you must not have had more than two moving traffic violations or any major violation (DUI, reckless driving, negligent driving, etc.).

About the Seattle Aquarium:

The Seattle Aquarium is a respected authority on Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and the world's one ocean. Our passionate staff increases awareness and drives the change needed to preserve and protect our marine environment by providing an inspiring visitor experience, engaging daytime and evening events, conservation education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds, community outreach to marginalized populations, research that advances understanding of animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild, advocacy and policy work, an award-winning volunteer program, high-impact marketing and communications, and more.

Our values, developed in conjunction with our staff, include commitments to adopting and promoting sustainable practices, creating awe-inspiring experiences, constantly learning and improving, fostering an inclusive community, maintaining scientific credibility through evidence-based practices and honoring our unique place by using our location and history as a lens for larger understanding.

Proudly accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, we're among the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. by attendance, and we welcome over 850,000 people each year. Guided by our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment , we're working to substantially increase our conservation impact by expanding our campus with a new building, the Ocean Pavilion. Learn more at

Regarding COVID-19:

Open daily, the Aquarium prioritizes the health and safety of our staff and visitors, embracing science to guide our operations. We maintain high standards of cleanliness, and all high-touch surfaces (like windows, railings, restrooms and elevators) are continuously cleaned.

Please note: All Aquarium staff and volunteers must provide proof of vaccination or approved medical or religious exemption by the date of hire. If you have questions about this policy or for information regarding the exemption process, please contact the Human Resources department at


We anticipate the following recruiting schedule for those candidates who are selected for consideration. The following dates are preliminary and subject to change. We will work with candidates to set interview dates. If hired, relocation assistance is not available.

  • Priority given to applications received within the first two weeks of posting
  • Start date: November, 2022
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