Skip to main content

This job has expired

Horticulturist - VHE

Portland, Oregon, US
Closing date
Jun 26, 2024

View more

Aquarium / Zoo / Botanical garden
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Position Summary

Are you a person that likes working outdoors and working with your hands to create beautiful spaces for guests and animals to enjoy? The Oregon Zoo is hiring for variable hour Horticulturist. You will directly help create and maintain landscaping for one of Oregon's most popular visitor attractions while supporting our groundbreaking wildlife research and conservation activities.

As a Horticulturist you will:

* Assist and collaborate with animal keepers and other staff to evaluate and plan landscape and horticulture needs. This includes specialty zone area plant selections, landscape and gardening practices to ensure animal care, conservation and restoration.
* Maintain many different types of flowers, shrubs, trees, turf and other plants. This will include inspecting for pests, disease and other deteriorating agents; as part of an IPM program; repairs damages, trimming of shrubs, turf and flowers.
* Assist in planting bulbs, trees, shrubs, turf, flowers; pots plants and transplants plants; maintains trees, flowers and shrubs by pruning, thinning, spraying, staking and arranging; pulls weeds, rakes leaves, cleans plant beds, waters color, collect browse, and replenishes bark dust covering.
* Assist the public with general zoo questions or provide directions to ensure a positive and unique experience, and be an ambassador for the Zoo.
* Troubleshoots problems such as pathway obstructions, irrigation breaks, plant disease concerns, visitor safety or exhibit substrate issues.
* Tools available will be gas-powered & electric gardening equipment and a variety of other hand tools. This role will help keep all equipment clean and in proper working condition through preventative maintenance and by making minor repairs.
* Operates motorized vehicles, pickup trucks, front-end loaders, tractors, backhoes, forklifts, bobcats, lifts, street sweepers, dump trucks and other equipment necessary for performance of essential duties.
* Assists the public, public officials and other employees in a professional and courteous manner.
* Develops safe work habits and contributes to the safety of self and co-workers. Contributes to a positive team atmosphere. Has regular and punctual attendance.

Knowledge of:

* Standard practices, materials, methods, tools and equipment used in planting, transplanting, cultivating and caring for native and landscape plant material, tropical/indoor plantscapes, trees, plants, flowers, shrubs and lawns.
* Proper relationship between soils and plants. Irrigation and watering systems.
* Plant identification. Fertilizers and their use. Pest and weed control.
* Plant diseases and symptoms.

Skilled to:

* Safely use hand and power tools and equipment.
* Communicate effectively with the public and colleagues and management.

Ability to:

* Follow and issue oral and written instructions and offer clear communication with staff.
* Establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees and to work independently or as a team member.
* Work outdoors under severe storms and adverse climate conditions.
* Physically perform all of the essential duties of the position including climbing, kneeling, stooping, walking, bending, twisting and lifting 50 pounds.
* Provide excellent customer service by meeting the needs and interacting with employees, volunteers, vendors, the public and others encountered during the course of work in a courteous and professional manner.


At Metro, we strive to cultivate diversity, advance equity, and practice inclusion in all of its work. This means attracting and empowering a workforce that is inclusive of a broad range of human qualities. Workplace diversity is both a moral imperative and a business strength, essential to providing quality support and services to our region. Metro's goal is to hire, develop and retain highly skilled and talented individuals across all departments and programs who best reflect the diversity of our community.

Learn more about Metro's Diversity Action Plan.


We will consider any combination of relevant work experience, volunteering, education, and transferable skills as qualifying unless an item or section is labeled required. Please be clear and specific in your application materials on how your background is relevant.

Minimum Qualifications:

* Three (3) years progressively responsible professional horticulture and gardening experience and Associate's degree or post-secondary equivalent or
* Any combination of experience and education that provides the necessary skills, knowledge and ability to perform assigned tasks
* Ability to obtain within six months of hire an Oregon Pesticide Applicator License and First Aid/CPR Certification.


* A valid driver's license

Driving Record Check: The candidate selected for the position will need to pass a Driving Record check prior to being hired. Speeding tickets do not necessarily preclude employment and will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Specific schedule: This position will have no set schedule and hours will be variable in nature based on business need - more hours available in the summer and less hours available in the winter. Hours are variable with no set schedule and limited to 1040 hours of work in a 12 month period.

Working environment : Will be outdoors in heat, cold and other inclement weather

If this statement is true for you, then you may be ineligible to apply:

If I was terminated for cause during any of my employment with Metro, or resigned in lieu of termination, I understand I may be ineligible for rehire for a minimum of 3 years.


This position is non-exempt and represented by LiUNA 483 union and is classified as a Horticulturalist (click to read the full classification). Classification descriptions are typically written broadly and do not include the specific duties and responsibilities of the positions.


The Application Packet: The application packet consists of the following documents. Please ensure that you upload these documents in your online application. Make sure your application is complete, missing any part of these items could result in an incomplete application and will not be moved forward in the recruitment.

* A completed online application
* Complete responses to the supplemental questions

The Selection Process:

We expect to evaluate candidates for this recruitment as follows. The selection process is subject to change.

* Initial review of minimum qualifications
* In-depth evaluation of application materials to identify the most qualified candidates
* Consideration of top candidates/interviews
* Testing/Assessments (if applicable)
* Reference Check
* Driving records check for finalist candidate


Talent Acquisition Specialist: Megan Warneke


Additional Information

Equal employment opportunity

All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability for which a reasonable accommodation can be made, or any other status protected by law.


Metro will gladly provide a reasonable accommodation to anyone whose specific disability prevents them from completing this application or participating in this recruitment process. Please contact the recruiter outlined in the job announcement in advance to request assistance.

Veterans' preference

Under Oregon Law, qualified veterans may be eligible for veterans' preference when applying for Metro positions. If you are a veteran and would like to be considered for a veterans' preference for this job, please provide qualifying documents as instructed during the application process.

Pay equity at Metro

No matter who you are or where you work at Metro, you deserve to be paid fairly for the work you do. Every worker must get equal pay for equal work regardless of your gender, race, age, or other protected characteristics. Metro has established processes and conducts routine pay equity reviews as part of the hiring process to ensure compliance with the 2017 Oregon Pay Equity Act.

Online applications

Metro accepts job applications online. If you need assistance or accommodation with your application, or access to a computer, please contact the recruiter outlined in the job announcement in advance to request assistance.

How to Apply

For tips on how to apply and more information on what the application process looks like, visit Metro's "How to apply" page.

Government Jobs

For assistance with your account or to reset your password please visit GovernmentJobs "Help and Support" page.


Led by an elected council, this unique government gives all residents of greater Portland a voice in shaping the future and provides parks, venues, services, and tools at a regional scale. We find solutions for our area's garbage and recycling that protect clean air and water; help plan land use and development to provide jobs and safe transportation; manage local venues that provide a connection to arts and culture and help keep the economy growing; protect 17,000 acres of parks and natural areas, and run the Oregon Zoo, to keep nature close to home.

As part of the Metro family, Oregon Zoo helps make greater Portland a great place to call home. Metro brings people together to shape the future of our area and provides parks, venues, services, and tools at a regional scale.

The Oregon Zoo and Metro

The Oregon Zoo inspires visitors to learn about protecting endangered species and restoring native habitats and is the state's most popular paid attraction. The zoo's roughly 320 employees welcome more than 1.5 million visitors each year.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert