Salary: $15.00 Hourly
Job Type: Part-time, 29 hrs per week or less
Closing: Continuous

See full details at

Job Description

Metro Parks Tacoma (MPT) is a CAPRA-accredited and AZA-accredited, independent park district that leads efforts to build a healthy, sustainable community.  Metro Parks Tacoma is located in Tacoma, Washington. The system is comprised of many different park facilities that offer residents a variety of recreational opportunities. From waterfront access to local neighborhood parks to large regional facilities and attractions, the MPT system is both a local community asset and regional destination.


Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is a facility of Metro Parks Tacoma, an independent government agency creating healthy opportunities to play, learn and grow since 1907. A five-member Board of Park Commissioners governs Metro Parks Tacoma and is the policy determining body for the park district.

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is dedicated to conservation, education and recreation by displaying, interpreting and researching native Northwest wildlife and natural habitats. We are nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), which ensures rigorously high standards of animal welfare, veterinary care, conservation, education and more.

These eight core values will guide future decisions, business and operations, and the manner in which MPT treats staff, customers and the community:
•Innovation    •Excellence     •Equity    •Inclusiveness    •Sustainability   •Accountability  •Safety  •Fun

Position Information
Under the direction of the Curator or Animal Keeper, this position is responsible for performing specialized work in the care, observation and maintenance of an assigned area at Northwest Trek.

In the performance of their respective tasks and duties all employees are expected to conform to the following:

  • Perform quality work within deadlines with or without direct supervision.
  • Interact professionally with other employees, customers and suppliers.
  • Work effectively as a team contributor on all assignments.
  • Work independently while understanding the necessity for communicating and coordinating work efforts with other employees and organizations.
  • Observe applicable safety requirements, use safety equipment provided, implement appropriate safety practices at all times and report immediately any unsafe working conditions or hazards.

Essential Duties

• Carries out all aspects of the daily care of assigned animals including cleaning, feeding, general upkeep of support facilities.

• Maintains clean and organized enclosures, holding areas, service areas and equipment.

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

• Understands and applies a practical understanding of operant conditioning and animal handling for the purposes of public live animal programs on site.

• Understands and applies interpretive skills in delivering unscripted public live animal programs on site.

• Administers prescribed medications, supplements, or treatments under the guidance of the veterinary and supervisory staff.

• Records and reports any abnormal animal health or behavioral issues to the primary animal keeper of the area or Head Keeper.

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

• Understands and applies the basic principles of animal enrichment as part of the daily management of species under his/her care.

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

• As appropriate, maintains water quality through filtration, balance of chemical elements, and sanitation methods for aquatic or semi-aquatic animal species.

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

• May oversee work activities and/or provide training for interns or volunteers.

• Possess good teamwork and communication skills

• May be required to safely operate a motor vehicle.

• Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

• Two-year or four-year degree in one of the natural sciences or a closely related discipline or a certificate of completion from an acceptable exotic animal care program of not less than 30 semester hours is preferred.

• One year of experience in animal care, animal training and handling, and public interpretation at an AZA or equivalent facility, gained through employment, internships, or volunteer experience.

• Specific training and work experience in other settings, such as wildlife rehabilitation centers, nature centers, or conservation centers may be considered on a case-by-case basis as fulfillment for the experience requirements.

• Strong interpersonal, team-building, and communication skills.

• Valid driver’s license and the ability to obtain a Washington State driver’s license.

• Must be willing and able to work a flexible schedule to include evenings, holidays and/or weekends as needed.

Additional Information

HOURS:  Up to 29 hours per week. Hours and days per week may vary.

Lifting and carrying heavy objects or animals weighing up to 80 pounds.
Pushing, climbing, walking, kneeling and crouching to work with and feed animals.
Dexterity of hands and fingers to operate specialized equipment and tools.

Exposure to potentially dangerous and sick animals.
Exposure to animal fecal material.
Chemicals, fumes, odors, poor ventilation and noise.
Contact with irate visitors.

Indoor and outdoor environment.
Adverse weather conditions.

All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation, disability or any other merit factor. Members of ethnic minorities, women, special disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently separated veterans, and other protected veterans, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.
MPT employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens. All new employees must show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
MPT is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact Human Resource (253) 305-1089 or
Employment is subject to a national background check.
This position is an at-will position with no written or implied contractual agreement.