Animal Keeper Job Description

 Full-time hourly non-exempt position

Job Summary / Overview

The Animal Keeper interacts regularly with animals for their daily care, as well as with other staff and park guests to help provide exceptional visitor experiences. The keeper must have strong focus on the present moment and follow through with tasks precisely as directed. The person filling this role works weekends and holidays, outdoors in all weather, and maintains a positive, professional attitude at all times. Benefits include PTO, continuing education opportunities, group discounts for dental, vision, and other coverage, and professional guidance for insurance plans available through the Marketplace. The salary for this position is commensurate with experience, with beginning pay for fully qualified individuals at $11/hour. Subsidized shared housing opportunities may be available.


  • Carries out all aspects of the daily care of assigned animals, including cleaning, diet prep and feeding, and applying operant conditioning training
  • Maintains clean and organized habitats, service areas, and equipment
  • Administers prescribed medications, supplements, and treatments under supervision
  • Maintains daily electronic record-keeping on diets, health, welfare, training, etc.
  • Performs landscaping maintenance and eliminates toxic or harmful plants
  • Assists in pest control throughout the park
  • Identifies and reports maintenance needs and potential safety issues
  • Assists in acquisition, processing, and storage of animal food, including whole prey
  • Cross-trains and works in other areas of the business as needed
  • Interacts with donors and members of the public regularly, sharing an educational perspective and encouraging participation in Animal Park programs
  • Participates in educational experiences including keeper chats, tours, animal presentations or demonstrations, and/or other public interactions
  • Oversees work activities of and/or provides training for interns and volunteers
  • Safely operates motorized vehicles and equipment
  • Performs other duties as assigned


  • Two years of experience working with exotic or wild animals as a staff member/employee, and ability to work with potentially dangerous animals
  • Experience with simple construction and maintenance
  • Experience with operant conditioning and with developing and completing an animal training project
  • Strong interpersonal, team-building, and communication skills
  • Public speaking and educational presentation skills
  • Capacity to learn new skills and complex tasks quickly and thoroughly
  • High adaptability and flexibility on the job


  • Bachelor’s or Associate degree in Animal Science, Biology, or related field (comparable work experience considered)
  • Basic skills with Microsoft Office software applications


  • Licensed to operate a motor vehicle in North Carolina, or the ability to obtain a license
  • COVID-19 vaccination required; booster vaccines may be required
  • Pre-exposure vaccination for rabies will be required after a training period


  • Requires working weekends and holidays
  • Requires prolonged standing, significant walking, and bending, stooping, and stretching
  • Requires the ability to move safely over uneven ground while carrying items
  • Requires lifting up to 50 pounds
  • Rural location requires reliable transportation
  • Requires working outdoors in most weather conditions, including in temperatures from 0 to 105℉
  • Requires handling predictable and controllable hazards associated with animals, including exposure to dust and allergens as well as chemicals used for husbandry purposes


  • The salary for this position is commensurate with experience. Pay for fully qualified individuals starts at $11/hour.
  • Subsidized shared housing opportunities may be available during relocation.


We are currently accepting full-time employment applications. Please include your resume/CV and at least two relevant references. The selection process will include traditional interviews that may take place over the phone for individuals who are not local.

All resumes, references and questions can be emailed to:  Please contact if you experience any issues with the application process or have further questions regarding the position. 

Animal Park at the Conservators Center Employment Application

Animal Keeper

  • Contact Information

  • Please answer the following:

  • Resume

  • Please email a resume, including contact information for two references to with Animal Keeper in the subject line.