Animal Care Assistant (#RA0708)
$20.98-$25.50 Hourly / $3,637.04-$4,420.84 Monthly / $43,644.51-$53,050.17 Yearly


Under close supervision, assists in monitoring and caring for a living animal collection in a zoo setting; performs routine maintenance and enhancement of animal exhibits and support facilities; and does related or other work as assigned.


An incumbent in this class performs work in support of general monitoring and care for living collections in a zoo setting, and assists with providing a safe, enriching and rewarding experience for zoo visitors.


  • Assists in monitoring the health and well-being of living animal collections by noting physical or behavioral changes and observing animals for signs of illness or injury, including diet consumption and other variables used to assess animal condition.
  • Assists in preparing and distributing animal diets and meals as directed; helps maintain safe and sanitary food preparation and storage areas, monitors food and supply inventory and rotates stock.
  • Assists in cleaning, disinfecting and maintaining animal exhibits and veterinary facilities; makes minor repairs to enclosures; monitors exhibits for pests and predators.
  • Assists in providing animal enrichment to simulate natural conditions; helps install appropriate exhibit furnishings such as perches, nest sites, foraging areas, resting platforms, and landscape materials.
  • May provide routine animal health care under veterinary direction; may help capture or restrain animals for veterinary care procedures and animal management needs.
  • Assists in maintaining and/or updating exhibits, grounds, service areas, and support facilities to provide a safe, attractive and healthy environment for animals and the public.
  • Assists with the training of volunteer staff.
  • Interacts with zoo visitors and the general public by explaining and enforcing zoo regulations and policies and providing information on animal natural history, care and conservation.
  • May assist in transporting zoo specimens and providing temporary housing as required.
  • Prepares records and reports regarding zoo activities, as directed.


Experience:  Equivalent to one year of full-time (2080 hours), paid experience as an Animal Care Assistant - Temporary in San Joaquin County. 

Education:  Successful completion of at least 60 semester or 90 quarter units from an accredited college or university with major coursework in biology, zoology, wildlife management, wildlife ecology, animal behavior, or a closely related field.

Substitution: Paid or unpaid experience caring for non-domestic animal species in a zoo, wild animal park/sanctuary, or similar setting may be substituted for the required education on a year-for-year basis.

Note: Unpaid hours such as those obtained through volunteerism or internships will be accepted only if:  1) the experience is documented on letterhead from the organization where it was obtained; 2) the documentation includes dates, number of hours worked and duties performed (2,080 hours is equivalent to one year full-time experience); and 3) the experience was obtained within the last 10 years.

Special requirements: 1) Upon job offer, incumbents must successfully pass a tuberculosis test and maintain a negative tuberculosis test for duration of employment; 2) receive inoculation for rabies within six months of employment.

Certifications: 1) Obtain First Aid/CPR certificate within six month of employment; and 2) obtain firearm safety training certificate within six months of employment.

License: Possession of a valid California driver’s license.


Basic principles of biology, zoology, ecology and animal population management; basic principles of animal husbandry, basic sanitation methods and materials; basic zoo practices and procedures; general safety procedures; the hazards of working with wild animals; basic computer and modern office automation technology.


Recognize changes in animal behavior or physical condition; follow oral and written directions; interpret and apply zoo regulations and procedures; work safely and effectively with wild, delicate and potentially dangerous animals; perform basic mathematical calculations and make accurate measurements; operate various motorized vehicles; operate computers and use standard software; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted during the course of work, including staff, volunteers, and the public.


Mobility – Operation of a data entry device, constant walking and standing for long periods, pushing/pulling, bending, squatting, crawling, driving; Lifting – frequently 5 - 50 pounds; Vision – good overall vision, color perception, depth perception; reading and close-up work; normal hand and eye coordination; good field of vision/peripheral; Dexterity – normal dexterity and repetitive motion; Hearing/Talking – frequent hearing and talking on the telephone/radio and in person; Special Requirements –  working weekends and holidays;  may require overtime evening work; Emotional/psychological – frequent public contact and decision making; frequent concentration required; occasional exposure to dangerous situations, including trauma, grief and death; working alone.; Environmental – frequent exposure to noise, cold/heat, hazardous materials, dirt, dust, fumes, and varied weather conditions.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

CLASS: RA0708; EST: 2/8/2023;