City of Abilene

City of Abilene

Zoo Educator I/II – TE


Under the direction of the Education Manager, this position enthusiastically represents the Abilene Zoo by displaying a positive attitude, high energy level, and commitment to quality throughout all aspects of the job. Develops and implements educational opportunities for the zoo and helps educate zoo guests, school groups, camp participants, and private groups about animal conservation.


This position oversees Zoo volunteers and maintains and enforces guest safety and animal habitats throughout the zoo.


Responsible for implementing and managing camp and program activities, which includes maintaining a safe, positive, and enjoyable camp environment at all times.

Supervises and directs assigned volunteers, creates work assignments and provides corrective instruction if necessary.

Learn the proper animal handling techniques for animals used in programming, including all policies and procedures.

Utilize excellent communication and guest service skills (both oral and written) to greet and welcome campers and parents who arrive for Zoo Camp programs.

Assist with developing, implementing, and interpreting various interpretive programs for adults, youth, and school groups, including educational programs designed to inform zoo patrons of animals’ natural history and ecological development.

Teach classes as needed, including pre-school, home school, and other school groups.

Participates in special events and after-hour programs as required.

Operate City vehicles, Zoo rides, attractions, and other motorized equipment.


Perform other job-related duties and responsibilities as assigned.


Knowledge of:

Practical application of principles and practices of education and interpretation programs.

Animals, including ecology, animal classification, and conservation.

Skill to:

Maintain accurate records, prepare and submit detailed reports as required, including documents related to animal care, inventory, and worksheets.

Operate personal computers and software applications in a business environment, including MS Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and Google products.

Understand and follow written and verbal instructions, work individually with minimum supervision and with others in a team environment, often under time constraints.

Communicate verbally and in writing with co-workers, outside recreation organizations, program participants, and the public.

Operate a motor vehicle safely.

Ability to:

Direct educational and interpretive programs, activities, and operations consistent with program goals.

Able to demonstrate strong verbal communication skills and enthusiastically share a passion for the environment with our guests.

Demonstrates flexible group leadership and delivers high-profile animal programs.

Conduct informative and fact-based animal presentations and interact with guests of all ages.

Conduct guided tours for public guests and private groups to include VIP tours and groups.

Conduct Education Programs, including Field Trips, Camps, Birthday Parties, Homeschool, and Preschool classes.

Able to engage, motivate and interact with children and adults.

Proficient in talking on a microphone to large crowds of guests.

Deliver Off-Site Outreach programming.

Represent department and market education programs at On-Site and Off-Site events.

To effectively monitor animal behavior, handle and care for various animals, including amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates, birds, and mammals.

Supervise and direct assigned volunteers, make work assignments, and provide corrective instruction if necessary.

Work on several tasks simultaneously and complete assignments efficiently and effectively amid distractions and interruptions.

Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work, both internally and externally.

Follow and embrace the City of Abilene Core Values – Respect, Integrity, Service Above Self, and Excellence in All We Do.

Lead, manage, and perform as a team member in a manner that accomplishes the Division’s mission and treats team members with dignity, courtesy, and respect.

Experience and Training Guidelines:

For positions with more than one level, all listed requirements at the lower levels are required at the higher levels. Any combination equivalent to experience and training to provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities may qualify. Knowledge, skills, and abilities may be obtained through:

Zoo Educator I – TE


At least (2) two years of experience working with the public, especially children, in an educational or scientific setting is required.


A high school diploma or GED is required.

College-level coursework in Education, Recreation, and Early Childhood is preferred.

Development, Biology, Zoology, and/or related fields are preferred.

Zoo Educator II – TE


Must meet the minimum experience of a Zoo Educator I – TE, plus have at least (4) four years of working experience with the public, especially children, in an educational or scientific setting, including (2) two years of experience at Abilene Zoo or (1) one year of experience as an Educator I at the Abilene Zoo.


A Bachelor’s Degree in science, education, or a related field is preferred.

License or Certificate:

A valid Texas driver’s license, the ability to obtain one within ninety (90) days of employment, or a military waiver is required.

Special Requirements:

Essential duties require the following physical skills and work environment:

Ability to work both indoors and outside and must be able to work outdoors in all seasons and weather conditions.

Daily contact with plants and animals, including being subject to bites, stings, and scrapes.

Able to maintain composure and objectivity in all situations when interacting with guests and animals.

Able to follow all zoo and departmental policies and procedures.

Able to stand and walk for an entire shift.

Able to work indoors/outdoors with or without A/C for a whole shift.

Must comply with all grooming guidelines and employment standards.

With or without accommodation, the “X” indicates the overall strength demand of the position during a typical workday:

___ Sedentary – lifting of no more than 10 pounds

___ Light – lifting no more than 20 pounds; carrying up to 10 pounds

_X_ Medium – lifting no more than 50 pounds; carrying up to 25 pounds

___ Heavy – lifting no more than 100 pounds; carrying up to 50 pounds

___ Very Heavy – team lifting over 100 pounds; carrying more than 50 pounds

Physical Demand Codes: The following describes whether or not the position is expected to exert the physical demands listed during a typical workday as well as the overall frequency of the task:

Codes for how often:

N = No

E = Extensive (100 – 70% of the time)

M = Moderate (60 – 30% of the time)

I = Infrequent (20 – 10% of the time)

A = Almost Never (<10% of the time)

Code / Task

_E_ Standing

_M_ Sitting

_E_ Walking

_M_ Lifting

_E_ Carrying

_E_ Pushing/Pulling

_I_ Overhead Work

_E_ Fine Dexterity

_E_ Kneeling

_E_ Crouching

_E_ Crawling

_E_ Bending

_E_ Twisting

_I_ Climbing


_E_ Vision

_E_ Hearing

_E_ Talking

___ Other:

Other details

  • Pay Type Hourly
  • Min Hiring Rate $17.77
  • Max Hiring Rate $22.60

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