Detroit Zoological Society
  • Animal Health
  • Royal Oak, MI, USA
  • Full-time

Reports to: Aquatic Life Support Supervisor

Department: Animal Health

Position Type: Full-time

FLSA Status: Exempt


The Aquatic Life Support Technician installs, monitors, and maintains aquatic life support systems for exhibits at the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center.


The Aquatic Life Support Technician will support, both publicly and privately, the principles of the Detroit Zoological Society.  The Aquatic Life Support Technician will maintain a professional manner when dealing with all constituencies and always preserve a high level of confidentiality.


This job description is by no means all inclusive and may be subject to change during a performance period due to the needs of the Detroit Zoological Society and its leadership.  This document will be reviewed on a continual basis and will be modified as needed.

Authority and Accountability

The Aquatic Life Support Technician has the authority to carry out the job requirements and responsibilities and is accountable to the Chief Veterinarian.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Oversee all aquatic life support systems and assist personnel who work with the systems.
  • Ensure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations pertaining to water quality for animals.
  • Monitor water chemistry, clarity, and temperature.
  • Perform required testing of water samples as appropriate.
  • Perform other water quality testing related to animal health issues as appropriate.
  • Administer chemical treatment of pools as needed.
  • Perform maintenance of life support systems, including, but not limited to, backwashing filters, cleaning filters, cleaning tanks, and replacing parts.
  • Maintain water chemistry, treatment and maintenance records.
  • Design and install single- and multi-tank life support systems for fish, amphibians, and invertebrates.
  • Contribute to the planning and design of new facilities with aquatic life support components.
  • Oversee and participate in the installation of new systems when necessary.
  • Conduct educational presentations in both formal and informal settings.
  • Perform other duties as required.


Working Conditions

Work is performed indoors and outdoors with exposure to all seasonal  weather conditions, with frequent exposure to and contact with dangerous animals, with risk of zoonotic disease transmission (Hepatitis B, Herpes B, Tuberculosis, Salmonella and others), and with exposure to computer monitors.  Weekend and evening will be required as necessary.  Ability to stand for extended periods and perform repetitive actions. Emergency response to aquatic life support and water quality issues will be required as necessary.

Physical Requirements

The ability to perform principal duties is required.  The Aquatic Life Support Technician must be able to lift and move objects weighing up to 50 pounds.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


  • Bachelor's degree in an aquatic science or a related engineering field.
  • One year of experience working with aquaculture or public aquarium life support systems.



  • Certification through the American Associate of Life Support Operators or equivalent professional organization is encouraged.


Created: [Date]

Revised: 11-25-13

R:JOB DESCRIPTIONS Animal Health Aquatic Life Support Technician

Detroit Zoological Society
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