Job Openings - Blank Park Zoo

Bookmark and Share Job Openings

Thank you for your interest in working for the Blank Park Zoo.

The Blank Park Zoo is a respected leader in animal care, education, and conservation of exotic wildlife. The zoo is the only AZA accredited zoo in the state of Iowa.
Applications will only be accepted for available positions. Please make note on application which position you are applying.

The Blank Park Zoo is an equal opportunity employer.
Click here for Internship Opportunities.
Click here for Full-Time Opportunities.
Click here for Seasonal Opportunities.

Full-Time Openings:

There are currently no full time openings available

Part-Time Openings

Part-time Animal Keeper
The Blank Park Zoo is accepting applications for a part-time Animal Keeper in the small mammal department. The position works an average of 20 to 25 hours per week and weekends and occasional evenings are required. 

Essential Duties:

  • Completes tasks related to all aspects of animal care and welfare: preparing diets, feeding, cleaning and disinfecting enclosures, and animal enrichment
  • Complete daily records
  • Follows all protocols to maintain safe conditions for staff and animals
  • Abides by sound ethical practices of caring for animals


  • Ability to handle a flexible workload with a variety of assignments
  • Must be able to operate independently, exercise initiative, and demonstrate capacity for detail and follow-up
  • Possess the ability to communicate with zoo staff and visitors
  • Must be able to work outside in all weather conditions
  • Must be able to bend, twist, and lift 50 pounds

Pay Rate: $10 / hour

To Apply:
Please send cover letter, resume, and zoo application to (please specify position you are seeking in subject line of e-mail) or mail to: Blank Park Zoo, Human Resources, 7401 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50315



The Blank Park Zoo is seeking a reliable individual for the position of custodian. Candidates will be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the zoo facility on a daily basis. Hours vary from 12 – 40 hours per week depending on the time of year.

Essential Duties:

  • Cleans and restocks restrooms and checks them regularly throughout the day.
  • Empties all trash containers daily and as needed.
  • Cleans all litter on Zoo grounds, parking lot, and park property.
  • Assists with set-up for events, banquets, and rentals.
  • Cleans floors, windows, and garbage in lobby, rental spaces, and other public places.
  • Empties trash and recycle containers in the office building.
  • Assists with Zoo’s recycling program.
  • Maintains a clean and safe atmosphere for guests.
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Great customer service and communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Neat and organized
  • Ability to communicate effectively with others
  • Able to work weekends, holidays, special events, and evenings.
  • Ability to work in all weather conditions
  • Proven reliability.
  • Ability to pass background check.
  • Ability to lift and carry 50 pounds.

Pay Rate: $8 / hour

To apply:
Please submit a Blank Park Zoo application by e-mail: or mail: Blank Park Zoo, Human Resources, 7401 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50315


Seasonal Openings:

Temporary Grounds Crew
Accomplish all aspects of zoo grounds maintenance, outdoor and indoor horticulture, equipment maintenance, and snow removal.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The following duties are normal for this position.  These are not to be construed as exclusive or all inclusive.  Other duties may be required and assigned.
  • Responsible for all aspects of zoo grounds maintenance: mowing, trimming, turf maintenance (including fertilization and weed control), watering, edging and leaf removal.
  • Specific duties include daily watering, trimming, pruning, planting / transplanting and daily housekeeping.
  • Responsible for all snow removal on zoo grounds(on call). This includes maintaining safety of zoo grounds, parking lots and drives during inclement weather.
  • Operation of grounds maintenance equipment and related machinery.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Previous work experience in horticulture field preferred.
  • Ability to handle a flexible workload with a variety of assignments.
  • Must be able to operate independently, exercise initiative, and demonstrate capacity for detail and follow-up.
  • Must be able to maintain work hours that will serve the needs of the Foundation (up to 40 hours in the summer and fall). Winter hours will vary based on weather and position will be on call.
Education and/or Experience
High school diploma.
Language Ability 
Ability to communicate effectively to all ages of visitors and staff.
Ability to understand modern grounds management, ability to research all applicable topics.
Iowa motor vehicle license
Physical Demands
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  Ability to bend, twist, lift >50 pounds, etc. to perform horticulture/maintenance/snow removal tasks.
Environmental Adaptability
Ability to function in all types of weather.
To Apply:
Send Blank Park Zoo application to:

Blank Park Zoo
Attn: Human Resources
7401 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50315
Or drop off application to the Zoo during regular business hours.

 Internship Opportunities  

Spring 2015 Animal Care Internships
The Blank Park Zoo is now accepting applications for 2015 spring internships. Internships are open to college students with an interest in exotic animal care, and looking to fulfill an internship for college credit.    Internships are nonpaid; housing and transportation are the responsibility of the intern. 

Internships are available in the Aquatics, Avian & Reptiles, Small mammal & Kids Kingdom (domestic), Education, and Large mammal/hoof-stock areas. 

Interns are required to be here for a minimum of ten weeks and a maximum of twelve weeks.  

Animal Care Interns will be introduced to general animal husbandry practices, including:

  • Daily cleaning and disinfection protocols
  • Animal observation and record keeping
  • Proper diet preparation
  • Exhibit maintenance
  • Public & volunteer interactions
  • Introduction to behavioral enrichment and training
  • Animal restraint and handling
  • Veterinary procedure participation
  • Problem solving


  • College student in good standing, studying zoology, ecology, conservation biology, or related field
  • Proof from university that the internship will be for college credit
  • Negative TB test
  • Successfully complete a background check
  • Capable of lifting 50 lbs.
  • Willing and able to work in all weather conditions
  • Available to work 16 hours per week for a minimum of 10 weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks, including weekends and holidays
  • Previous animal care experience preferred, but not required
  • Select and execute a project with the help of animal care staff, which will be presented at the completion of the internship.
  • Complete BPZ intern courses

To apply:
Please send an Animal Care Intern Application, resume and cover letter indicating department of interest to: Christine Eckles, Volunteer Manager, 7401 SW 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50315 or email: 

Click here for the 2015 Spring Animal Care Intern Application

Application Deadline: November 1, 2014


Job Application


Copyright © 2014 Blank Park Zoo. All Rights Reserved.