Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$20 adults, $15 children

View All Rates ›

Open Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
$20 adults, $15 children

View All Rates ›

Seasonal Train Driver

Date Posted
February 12, 2024

Job Details

FLSA Classification: Nonexempt Seasonal
Salary Grade: To be determined
Reports to: Guest Experience Manager
Department: Operations

The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa is a non-profit organization and home to more than 2,800 animals representing nearly 240 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, and is fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The mission of the Blank Park Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education, research and recreation.

Position Purpose

Under the direction of the Guest Experience Manager or Manager on Duty, the Train Driver will operate the train throughout the assigned shift. They will perform daily maintenance checks, give an approximately 10-minute long ride while doing a speech, and help load and unload the train between rides. The speech includes information about the individual animals living at the zoo, as well as information about the zoo’s conservation and education programs. Additionally, the Train Driver supports our Zoo Mission, which is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education, research, and recreation.  

Essential Functions

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.

  • Operate the Train for the entirety of the scheduled shift including walking the full train track and performing daily maintenance checks
  • Comfortable with public speaking – must give a short speech during every ride
  • Ability to communicate effectively with guests, co-workers, and other zoo staff
  • Enthusiastic and outgoing personality
  • Excellent customer service and communication skills
  • Basic experience with vehicles, comfortable performing maintenance checks
  • Able to work weekends, holidays, special events, and evenings
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and be over the age of 18
  • Ability to pass a background check



  • Enthusiastic – Must be excited about the zoo and our mission
  • Attentive – Must be aware of the surrounding environment at all times, even while performing a speech
  • Detail Orientated – Must pay attention to small details and report anything out of the ordinary to the manager and/or maintenance staff
  • Flexible – Ability to be flexible with available hours
  • Positive – Must be a positive and effective team member
  • Communicator – Must be able to communicate politely and effectively with guests and other staff members
  • Efficient – Ability to quickly and competently complete tasks

Supervisory/Management Responsibilities


Work Environment

While performing the duties of the job, the incumbent is required to work both indoors and outdoors with exposure to seasonal weather conditions for daily operations. This individual will be exposed to computer monitors. The noise level is moderate to loud. Operating the Train Engine will expose the driver to additional heat in addition to ambient heat.

Physical Requirements

The physical requirements described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to successfully perform the essential functions. 

Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles and the like.

☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally         ☒ Constantly   

Moving self in different positions to accomplish tasks in various environments including tight and confined spaces.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally         ☒ Constantly

Remaining in a stationary position, often standing or sitting for prolonged periods.
☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly

Moving about to accomplish tasks or moving from one worksite to another.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally         ☒ Constantly

Adjusting or moving objects up to 50 pounds in all directions.
☐ Never          ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

Communicating with others to exchange information.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally         ☒ Constantly

Repeating motions that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers.
☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally          ☒ Constantly

Operating machinery and/or power tools.
☒ Never         ☐ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

Operating motor vehicles or heavy equipment.
☐ Never         ☐ Occasionally          ☒ Constantly

Assessing the accuracy, neatness and thoroughness of the work assigned.
☐ Never        ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

☐ Never        ☐ Occasionally           ☒ Constantly

Stooping, kneeling, crouching, or crawling –
☐ Never         ☒ Occasionally          ☐ Constantly

Reaching with hands and arms.

☐ Never          ☐ Occasionally         ☒ Constantly

Tasting or smelling.

 ☐ Never         ☒ Occasionally         ☐ Constantly


☒ Close vision;  ☒Distant vision;  ☒ Color vision;  ☒ Peripheral vision;  ☒Depth perception;  ☒ Ability to adjust focus

Lifting Requirement.
☐ > than 50 pounds        ☒ Up to 50 pounds         ☐ Up to 40 pounds         ☐ Up to 25 pounds               ☐ Up to 10 pounds

Required education and experience

  • Public speaking experience preferred

Additional eligibility requirements

  • Must be able to maintain work hours that will serve the needs of the Blank Park Zoo
  • Must be able to maintain calm and act professionally in all situations such as emergencies and guest interactions.


  • First Aid/CPR Training preferred
  • State of Iowa Driver’s License or ability to obtain

Other Duties

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.  

Affirmative Action/EEO Statement

Blank Park Zoo is an equal opportunity employer and gives employment and promotional consideration without regard to race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, and any other protected class as required by local, state, or federal law. We seek applicants for employment who are dedicated, hardworking and seek fulfilling employment. In return, Blank Park Zoo offers competitive income, benefits, and an excellent working environment.

Contact Information

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