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Craftsworker Aide – Life Support

Job Function and Responsibilities

Visiting a zoo reinforces not only how critical water is but the comprehensive Life Support Systems that provide the healthy ecosystem for the diversity of animals we are privileged to care for.  Zoo Life Support Systems, from simple to large and complex must be maintained at the highest quality to provide safe and stable environments essential for animal welfare while providing a naturalistic and aesthetically pleasing design to guests.  Brookfield Zoo has over sixty (60) different aquatic systems (ranging from 10 gallons to 60,000 gallons) and water features along with the creation of special effect environments ranging from basic rain to humid rain forests to provide optimal environmental conditions for our over 4,500 animals’ unique needs and meeting the Association of Zoos and Aquariums standards.

The Craftsworker Aide, Life Support will perform highly skilled crafts duties associated with Life Support Systems located throughout 235 acres ensuring all systems, equipment, and facilities are operating to the highest standards as it relates to water quality, animal health and facility maintenance.  Responsibilities include daily water testing, pool and equipment checks, making adjustments as needed to pool and water chemistry; accurate recordkeeping; maintaining and making repairs to valves, actuators, piping, ozone generators, compressors, etc. 

The Craftsworker Aide, Life Support contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society by performing skilled and semi-skilled craftworker duties focused on life support systems supporting the Society’s mission and identified goals related to asset protection, financial sustainability, guest experience and animal welfare.  Ensures work performed provides a safe environment for guests, employees and animal collection and that exhibits and facilities are functional, in a well-maintained state, and support the Society’s objectives.

The duties and responsibilities:

  • Perform skilled and semi-skilled crafts duties throughout the park with direct guidance.  Assure work performed meets section standards, client specifications, applicable codes and standards, and program goals and is aesthetically pleasing to guests.  This includes operating, maintaining and troubleshooting several types of life support systems, including, but not limited to a dolphin/pinniped system, a salt-water fish building, and bear exhibit and splash pads. Works cooperatively with peers, managers, and clients.
  • Adhere to established quality control standards. Ensure all work performed meets set standards and specifications and complies with established quality control standards.
  • Perform duties associated with the Life Support overhead operating program, including following the Labor Allocation Sheet system and completing daily labor allocation sheets, with direct guidance, attending and participating in meetings as assigned.
  • Follow established Standard Operating Procedures and carry out associated tasks, as directed, including, but not limited to equipment and maintenance, inventory and purchasing, facility surveys and utility locations.
  • Participate in the section’s emergency response and animal welfare programs as assigned.
  • Other related duties as assigned or directed.

Position Requirements and Specifications

The requirements for this position include the following:

  • Participation in a relevant, accredited training program or 1-2 years relevant experience at a journeyman level in work group field.  High school diploma or GED equivalent required.
  • Ability to read, write and perform all required math commensurate with field of responsibility.
  • Ability to perform all tasks related to field and possess skills in related fields (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, pool work, pumps and filtration.)
  • May require specialty training, certifications, licenses and/or experience in a specific skill area(s) depending on the location, position or work assignment, such as, but not limited to:  carpentry, painting, welding, plumbing, HVAC, electric/water/gas, and/or life support systems.
  • Ability to work in a team-oriented fashion.
  • Good communications and interpersonal skills.
  • English fluency at a professional working proficiency.
  • Cultural competency; experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience.
  • Valid driver’s license required.  Illinois residents must possess a valid Illinois license within 90 days of hire.  Valid out-of-state license required for out-of-state residents.
  • NSPF Certified Pool Operator certificate at the time of hire or within 6 months of hire.
  • SCUBA certification by nationally recognized agency at the time of hire or within 6 months of hire.

The preferred qualifications include:

  • Familiarity with relevant codes related to field preferred.
  • Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus.
  • AALSO Life Support Operator Level I Certification desirable.

Additional Information:  This position description summarizes the primary duties and functions of this position, but should not be considered a complete listing of every duty the incumbent may ever be called upon to perform.  Incumbent is expected to learn the Society’s mission and Life Support operating goals.  Must become familiar with Life Support program section operating program standards. Must represent the Society in a professional manner at all times.  The Craftsworker Aide is a temporary position.

Additional Information

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Workplace safety is the Chicago Zoological Society’s top priority.  We require all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 unless they request and receive a religious or medical exemption.  New hires must have at least received their first vaccine dose prior to their start date.  (Updated 9/16/22)

(Key Words: life support, national swimming pool foundation, AALSO, Aquatic Animal Life Support Operators, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, pool work, pumps, filtration, water quality)

Schedule Details

This is a temporary position that may include rotating shifts, weekdays, weekends as well as holidays, early mornings and/or evenings.