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Life Support Systems Technician

Denver Zoo is a leader in animal care, wildlife conservation, and education. We are passionate about our commitment to excellence in support of our mission of Inspiring Communities to Save Wildlife for Future Generations.

Denver Zoo honors our animals, staff, and guests by conducting ourselves at the highest level of integrity through our Core Actions — Inspire Awe: Safety, Care, Connect and by embracing our Core Values of: Welcoming, United, Curious, Courageous and Transformative in all that we do.

The Life Support Systems Technician advances Denver Zoo’s mission, core values, and goals by overseeing the activities of the Life Support Systems Shop. The individual performs all aspects of work for the purpose of design, construction, maintenance, repair, and installation of life support systems, equipment, and materials.  This position reports to the Life Support Manager and occasionally serves in a supervisory role over outside consultants/suppliers/contractors hired in a life support systems capacity.

Our staff is a dedicated and diverse group of individuals committed to providing quality care to our animals while creating moments of awe for guests.  If you are a like-minded individual and thrive in a dynamic, fast paced and innovative culture, Denver Zoo is the place for you!

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Report incurred expenses to the Life Support Systems Manager.
  • Participate in the design of new and modified life support systems.  Helps to implement approved designs.
  • Purchase life support system-related equipment, tools, chemicals and materials.
  • Help to coordinate outside contractors, including ensuring compliance with the Outside Contractor Code of Conduct, communicating methods of procedure (MOP’s), tracking project schedule, and performing quality control.
  • Ensure compliance with current regulations, codes, and industry standards.
  • Collect water samples, perform various water quality tests, help to operate and maintain an on-site water quality laboratory, transports water samples to outside testing agencies when necessary, records data, and prepares assigned reports/records, (i.e. daily reports, water quality logs, equipment inspection logs, and other pertinent data on Life Support Systems (LSS) and facilities as required.  Utilize in-house computer data systems and software.  Implement necessary adjustments to water chemistry, as needed.
  • Perform inspections of all life support equipment for preventative maintenance, routine upkeep, and repair of all facility life support system components, including media replacement when needed.
  • Follow applicable standard operating procedures (SOP’s).
  • Perform preventative maintenance (PM) on life support systems and maintains records of work performed.
  • Help to rebuild small pumps, bearing motors, and impeller assembles.
  • Perform plumbing, installation and repair on LSS.
  • Assist Pump Technician with pump service and maintenance.
  • Perform filtration operation including back washing, media replacement, ozone adjustment, compressor servicing and adjustments.
  • Help coordinate or self-performs PM work on all components of ozone systems, including ozone generators, ambient ozone analyzers and compressors, alarm systems, and pumps.
  • Work cooperatively with other departments, (i.e. Animal, Education, Guest Services, etc.) and outside contractors.
  • Maintain satisfactory working relationships and a professional appearance.
  • Operate a variety of light and medium equipment.
  • Maintain records on required and competed Work Orders.
  • Set priorities in alignment with Inspire Awe:
    • Safety first, always
    • Care demonstrated through exceptional guest service
    • Connect with each guest utilizing ROADMAP’s guest engagement strategies and program development process
  • Demonstrate a commitment to Denver Zoo’s Sustainability Policies by adhering to all environmental, safety, & health regulations, procedures, and goals.
  • Act in accordance with Denver Zoo’s Core Values: Welcoming, Curious, United, Courageous, Transformative in all interactions with staff, guest, volunteers, and vendors.

Other Responsibilities and Duties

  • Working occasional nights, weekends, and holidays, or placed on emergency on call capacity may be required.
  • Compose and maintain thorough documentation.
  • Prepare work plans using blue prints, sketches, schematics, and digital models.
  • Plan and coordinate installation, maintenance, and repair work with other trades areas.
  • Attend meetings, as needed.
  • Maintain records, prepares reports, and submits completed work orders in a timely manner.
  • Willingness to work in confined spaces and in the vicinity of fall hazards.  Denver Zoo will provide confined space, fall protection training and PPE.
  • Knowledge of materials, methods, and the appropriate tools to construct objects, structures, and buildings where related to LSS.
  • Ability to read and communicate using manuals, plans, shop drawings, specifications, digital models, maps, and written and verbal instructions.
  • Must possess good interpersonal communications skills.
  • Must possess excellent customer service skills.
  • Ability to interpret values on numerical gauges.
  • Skill in maintaining and organizing files, records and documents.
  • Willing to work with chemicals including acids, chlorine, bromine, and ozone.
  • Ability to work independently without supervision, and is expected to develop a strong sense of responsibility for the systems throughout the zoo.
  • Perform various duties as assigned.

Technical / Professional Requirements & Qualifications

  • High School diploma or equivalent; Associate Degree is preferred.
  • Minimum two years’ experience in aquatic life support systems, both fresh and saltwater
  • Experience working in an accredited Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) facility preferred
  • Minimum 1 year practical lab experience for both fresh and saltwater
  • Certified Pool Operator (CPO) certification preferred, required with-in the first year of employment
  • Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) certification preferred, required with-in the first year of employment
  • Knowledge of both open and closed loop water systems
  • AALSO Life Support Technician Level 1 preferred, required with-in the first year of employment
  • Skilled in PVC plumbing and design as it relates to life support systems.
  • Intermediate computer skills including Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • General mechanical aptitude and math skills.

Position Conditions

  • Ability to pass a physical examination, background check and pre-employment drug and alcohol screen.
  • Clear driving record
  • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs.
  • Certified Pool Operator (CPO) certification preferred, required with-in the first year of employment.
  • Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) certification preferred, required with-in the first year of employment.


Range for this position is $24.43-$29.93 (hourly).


This is a full-time position with excellent benefits including medical, dental and vision benefits; life insurance; short term and long-term disability; 403(b) retirement plan; and vacation and sick leave.

Application Process and Timelines

Open until filled. Review of applications will begin immediately.  Denver Zoo reserves the right to close the position prior to this date.

Denver Zoo is following all CDC guidelines. CDC states that receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is the best defense against the spread of, and severe illness due to, COVID-19.  Denver Zoo highly encourages our employees to be vaccinated.  We do ask for employees to upload their vaccination card into our HRIS for documentation.  This information is kept confidential.

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and others who identify as nonwhite, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and those with lived experience with racism and/or misogynoir are encouraged to apply for this role.

Denver Zoo is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected status or any other characteristic protected by law.