Santa Barbara Zoo

Animal Food Preparation Technician (Part-time)


Santa Barbara, CA


Part Time

SCHEDULE:  Part-time 2 days per week (12-18 hours per week guaranteed) possibly more depending on availability and needs. Tentative schedule includes 1 weekend day and 1 weekday.

COMPENSATION: $11.00 per hour


 Under the general direction of the Animal Nutritionist, the Food Preparation Technician is responsible for the preparation of animal diets for the Zoo’s animal collection, maintaining the cleanliness of the animal kitchen, freezer, refrigerator and all dishware.


ESSENTIAL DUTIES include the following:


  • Maintains cleanliness of Zoo’s animal kitchen throughout the day.
  • Operates automatic dishwasher to wash all dishes, buckets, and utensils.
  • Performs cleaning duties such as disinfecting and sanitizing all surfaces and mopping all floors.
  • Monitors temperature of walk-in refrigerator and freezer
  • Receives written and oral instructions concerning animal diets to be prepared.
  • Interprets established diets accurately.
  • Cuts fruits, vegetables, and other food items.
  • Uses scales to weigh and measure designated ingredients accurately according to written diets.
  • Works with many different types of food preparation equipment including, knives, dicer, grinder, blender, hot plate, and microwave.
  • Restocks and shelves food items in All animal food storage areas.
  • Stores completed diets for the day in the animal kitchen refrigerator.
  • Adheres to Zoo’s cleanliness and sterilization standards.
  • Adheres to Zoo’s policies and procedures as outlined in the Employee Policy Manual.
  • Follows Santa Barbara Zoo Animal Kitchen Standard Operating Guidelines/Protocols
  • Follows all Santa Barbara Green Business practices/standards when possible.
  • Follows all recognized AZA and USDA food safety handling and best practices
  • Attends bi-monthly all-employee meetings.




  • Other Animal Care department functions as necessary
  • Special team assignments as appropriate
  • Guest Relations
  • Greets every guest with a smile.
  • Thanks guests for supporting/visiting the Zoo.
  • Answers phone calls, voice mails, and e-mails promptly.
  • Ensures the Zoo’s presentation standards for cleanliness and maintenance are met by keeping work areas clean, picking up trash, reporting unsafe or unsightly conditions.
  • Associates with guests to assist and share information.
  • Responds to all guest inquiries, complaints, and comments according to Zoo guest relation procedures.
  • Maintains a clean neat appearance and adheres to the Zoo’s uniform dress code.
  • Takes responsibility to stay informed about happenings at the Zoo, such as reading employee communications and attending meetings.
  • Reflects the qualities outlined in the Guest Relations Statement and the Employee Pledge.




To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements and environmental characteristics described below are representative of the knowledge, skill, ability, and working and physical elements required of the position.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Education and Experience:

  • Minimum 18 years of age

License, Certification, or Preferred Qualifications:

  • Some animal-related or food prep work preferred.
  • Valid driver’s license with good driving record is desirable

Knowledge, Skills and Ability:

  • Ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
  • Ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to develop productive and friendly relationships at work.
  • Ability to interact courteously and respectfully with supervisors, fellow employees, volunteers, and our guest.
  • Ability to exercise safe work habits.


Physical Demands & Work Environment:

  • Requires the ability to access all areas of the facility.
  • Requires the ability to negotiate the zoo work environment including behind-the-scenes, lawns, gravel, and hilltop.
  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds occasionally and 10 or fewer pounds frequently. 
  • Must be able to unload and shelve dry goods in grain storage up to 50-pound bags.
  • Must be able to stand/walk during entire shift.
  • Ability to perform physical activities that require considerable use of arms and legs and moving the whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Ability to exert a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly push, pull or otherwise move objects.
  • Ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.
  • Ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Exposure to cleaning solutions.
  • Exposure to sharp objects and hot surfaces.
  • Involves working out-of-doors in all weather conditions.Supportive and open employment culture.


Tools Used:

  • Scale
  • Automatic dishwasher
  • Two-way radio
  • Hand tools
  • Standard kitchen utensils, knives, and equipment
  • Grinder
  • Hot Plate
  • Microwave
  • Blender
  • Chopper/Dicer

This job description is representative of the expectations of the position described.  Additional duties, reporting relationships, and/or position criteria may be assigned as deemed necessary by the Chief Executive Officer or authorized representative.  No changes to this job description shall be made without written permission from the Chief Executive Officer or authorized representative.


The Zoo reserves the right to revise this job description at any time.  The job description does not constitute a contract for employment and does not guarantee employment for any specified period of time.  The job description does not in any way alter the at-will employment relationship.

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Because we do business with the government, we must reach out to, hire, and provide equal opportunity to qualified people with disabilities1. To help us measure how well we are doing, we are asking you to tell us if you have a disability or if you ever had a disability. Completing this form is voluntary, but we hope that you will choose to fill it out. If you are applying for a job, any answer you give will be kept private and will not be used against you in any way.

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