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Aquatic Animal Technician

Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University

Job Details

The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Department of Biology is seeking to hire an Aquatic Animal Technician who will ensure technical and aquatic animal husbandry services at the JHU Department of Biology and Carnegie Institute of Embryology (EMB). Primary responsibilities include the provision of animal husbandry to aquatic species (zebrafish and coral) that may be utilized in biomedical research, welfare, and technical assistance in support of research initiatives. The Aquatic Animal Technician works independently in tasks that are routinely performed, performs sanitation, husbandry and research support functions, and conducts work in accordance with several policies including the JHU and EMB Animal Care and use committee policies, and the standard operating procedures for the animal facility.

The position requires working occasional weekends, working holidays and responding to alarms outside of routine work hours on a rotating basis.

Specific Duties & Responsibilities

  • Provision of animal husbandry to aquatic species (zebrafish and corals) and husbandry room activities.
  • Provide animal care and husbandry services.
  • Observe and report any abnormalities in animals, equipment, or facilities to the Lead Aquatics Manager, investigators, or building managers.
  • Identify and report potential problem areas with personnel, equipment, or facilities.
  • Perform husbandry and environmental monitoring in accordance with established SOPs.
  • Ensure that procedures and practices involving the program of animal care are followed.
  • Assist, when requested, in experimental planning and logistics and scheduling of projects (such as zebrafish sperm freezing, gate pulling, breeding programs).
  • Participate in an ongoing employee training program.
  • Perform job tasks and duties in compliance with facility policies and regulations.
  • Adhere to equipment sanitation and sterilization schedules.
  • Ensure that records, logbooks, databases, and other project records are appropriately maintained.
  • Recommend changes in operational procedures that might increase the efficiency or effectiveness of work procedures or practices.
  • Responsible for completing assigned duties according to established procedures, guidelines, and instructions.
  • Will professionally communicate and interact with multiple lead investigators depending on the research animal area.
  • Recognize animal illness, abnormal water chemistry values, and abnormal behaviors of animals, correctly notifying the responsible personnel immediately.
  • Adhere to established SOPs.
  • Assist in the receipt of animals, supplies, and feed.
  • Assure accurate reporting and maintenance of routinely used items.
  • Support and comply with quality control/quality assurance and training programs.
  • Maintain a current knowledge of existing and proposed laws, regulations, and guidelines affecting the care and use of the animal.
  • Effectively communicate in English (both oral and written form) and demonstrate use of good leadership, team building, and management skills.
  • Technical service to include maintaining all aquatic support equipment, breeding schedules, stock/strain breeding, setup of fish breeding tanks for investigator use, and maintaining all aquatic facilities.
  • Change aquatic holding tanks as per SOP to maintain appropriate water quality and provide visibility of animals for daily observations.
  • Deliver dirty tanks to designated facilities, run cage wash as needed and return clean items to proper location.
  • Applies aquatic terminology in all methods of communication.
  • Safely and correctly handles and restrains animals for observation or minor procedures.
  • Applies knowledge of basic aquatic water chemistry and monitors water quality weekly.
  • Assists in coordinating the use of all aquatic procedure areas.
  • Keeping areas stocked with supplies, (e.g., crossing tanks, nets, screens, etc.).
  • Applies knowledge of similarities and differences of types of aquatics holding systems.
  • Inventories supplies on a daily basis and follows proper ordering procedures for restocking supplies.
  • Participate in weekly and monthly facility meetings and report to Lead Aquatics Manager.

Special Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

  • The successful candidate will have strong interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills.
  • Must have the basic knowledge of computer software as in word and excel.
  • Must be reliable in attendance to ensure animals receive the appropriate level of care.
  • Supervise husbandry staff in feeding and daily maintenance protocols for consistency in care.
  • Routine work hours are between 8am-4pm hours are dictated by the institutional research schedule, weekend, and holiday work to be scheduled on a rotating basis.
  • Requires responding to facility aquaria alarms outside of routine work hours.
  • Employees may be required to work outside performing tasks associated with picking up and delivering animals, supplies and small equipment; transporting waste and recyclables; moving equipment into and out of remote storage locations; traveling from one facility to another; and climbing ladders.

Technical Qualifications or Specialized Certifications

  • Basic aquatics knowledge.

Physical Requirements

  • Lifting/moving requirements - up to 50 pounds. Must be able to push, pull, climb, stoop, kneel, bend, reach, walk, sit, and stand for prolonged periods.
  • Animal care and technical duties will be performed indoors in an animal care vivarium and a laboratory facility.
  • Laboratory environments and/or animal care work areas may be prone to hot and humid conditions, and subject to objectionable odors, aerosols, dust, and noise.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • The person must be able to supervise 2-3 undergrad work study students on their weekend workday.
  • They must supervise student workers who will help the hire feed and clean tanks.

Minimum Qualifications
  • High School Diploma or graduation equivalent. Associate's degree in Veterinary Technology, Animal Science or Biology preferred.
  • One year of related experience.
  • Additional education may substitute for required experience, to the extent permitted by the JHU equivalency formula.

Classified Title: Veterinary Technician
Job Posting Title (Working Title): Aquatic Animal Technician
Role/Level/Range: ACRO40/E/02/CC
Starting Salary Range: Min $15.50 - Max $26.00 HRLY (Commensurate with experience)
Employee group: Full Time
Schedule: Monday - Friday (Weekends Occasionally)
Exempt Status: Non-Exempt
Location: Homewood Campus
Department name: Biology
Personnel area: School of Arts & Sciences

Please refer to the job description above to see which forms of equivalency are permitted for this position. If permitted, equivalencies will follow these guidelines:
JHU Equivalency Formula: 30 undergraduate degree credits (semester hours) or 18 graduate degree credits may substitute for one year of experience. Additional related experience may substitute for required education on the same basis. For jobs where equivalency is permitted, up to two years of non-related college course work may be applied towards the total minimum education/experience required for the respective job.

**Applicants who do not meet the posted requirements but are completing their final academic semester/quarter will be considered eligible for employment and may be asked to provide additional information confirming their academic completion date.

The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check. Johns Hopkins is committed to hiring individuals with a justice-involved background, consistent with applicable policies and current practice. A prior criminal history does not automatically preclude candidates from employment at Johns Hopkins University. In accordance with applicable law, the university will review, on an individual basis, the date of a candidate's conviction, the nature of the conviction and how the conviction relates to an essential job-related qualification or function.

The Johns Hopkins University values diversity, equity and inclusion and advances these through our key strategic framework, the JHU Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion.

Johns Hopkins has mandated COVID-19 and influenza vaccines, as applicable. The COVID-19 vaccine does not apply to positions located in the State of Florida. Exceptions to the COVID and flu vaccine requirements may be provided to individuals for religious beliefs or medical reasons. Requests for an exception must be submitted to the JHU vaccination registry. For additional information, applicants for SOM positions should visit and all other JHU applicants should visit

The following additional provisions may apply, depending on campus. Your recruiter will advise accordingly.

The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas, laboratories, working with research subjects, or involving community contact requires documentation of immune status against Rubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may include documentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicella vaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratory testing. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases are ordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except for those employees who provide results of blood tests or immunization documentation from their own health care providers. Any vaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no cost in our Occupational Health office.

Note: Job Postings are updated daily and remain online until filled.


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