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Job Description: Herpetology Keeper

Status: Full Time, Non-Exempt, 37.5 hours a week

Department:  Herpetology

General Statement of Duties

The Herpetology Keeper is responsible for all aspects of Museum’s herpetology collection, both ambassador and exhibit animals. Works in cooperation with curatorial staff as well as other departments to achieve established facility/operational and AZA standards.  This position recognizes the capacity to achieve greater results by integrating skilled volunteers, leveraging their diverse knowledge and skills.  This position reports directly to the Herpetology Curator.



  • Bachelor’s degree or current progress towards it in biology or related field. Or significant professional animal care experience may be considered.
  • Minimum one year of experience in general animal husbandry with reptiles, amphibians, and their life support systems.
  • Ability to physically maintain enclosures and cages to safely and effectively house the herpetology collection.
  • Make exhibit repairs/improvements while ensuring safety of coworkers and general public.
  • Proficiency in the use and operation power tools, hand tools.
  • Excellent reliability, communication, and observational skills.
  • Ability to speak well with groups of all ages.
  • Passion for animals, their welfare and conservation.
  • Self-assurance to handle animals with confidence and patience.
  • Must be self-reliant and motivated.
  • Must be able to remain calm, make sound decisions and provide clear directions in a crisis situation.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Be a positive, enthusiastic representative of the Virginia Living Museum.
  • The Herpetology Keeper will ensure high customer satisfaction by engaging with museum visitors and answering their questions.
  • Enhance guest experience by providing engaging tours and educational enrichment activities.
  • Provide daily husbandry of herpetology collection (exhibit and ambassador).
  • Maintain a clean and organized work environment.
  • Handling/Restraining reptiles and amphibians which may include: frogs, toads, salamanders, snakes, lizards, turtles, alligators.
  • Train and work with venomous reptiles, and consistently adhering to all safety guidelines.
  • Help to ensure all quarantine procedures are followed.
  • Train, supervise, and work with animal care volunteers.
  • Develop and provide regular enrichment to the collection.
  • Maintain accurate cleaning, feeding records and charts.
  • Assist with routine data collection including: ultraviolet-B light intensity, temperature, weight, water quality, and samples for medical tests.
  • Observe, report, and communicate any unusual animal behavior, changes in eating habits, signs of stress or abnormalities of any kind.
  • Assist with veterinary care and provide medications as needed.
  • Assist with routine food prep, maintenance of live feeder food colonies, and the feeding of the live animal collection.
  • Address public inquiries personally or via phone, fax, or email. Inquiries may involve providing information concerning animal identification, husbandry, relocation, injuries, etc.
  • Properly secure all animal enclosures on a daily basis.
  • Ensure all animal habitats are safe and look professional, create work order for any needed maintenance.
  • Follow safety guidelines and report any safety concerns to supervisor.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Essential Job Requirements

  • Must be able to express or exchange ideas by means of the spoken word and perceive detailed information through oral communication.
  • Ability to lift and/or exert up to 50 pounds of force.
  • Must comfortable around a variety of live animals and wildlife.
  • The candidate must have visual acuity to be able to operate motor vehicles and/or equipment.
  • Must be able to sit, stand, walk, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, reach, push, pull, lift, grasp, feel, and utilize repetitive motions.
  • Must be able to move throughout the Museum’s building(s) and outdoor trail as needed.
  • The candidate will be subject to outdoor environmental conditions such as wind, humidity, and extreme temperatures.

Supervision Exercised: None

This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by this employee.  This position, Animal Keeper will be required to follow any other instructions and to perform any other related duties as assigned by the appropriate Supervisor/Director.  The Virginia Living Museum reserves the right to update, revise or change the job description and related duties at any time.


Qualified applicants please submit a VLM Employment Application, cover letter, resume and references.

No phone calls, please.


FAX: 757-534-7419

 Download VLM application