Employment opportunities
Seasonal Educators

Seasonal Educators

Now Hiring

The Niabi Zoo Education Department is now hiring for a year round educator position. This education position will work closely with the Curator of Conservation & Education to provide engaging educational experiences to Niabi Zoo's guests, including children, adults, school class trips, Niabi Zoo Junior Zookeepers, and attendees of Niabi Zoo summer courses.

This position contributes to the success of Niabi Zoo by providing exceptional educational programs, guest experiences, and contributions to conservation science. Under general supervision plans and conducts programs for all ages, handles animals, and helps design graphics and signs. The employee receives continuing or individual assignments from the supervisor, generally indicating work to be done, limitations, quality and quantity expected deadlines, and priority of assignments. This position receives assignments from the Curator of Conservation and Education, who defines objectives, priorities, and deadlines, and assists with unusual situations that do not have a clear precedent.  This position is permanent and part time in nature, and requires less than 20 hours of work per week.

  1. Performing on-site educational tours.
      2. Performing on-site educational programming which includes live animal programs. 
  1. Conducting birthday parties with an environmental emphasis.
      4. Conducting outreach educational programs and nature programs as needed. 
  1. Assisting in the planning and implementation of all special events.
      6. Ability to work with graphic programs to integrate in educational printed materials such as, brochures, self-guided tours, and     materials for educators.    
      7. Wearing proper designated uniform during regular zoo hours.

      8. Follows all safety procedures that pertain to the duties performed. 
  1. Represents the zoo and the education department and promotes its interests externally.
    1. Represents the zoo’s position and interests in animal conservation and other issues in a well-informed, positive, and responsive manner.
    2. Keeps abreast of trends, information, and emerging issues related to areas of responsibility.
    3. Represents the zoo to external visitors, Board members, donors, visiting colleagues, etc.
  1. Performs other related duties as assigned.
Education, Experience, & License Requirements
  • Must have obtained or be in pursuit of bachelor’s degree in education or life sciences supplemented by one year of experience involving informal education and the handling of a variety of animals, or an equivalent combination of experience and training.
  • Experience with public speaking, working with the public and excellent writing skills required.
  • Must have an appropriate, valid driver’s license.
Competency and Knowledge Requirements
  • Knowledge of the animal kingdom and natural history.
  • Ability to work with and care for all types of live animals used in programs.
  • Organize and present enthusiastic, educational and entertaining programs.
  • Must be dependable, courteous and able to work with people of all ages.
  • Must be able to research and interpret data and implement into written form for presentations.
  • Strong interest in/commitment to conservation, animals, and the natural world.
  • Knowledge of departmental practices, policies, and procedures.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, Niabi Zoological Society board members, Rock Island County Forest Preserve District representatives, volunteers, dignitaries, and the public.
  • Ability to be an effective decision-maker and problem-solver.
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills, including verbal, written, and listening skills.
  • Strong observation, analytical, and organizational skills and abilities.
  • Must be flexible, cooperative, and able to adapt easily to shifting priorities.
  • Must be willing to work nights, weekends, and holidays as needed.
  • Ability to perform duties in occasionally unpleasant surroundings.
Physical Requirements
Position involves the regular, and at times sustained, performance of heavier physical tasks such as walking over rough or uneven surfaces, bending, stooping, working in confined spaces, and lifting or carrying moderately heavy (20-50 pound) items and occasionally very heavy (100 pounds or over) items; or may involve the complex operation of gasoline, electric, or diesel-powered machinery or shop equipment requiring the manipulation of  multiple controls, fine adjustments or both; or the sustained operation of items such as a keyboard or adding equipment.
Environmental requirements
Position may require frequent exposure to adverse environmental conditions.
Sensory Requirements
Position requires color perception and discrimination. Position requires sound perception and discrimination. Position requires taste perception and discrimination. Position requires odor perception and discrimination. Position requires depth perception and discrimination. Position requires texture perception and discrimination.  Position requires visual perception and discrimination. Position requires oral communications ability.

Applicants should have a background in education or currently in pursuit of an education-related degree. An outgoing personality and a willingness to learn are essential to these positions. Both full-time and part-time positions may be available. To apply, download and complete the Seasonal Employee Application and email it to Jill Roderick or mail it to:

Niabi Zoo
c/o Jill Roderick
12908 Niabi Zoo Road
Coal Valley, IL 61240

This positions pays a rate of $8.50-9.00 per hour.