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You are here: The Job Explorer > Job Description > Animal Care > Animal Caretaker Responsibilities

Animal Caretaker Duties

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This is manual, technical, and limited supervisory work in the care and use of research and teaching animals.
Work involves caring for and use of animals used in research and teaching programs in accordance with general instructions received from a supervisor. Work is performed under general direction and performance is judged by the condition of the animals, the cleanliness of the facilities, and the orderly function of the animal care unit.


Feeds, waters, and cares for laboratory animals. Prepares and feeds specialized or modified diets as directed.

Cleans cages, rooms, and adjacent areas. Maintains assigned areas in an orderly and sanitary manner.

Operates mechanical cage and bottle washer equipment, high-pressure washers, and autoclaves. Uses chemical cleaners, detergents, and disinfectants in sanitation of equipment and premises.

Performs minor paramedical functions under close supervision to include the administration of drugs and the collection of specimens such as blood, urine, and feces from a variety of animals. Recognizes and reports unusual signs or abnormal behavior and reports to investigator and veterinarians.

Routinely handles, restrains, relocates, and transports animals within the facilities to and from farms and markets and to and from airports.

Receives, identifies, and houses animals.

Maintains records including animal medical records, animal inventory, animal sales and transfers, receipt and identification records, and inventory of supplies.

Receives and stores materials and supplies. Notifies administrative personnel when inventory needs replenishing.

Instructs and supervises on-the-job training of subordinate animal care personnel. Assists in the didactic aspects of animal caretaker training program.

Operates animal breeding colony within the facility, maintaining proper records and applying genetic principles.

Performs related work as required.


Completion of high school; considerable experience in the care of laboratory animals; or any equivalent combination of training and experience.

American Association for Laboratory Animal Science certification.

Experience and knowledge in the care of animals, including ability to recognize signs of illness and abnormality.

Manual skill and dexterity in care and handling of animals.

Ability to understand experimental work with animals under care in order to insure control of animal care practices that might affect experimental results.

Ability to operate and provide simple maintenance of equipment used in an animal care facility.

Ability to perform some administrative and technical tasks related to animal care.

Ability to assist in supervision and training of subordinate animal caretakers.

Ability to perform simple routine paramedical functions.



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