Animal Facility Assistant ​​​​​​​

Maryland, United States
$13.13 (commensurate with experience)
17 Sep 2018
End of advertisement period
17 Nov 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term

Role/Level/Range: USKILLD3/01/BU 
Starting Salary Range: $13.13 (commensurate with experience)
Employee group: Casual 
Schedule: Working 40 hours per week; Monday-Friday 
Employee subgroup: Non-Exempt 
Location: 04-MD:School of Medicine Campus 
Department name: 10003430-SOM Admin Research Animal Resources 
Personnel area: Johns Hopkins University

General summary/purpose:

Is an important member of the research team in providing the highest standards of animal care, welfare and technical assistance in support of research initiatives. Work independently in tasks that are routine yet complex. Conduct work in accordance with several policies including the USDA Animal Welfare Act, the ILAR Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the Johns Hopkins University and the Animal Care and Use Committee policies, and the standard operating procedures for the animal facility.

Performs sanitation, husbandry and all support functions required for the humane care of a wide variety of laboratory animal species including rodents, rabbits, birds, frogs, farm animals, dogs, cats, and non-human primates. Must achieve Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT) certification within fifteen (15) months of employment as Animal Facility Assistant.

Specific duties & responsibilities: 

  • Perform all the tasks of the Animal Cage Washer as needed.
  • Clean, sanitize and sterilize animal cages, feeders, water bottles, animal rooms, support space and related equipment.
  • Fill animal feeders, bowls and water bottles or other containers with the appropriate types and amounts of food and drinking water in accordance with schedules and detailed instructions.
  • Use aseptic technique and disease prevention principles in a Class I or Class II biological safety cabinet. Remove animals from soiled cages and transfers them to clean, sterilized cages in accordance with schedules and detailed instructions.
  • Work under isolation conditions using specialized caging units such as micro-isolation cages and individually ventilated cage systems while adhering to aseptic techniques and disease prevention principles.
  • Place bedding, feed, water bottles, etc. into assembled, sanitized cages.
  • Observe and report to supervisor signs of animal injuries, illness or irregularities in appearance, health and environment such as abnormal food consumption, death, abnormal stool or unusual behavior.
  • Assist in providing routine treatments as instructed including procedures such as ear mite medication, clipping overgrown teeth, etc.
  • Perform euthanasia following detailed training and instructions.
  • Receive and process incoming animals and materials. Assist in examining incoming animals for compliance with specifications, rejecting unsuitable animals and referring questionable cases to the supervisor.
  • Assist in maintaining colonies of genetically altered rodents and may be required to perform data collection.
  • Maintain accurate records of the numbers and types of animals cared for and the animal's food and water consumption.
  • Calculate the animal census.
  • Maintain detailed records of animal room environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, lighting and other environmental controls and report deviations to the supervisor. Note this information on the room environment log sheet.
  • Maintain adequate stock of feed, bedding and other supplies.
  • Report to supervisor the need for repairs to cages and support equipment.
  • Perform preventive maintenance and minor repairs on automated watering systems, individually ventilated cage systems and other support equipment. Adjust and repair automatic drinking devices.
  • Lubricate equipment, make minor adjustments and repairs to cages and other equipment and change air filters related to laboratory animal equipment and facilities as needed, using hand tools if required.
  • Collect, process and remove waste material. Know and follow appropriate procedure for disposal of animal carcasses, bio-hazardous wastes, etc.
  • Observe all safety policies and procedures and use equipment and chemical treatments properly to avoid harming animals, self, others and damaging property.
  • Perform tasks that require the use of personal protective equipment such as safety glasses, safety shoes, protective clothing and gloves, fume hoods, biological safety cabinets, etc.
  • Follow good laboratory practice and good housekeeping procedures in accordance with standard operating procedures, health, safety and environmental policies.
  • Maintain equipment and work area in clean and orderly condition. To sanitize their area, reach upper cages or to clean animal racks or shelves.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum qualifications (mandatory): 

High school degree or equivalent.

Must achieve Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT) certification from the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) within fifteen months of employment as an Animal Facility Assistant.

Preferred qualifications: One (1) year of laboratory animal care or related experience.

Special knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Knowledge of basic animal husbandry and research techniques.
  • Knowledge of basic scientific terminology, basic conversion calculations and basic measuring devices.
  • Knowledge of principles of asepsis, disease control and prevention, barrier and isolation animal housing.
  • Knowledge of general breeding and mating systems.
  • Knowledge of current regulations, policies and principles for the care and use of laboratory animals.
  • Ability to handle, restrain and determine the sex of laboratory animals without causing injury or harm to animal, self, and others.
  • Ability to understand and follow detailed oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to read and write in order to maintain records, read instructions, labels, etc.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule including weekends and holidays.
  • Ability to interact and work with faculty, students, staff, and visitors in a knowledgeable, respectful and courteous manner.
  • Ability to discuss animal related projects with investigators and report these discussions to the supervisor.
  • Ability to work under environmental conditions that require the use of safety equipment.

The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check.

If you are interested in applying for employment with The Johns Hopkins University and require special assistance or accommodation during any part of the pre-employment process, please contact the HR Business Services Office at For TTY users, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.

The following additional provisions may apply depending on which campus you will work.  Your recruiter will advise accordingly.

During the Influenza ("the flu") season, as a condition of employment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employees who provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care or clinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination or possess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meet this requirement may result in termination of employment.

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.

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