The San Francisco Zoo connects people with wildlife, inspires caring for nature and advances conservation action.

Division:                     Wellness

Reports To:                 Director of Nutrition Services

FLSA Status:              Exempt, Full Time (including one weekend day)

The San Francisco Zoological Society (“Society”) is a non-profit institution that manages and raises funds for San Francisco Zoo and Gardens (“Zoo”).  The Society’s mission, supra, is summarized as the 3 c’s: to connect our visitors with wildlife so that they care about nature and ultimately conserve it.  The Society’s leadership team is comprised of a President & Executive Director as well as a professional team of Senior Managers. The Society endeavors to meet or exceed the standards of its industry peers, including those established by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (“AZA”). For over 25 years, the Society has been continuously accredited by the AZA.

SUMMARY:  The Dietician is based at the San Francisco Zoo Nutrition Center and supports the integrated animal wellness program. The position plays a key role in ensuring optimal nutrition for the Zoo’s animals.  The Dietician will work with the veterinary, animal care and animal wellness departments to maintain the health and psychological well-being of the Zoo’s animals. The Dietician takes a specific role in understanding the effect and impact of diet on these animals. This includes, but is not limited to, the preparation of diets and assisting with the formulation and scientific assessment of diets and nutritional records; tracking diets and diet changes; and assisting with the diet review process. This position may be required to work weekends and holidays.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES include the following.  Other duties may be assigned.

  1.  Prepares and readies animal diets for distribution. Ensures diets meet expected standards. May assist in distribution to animal areas.
  2. Maintains, reads and understands diets and recipes for animal meals. Follows serving proportion protocols as directed.
  3. Ensures that proper sanitary procedures are followed during animal food preparation and distribution.
  4. Assists with receiving and storing food deliveries. Ensures proper storage procedures are followed. Monitors temperatures of refrigerators and freezers. Assists with inventorying food items.
  5. Proficient in use of kitchen equipment including, blenders, food processors, dicers, slicers, grinders, stove tops, ovens, knives, other utensils and other appliances. Follows safety protocols when using any equipment.
  6. Stocks and restocks kitchen workstations and keeps Kitchen Manager apprised of any shortages or needs. This includes ensuring stocks are ready for the following day’s food preparation needs.
  7. Maintains a clean and sanitary workspace and ensures the cleanliness and sanitation of the nutrition services kitchen and equipment.
  8. Assists with formulation, evaluation and analysis of animal diets and diet consumption to ensure nutritional adequacy.
  9. Supports animal enrichment, training and browse programs with associated dietary input.
  10. Is familiar with AZA, HACCP and USDA/OSHA guidelines and helps to ensure nutrition services compliance, biosecurity and food safety.
  11. May help to identify new recipes and presentations.
  12. May assist in assessing body condition of exotic and domestic animals, conducting research and data entry, developing feeder animal colonies and nutrition education for Zoo staff and the public.


 Interacts with Zoo staff and animal husbandry personnel in a professional and courteous manner.

  1. Interacts with Zoo visitors courteously and offer proper attention at all times.
  2. Performs other duties as required.


QUALIFICATIONS:  Must have relevant experience – e.g. food preparation, nutrition assessment, compliance readiness, animal assessment, foodstuffs analysis. Education may be considered in absence of specific paid or volunteer.  Ability to work with Zoo employees as needed; keep operational records; prepare reports; deal courteously and effectively with the public.

Must have good written and verbal communication abilities and demonstrate superior time management abilities.

EDUCATION, TRAINING & QUALIFICATIONS: A bachelor’s degree in a related field is preferred.

LICENSES: Valid driver’s license.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; use hands; and talk and hear.  The employee frequently is required to stand and walk.  The employee is occasionally required to sit.  The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 25 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to outside weather conditions including inclement weather.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:  The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to outside weather conditions.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently exposed to potentially hazardous animals.

Bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply.


ApplicationPlease apply via our web site at . Please attach a cover letter with your resume.