Technical Assistant II (Animal Care)

Apply now Job no: 522671
Work type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: Animal Care Services
Pay Grade: 14
Categories: Laboratory & Research

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


About Research & Engagement

The UMass Amherst community engages more than 30,000 students, 1,400 faculty, and 5,000 staff in 11 schools and colleges with a wide variety of degree programs, research, and public service. More than 800 faculty lead sponsored research projects in many areas from basic to applied are sponsored by federal, state, and private sources with expenditures of more than $200 million in 2021.


Job Summary

The Technical Assistant II – Animal Care assists in the operation of animal care facilities on campus, providing general care and handling of multiple species of laboratory animals, including but not limited to rodents, small mammals, and non-human primates. Additionally, this role assists with the care and maintenance of animal care facilities.


Essential Functions

  • Handles, cares for, and monitors the health and well-being of laboratory animals on a daily basis.
  • Maintains and operates mechanical equipment, such as cage washer, glassware dishwasher, euthanasia chambers, etc.
  • Maintains proper records on individual animals, including health status.
  • Observes, records, and reports atypical findings in the mechanical support system and the environment. These observations include, but are not limited to sick animals, maintenance problems, safety hazards or inappropriate treatment of animals.
  • Maintains equipment (caging, bottles, stoppers) in good condition.
  • Attends educational training programs for Animal Care staff.
  • Provides general technical assistance to Animal Care Manager, Animal Care Supervisors, and Principal Investigators.
  • Restrains and euthanizes animals when necessary.
  • Maintains the inventory of food, bedding, and other supplies (bottles, stoppers) necessary to operate the Animal Care facilities.
  • Trains and functionally supervises student employees.
  • Works with Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL-2) practices, including changing animals in a biosafety cabinet and special handling of bedding including packaging it for incineration.
  • Operates motor vehicle to travel to work sites.
  • Under the direction of Animal Care Manager and/or Supervisors, coordinates and provides hands-on training of Animal Care Technicians on job-related tasks and skills.
  • Under the direction of Animal Care Manager and/or Supervisors, assists with Animal Care Services review, generation, and implementation of relevant documentation (Standard Operating Procedures, Guidelines, Requirements Document, Cage Side Documentation, etc.).
  • Under the direction of Animal Care Manager and/or Supervisors, assists with inventory of equipment and consumable items used by Animal Care Services.


Other Functions

Performs other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • High School diploma or equivalent.
  • AALAS Certification at the LAT level OR ALAT Certification plus three (3) years of experience working in laboratory animal setting.
  • Valid Class D Driver’s License.
  • Ability to provide care for laboratory animals in a safe and sanitary manner, using the necessary equipment and under the established institutional operating procedures.
  • Ability to handle, restrain, and determine the gender of all common laboratory animals without injuring the animals or endangering him/herself or others.
  • Knowledge of universal identification systems used for marking laboratory animals and the ability to keep accurate records pertaining to this identification.
  • Knowledge concerning personal hygiene and personal safety with regard to hazardous substances.
  • Awareness of proper institutional sanitation procedures, handling of equipment and chemicals used to clean, disinfect, and sterilize.
  • Ability to functionally supervise student employees effectively and to schedule the workload in an efficient and productive manner.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Ability to lift and/or carry heavy objects up to fifty (50) pounds, unassisted.
  • Works with biohazardous substances.
  • Maintains personal annual TB testing.


Additional Details

This position is considered essential personnel. Essential personnel are expected to report to work in the event of an emergency closing of the UMass Amherst campus, including delayed openings and early closings. Employees designated as essential personnel and who report to work during emergency closure periods will be compensated in accordance with their respective collective bargaining agreements. Employees designated as essential personnel and who do not report to work during emergency closure periods will be required to use accrued time.


Work Schedule

  • Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm.
  • Rotating weekend/holiday coverage.


Salary Information

Grade 14


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume. References will be checked at the finalist stage. Please be prepared to provide contact information for three (3) professional references.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.