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Dive Safety Officer - Houston Zoo

Posted: Wednesday,
October 26 2022

Location: Houston, Texas

Job Description

The Dive Safety Officer (DSO), reporting to the Curator of Aquarium, is a full-time position responsible for the coordination and management of HZI Diving operations and training. The position will also be responsible for creating dive schedules, conducting safety drills, and ensuring compliance with all OSHA, AAUS, and AZA standards for aquarium and scientific diving. This position shall besides coordinating diver proficiencies for all staff divers, shall also manage and maintain compressed gas systems and underwater diving equipment.


Our Mission: Houston Zoo connects communities with animals, inspiring action to save wildlife.

Our Vision: Houston Zoo will be a leader in the global movement to save wildlife.


Essential Job Functions

  • Schedule staff divers for maintenance of exhibits and dive presentations.
  • Maintain HZI SCUBA equipment including, but not limited to scuba cylinders, compressors, regulators, full-face masks, buoyancy compensators, wetsuits, et cetera.
  • Ability to lead any dive accident emergency response.
  • Ensure that all dive operations and equipment are in compliance with all occupational safety requirement rules.
  • Ensure the record-keeping database is kept up to date.
  • Assist the Animal Care team with exhibit maintenance and other duties as workload necessitates.
  • Maintain memberships in the Association of Diving Program Administrators (ADPA).
  • Willingness to share knowledge with others in a team environment and assist with training of those with less knowledge and experience.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Four (4) year degree in the biological sciences or similar discipline preferred.
  • Previous experience in public aquarium dive instruction and guidance preferred.
  • Hold a current, valid, certification as an Open Water Diving instructor from an internationally recognized diving agency (SSI, PADI, NAUI, SDI, TDI).
  • Hold a current Oxygen Provider Instructor certification from a nationally recognized agency (Red Cross, DAN).
  • Strong command of the English language, both written and verbal.
  • Experience in preparing and conducting public educational programs.
  • Able to lift a minimum of sixty (60) pounds.
  • Hold a valid Texas driver’s license or ability to get one within six months of hire.
  • Ability to work weekends, holidays, days closed due to inclement weather, and to travel for extended periods of time to perform animal transport and other duties.


Physical Demands & Work Environment

  • Requires confidence handling, working with or exposure to large and potentially dangerous animals, animal diseases, animal feces and toxic chemicals.
  • Subject to bites, stings, scrapes and exposure to various plants and animals.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell.
  • Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color and peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee will be exposed to the weather conditions prevalent at the time.
  • The noise level in the work environment is normally moderate.

In addition, the daily physical requirements specific to the DSO may include:

  • Ability to maintain daily contact with the living collection of plants and animals.
  • Repetitive SCUBA dives on a daily basis
  • Ability to perform both in water and on land rescues proficiently.
  • Indoor, outdoor, cold, wet underwater environment.


The Houston Zoo is made up of many moving parts with over 6,000 permanent residents (our animals) for whom we provide housing, meals, medical care and, yes, even education! There are over 2 million guests each year who come to experience our incredible variety of animals and ecosystems, as well as attend special private and public events and entertainment. Our dedicated staff works around the clock to ensure that the Zoo is always running smoothly for the safety and well-being of our residents and guests. We strive to ensure the protection of all the counterparts of the animals we have at the Zoo and in the wild.

Join the Houston Zoo and become a part of an organization that is focused on the preservation of wildlife and their habitats by combining conservation with education and promotion of sustainable livelihoods in the local communities. Houston Zoo is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Apply Here