Job Title:   Tour Operator Guide -Short Term 2013- Zoo
San Diego Zoo
Without Benefits

**San Diego Zoo Global is a smoke-free workplace**

Deadline to apply:  Thursday, February 28, 2013 by 9:30 PM Pacific Standard Time.

(Union Position)  $18.44 - $20.59 per hour

" Put Your Passion for Wildlife to Work"

The Tour Operator Guide drives the tour bus throughout the Zoo while presenting an informative narration on the Zoo's features. These positions are assigned to the San Diego Zoo and have the responsibility of conducting an average of five to six tours daily in a safe, orderly and expedient manner while educating the public and maintaining the Zoo's image of goodwill. Enthusiastic, friendly, outgoing, happy people wanted. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have excellent customer service skills.  Experience with public speaking in front of large crowds or experience teaching in a classroom is preferred. Education/experience in biology, zoology, horticulture and/or teaching is necessary.  A valid California driver license is required (class B license is a plus). Spanish, French or American Sign Language fluency is a plus. Hours will vary seasonally, some weeks may be without any scheduled hours, whereas other weeks (during school breaks) could be up to 30 hours. Some applicants will begin immediately. These must be available to work weekends, holidays and other school breaks. Others may begin after spring break. During summer all will be required to have seven day a week availability including nights. Positions will last until approximately September. Selected candidates will need to provide a current DMV driving record and pass a DMV class B physical.  Positions will last until approximately September 2, 2013. (Posted 1/31/13)

One essential function for this position is the ability to drive a SDZ Global vehicle.  If you are offered employment, you will be asked to authorize SDZ Global to access your current driving report through the DMV’s Employer Pull Notice Program.  Your hiring for this position will be contingent on SDZ Global receiving an acceptable driving report for you.  In addition, your continued employment in the position will depend on you maintaining an acceptable driving report from you.  You may obtain a list of conditions that disqualify a person from driving an SDZ Global vehicle from a Human Resources Representative. 

The Tour Operator Guide performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that reflects San Diego Zoo Global’s  mission and vision of connecting people to wildlife and conservation and pursues green/conservation practices when feasible. The Tour Operator works under general supervision and presents an informative narration on tours throughout the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park and drives tour vehicles throughout the Zoo and Safari Park. This position reports to the Transportation or Tours Supervisor.
This class differs from the Educator Guide class at the Zoo and Safari Park in that the Educator Guide handles animals.

  • Performs as organization’s public relations representative in the Transportation Department
  • Conducts an average of five to six tours daily
  • Presents educational and entertaining narrative simultaneously while driving a tour vehicle
  • Presents a positive, friendly, and outgoing image
  • Conducts tours in an organized, safe and timely manner
  • Interacts with tour patrons continuously
  • Loads and unloads tour vehicles
  • Educates the public and maintains the organization’s image of goodwill
  • Conducts tours on paths, walkways and behind the scenes areas
  • Conducts special tours as required
  • Distinguishes animals in camouflaged habitats
  • Responds to medical and mechanical emergencies
  • May work relief lead shifts
  • Operates tours utilizing a variety of vehicles  including tour buses, multi-car trams, Segways, vans, safari trucks, shuttles, carts, and other personal transportation systems
  • Operates P.A. systems
  • Respond to radio communications and verbal instructions/warnings in noisy conditions
  • Cleans and maintains passenger areas of tour vehicles
  • May collect tickets and operate patron shuttles
  • Assists with on-the-job training of new guides and provides mentoring
  • Answers questions regarding animals and main features at the Zoo or Safari Park
  • Gives directions
  • Assists persons with disabilities/patrons of tours including loading of wheelchairs.
  • May conduct bi-lingual language tours
  • Distinguish animals in their habitats and monitoring sounds
  • Observes and reports unusual conditions or animal behavior
Performs related duties and responsibilities as required.
Training and/or experience which would demonstrate the knowledge and skills outlined. An example of which would be prior training or education in the life sciences and prior experience in public speaking; valid California driver license required; may require possession of a valid California Class B driver license; must be 18 years of age. Must be able to pass a DMV class B physical for Zoo bus positions.
Knowledge of:
  • Zoology, with special attention to the care and unique qualities of the animals in residence
·        Layout of the Zoo or Safari Park
·        Organization policies, rules and practices
·        Public speaking
·        Principles of public relations
Ability to:
·        Perform the duties outlined above
·        Communicate clear and concise via an amplified public address system
·        Operate tour vehicle safely and efficiently
·        Handle repetition and unruly passengers
  • Update knowledge of animal exhibit and condition changes
  • Distinguish animals in camouflaged habitats
  • Follow directions effectively
  • Handle physical, medical, and mechanical emergencies
  • Monitor sounds
Exposure to tour vehicles fumes, engine heat, engine noise, and, vibration; exposure to varying weather conditions; work in temperatures above 100 degrees in the summer months at the Park, exposure to dust, allergens, confined or cramped spaces; oil/grease, slippery surfaces, and elevated positions. 
This position has been identified as one requiring at least occasional lifting in excess of 50 pounds; assignments may require the ability to maneuver large vehicles safely; push/pull or lift moderate to heavy objects; significant walking, sitting and standing for long periods of time, and reaching overhead and or to the ground; frequent speaking for extended periods of time, voice fatigue, and repetitive duties such as opening and closing tour vehicle doors for patrons.

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