Animal Technician I

Updated: 3 months ago


Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Job Summary

Explore an Animal Care Career at Harvard University Cambridge where our animal care programs commitment to excellence in research is unparalleled. You would be working in a state-of-the-art award-winning rodent animal facility. The benefit package at Harvard is exceptional including degree through the extension school.

Position Description

Perform animal husbandry duties in a complex research environment. Responsible for daily care of various species of laboratory animals including feeding, watering, health observations, and changing and washing cages as assigned. Specific duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Feed, water, and care for animals categorized as Biosafety Level 1 or 2 and/or administered hazardous chemicals;
  • Maintain animal rooms and facility in a clean and organized manner;
  • Administer special diets and water for research or veterinary purposes;
  • Perform treatments and assist research and veterinary staff as instructed;
  • Maintain accurate and legible documentation and records as needed;
  • Identify and report signs of animal illness, injury, and other abnormalities to appropriate personnel;
  • Prepare appropriate chemicals to sanitize and disinfect animal rooms, equipment, shipping containers, etc.;
  • Assist in animal quarantine and health monitoring programs;
  • Receive and house new animals while maintaining necessary paperwork and documentation;
  • Conduct animal census as needed;
  • Euthanize animals as directed;
  • Monitor and ensure availability of animal care supplies, food, bedding, chemical supplies, and equipment;
  • Assist with daily operation and coordination of cage wash as needed;
  • Rotate with co-workers to coordinate routine team tasks;
  • Participate in continuing improvement projects and departmental committees;
  • Participate in writing and updating pertinent Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's);
  • Assist with training co-workers to perform tasks according to those SOP's;
  • Comply with applicable federal, state, and municipal laws and regulations, institutional policies and accreditation standards for the humane care and use of laboratory animals;
  • Other projects, duties, and responsibilities as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

Diploma from an accredited high school or GED.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

The successful candidate will also have:

  • Clear understanding and knowledge of methods, materials, and equipment used in animal care activities;
  • Knowledge of animal research and breeding procedures and practices;
  • Knowledge of rodent quarantine, health monitoring programs, and other related procedures;
  • Ability to follow departmental policies and standard operating procedures (SOPs) in a reliable and safe manner;
  • Basic proficiency with digital technology, including Microsoft Office and iPhones or their equivalents;
  • Ability to communicate effectively in written and spoken English;
  • Enthusiasm for working in a team-based culture;
  • Respect for others and compassion for animals.

Physical Requirements

  • Able to lift up to 50 pounds with frequent lifting, pushing, pulling and/or carrying of objects weighing up to 25 pounds.
  • Able to push and pull heavy equipment on wheels.
  • Able to walk or stand for up to an entire eight-hour shift, excluding scheduled breaks.
  • Able to perform repetitive motions over extended periods of time.
  • Able to perform in a workplace environment with exposure to animals, animal dander, animal byproducts, and bedding materials for prolonged periods of time.
  • An occupational health screening and permission by the employer's occupational medicine service to work with animals.

Working Conditions

  • This position is 100% on-site. Remote work is not possible.
  • The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Additional Information

  • American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT) certification required within 15 months of start date.
  • Please note, this position will be hired at either a grade 47 or grade 48, dependent on the certification level of the successful applicant.
  • This position will work a Monday through Friday schedule, 6:30am - 3:00pm.
  • The position is considered essential and may be required to report to work during school closures, inclement weather, and/or other emergencies.
  • Working during holidays required on a rotating schedule. Other overtime may also be required.

All formal written offers will be made by FAS Human Resources.

We regret that Harvard University does not provide visa sponsorship for this position.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community.

Work Format Details

This position is based on-campus, in Massachusetts. This may include in-person during emergency situations (if applicable). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. 


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( ) to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

403090 Animal Technician I


Office of Animal Resources


55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal, Education, Identity


  • Monday through Friday schedule, 6:30am - 3:00pm.
  • Working during holidays required on a rotating schedule. Other overtime may also be required.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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