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Job Opportunities

Join us because Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is a great place to work and grow!

It takes an incredible team of talented people to operate one of America’s best zoos. Be a part of what makes Riverbanks Zoo and Garden so remarkable! Riverbanks and Service Systems Associates offer a variety of full- and part-time job opportunities at the Zoo and Garden in an exciting and dynamic work environment.

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden — Administration, Animal Care, Education, Guest Services, Grounds, Horticulture, Housekeeping, Maintenance and Public Safety

An exciting multi-million dollar major expansion is underway at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, promising a world-class guest experience at every turn. Come grow with us! Riverbanks is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Benefits of Employment with Riverbanks

The following vary for full-time and part-time employees:

  • State health and life insurance plans.
  • State retirement plan.
  • State credit union eligibility.
  • Sick and vacation leave.
  • 50% discount in Riverbanks restaurants.
  • 20% discount in Riverbanks gift shops.
  • Employee of the month recognition program.
  • Employee activities and celebrations.
  • Employee membership.
  • Free guest passes each year.

Current Job Openings with Riverbanks (last updated on October 18, 2019)

Riverbanks accepts applications via an online submission process only for current open positions; walk-in applications are not accepted. To apply, click on the online application button for the position you are interested in below. All applicants will receive notice of receipt of their application by an electronic auto-response; however, only the top candidates for each position will be contacted via telephone. If you are not contacted for an interview, please be assured that your resume will be kept on file for one year should a similar opportunity arise.

Events Manager

Full-time
Grade 14
Salary: $41,550/yr
Posted: 10/18/2019
Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

Responsibilities: Under general supervision, is responsible for managing all public and member events and festivals. Works with the Marketing Division and other departments to plan and facilitate signature events and to create new events.  Directs the daily operations of the events staff and develops methods for improving departmental operations.
  • Plans and coordinates all event logistics including date, time, location, facilities, staffing, theming, props, entertainment, food and beverage, pricing, and any additional special offerings.
  • Researches and reports on feasibility of national and regional trends in attractions and special event production and marketing. Strategically establishes events calendar to maximize exposure and minimize competition with other venues. 
  • Responsible for creative design and layout of all events including Lights Before Christmas and Boo at the Zoo. Stays current on trends in event design and materials.
  • Cooperates with other zoo and garden departments to facilitate event success. Cultivates and maintains a positive working environment. Effectively interacts and communicates with senior staff, employees, volunteers, and various external groups/vendors.
  • Supervises events personnel, hires and trains staff, responsible for scheduling, payroll/time keeping, and proactive management of employee relations.
  • Keeps records of events to build and maintain event history.  Conducts evaluations during and after events to determine guest satisfaction and fiscal success.
  • Supervises events (working evenings and weekends as needed) to troubleshoot any problems and ensure that events run smoothly and that guests and/or vendors are pleased with their Riverbanks experience. 
  • Utilizes excellent customer service, verbal communication, negotiation, and problem-solving skills. 
  • Analyzes and prepares a variety of reports/forms, billing invoices, and general correspondence. Manages all events-related budgets and reports, departmental purchases, and equipment and supplies.

Education and Experience: Bachelor’s Degree with three to five years experience in event management or hospitality management required. Preferred candidates would have experience in a zoo/aquarium, theme park or related industry. Minimum of three years of management/supervisory experience or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience that provides the required skills, knowledge and abilities. 
 
The ideal candidate will enjoy working within a collaborative environment and be a team player who will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority. Excellent written and verbal communication skills with a very high standard for service required. Must be able to demonstrate outstanding interpersonal skills, attention to detail, organizational skills and prompt follow-through. Must be flexible for occasional weekend, holiday and after-hours assignments. Must possess or be eligible for a valid SC driver's license.

Guest Engagement Lead

Part-time (Schedule varies, availability Monday - Sunday, weekend work required)
Grade 6
Salary: $11.52/hr
Posted: 10/16/2019
Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

Responsibilities: Delivers highly engaging and empowering interpretive presentations, programs and encounters to guests. Should be comfortable interpreting on microphone while maintaining a high level of enthusiasm and interacting with individuals and large audiences. The Guest Engagement Lead will assist the Guest Engagement Management Team with various administrative tasks, training, evaluating and mentoring staff and volunteers and day-to-day leadership tasks with GE Team members Provide outstanding customer service to guests, volunteers and staff, while upholding the quality image of the Riverbanks brand.  Must demonstrate courteous and professional behavior while communicating Riverbanks’ mission, animals, exhibits, attractions, services and policies. Reports to the Guest Engagement Supervisor.

Education and Experience: High school diploma and 1 year of presentation experience required, or any equivalent combination of training and experience which provides the required skills, knowledge, and abilities. A strong base knowledge of science is preferred as it relates to animals and plants. Must be comfortable handling animals including but not limited to small mammals, reptiles and birds as well as animal artifacts. Must be able to work outdoors in all weather conditions, and be able to walk long distances repetitively.

Groundskeeper

Full-time
Grade 3
Salary: $9.42/hr
Posted: 10/16/2019
Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

Responsibilities: Under general supervision is responsible for the routine maintenance and upkeep of park grounds and facilities. Works to maintain a high level of cleanliness throughout Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Operates trucks, forklift, blowers and various grounds maintenance tools to perform tasks. Full time groundskeeper will assist the Environmental Services Management team with various administrative tasks and provide training to new staff. Reports to the Environmental Services Manager.
 
Education and Experience: High school graduate or equivalent, with eleven to eighteen months of experience in grounds maintenance, housekeeping, or any equivalent combination of training and experience which provides the required skills, knowledge and abilities. Must demonstrate professionalism, customer service experience, leadership skills and strong communication skills.  Must be able to work outdoors in all weather conditions, be able to lift 50lbs. and be able to walk long distances repetitively. Must possess a valid S.C. driver's license. Must be available to work evenings and weekends.

Admissions Attendant

Part-time (weekday availability required)
Grade 2
Salary: $8.18/hr
Posted: 10/16/2019
Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

Responsibilities: Under direct supervision, provides an outstanding experience to Riverbanks’ guests and Society members.  Works in various point of sale areas throughout the park, including ticket booths, information booths and entrance gates.  Handles purchase transactions. Communicates with the public about Riverbanks exhibits, attractions, services, and policies.  Reports to the Guest Services Manager and the Director of Guest Services. 

Education and Experience: High school diploma and 4-6 months of work experience in customer service or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience, which provides the required skills, knowledge and abilities. Cashier experience and strong customer services skills are required.  Must be available weekdays and available to work evening and special events as needed.

Horticulturist - Habitat Horticulture

Full-time
Grade 8
Salary: $12.62/hr
Posted: 10/9/2019
Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

Responsibilities: Under general supervision, performs horticultural duties for the purpose of beautifying and maintaining gardens, exhibits, animal habitats, plant collections, and/or public displays.  Must be eager to learn about our collection. The best candidate will demonstrate creativity and be able to work both independently and with a team on a variety of tasks and priorities. Works outdoors year-round in all weather conditions. Reports to the Director of Zoo Habitat Horticulture.

Education and Experience: Associates degree in Horticulture, bachelors degree preferred, with two years experience in a horticultural area; or any equivalent combination of education, training, and experience that provides the required skills, knowledge and abilities.  Prefer professional horticulture experience and/or training.  Must possess or be eligible for a valid SC driver’s license.

HVAC Technician

Full-time
Grade 13
Salary: $18.90/hr
Posted: 10/9/2019
Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.  

Responsibilities: Given objectives set by the Director of Facilities Maintenance, is responsible for diagnosing, maintaining and repairing various heating, air conditioning and refrigeration devices and systems.  
  • Replaces or repairs various industrial equipment, heat pumps, air conditioning units, electric strip heat, gas boilers, domestic refrigerators, water coolers, cold generators, window units, ventilation systems, chill water units, and life support systems for various animals, fish, and reptiles. 
  • Performs regular maintenance and preventative maintenance tasks, such as charging systems with refrigerant, replacing parts, changing filters, lubricating motors and parts, cleaning fan coils, blowing out condensation lines, etc. 
  • Monitors and maintains energy management system to include, entering weekly schedules for facility and rental events, analyzing data from system for troubleshooting, monitoring system from home via mobile device. 
  • Receives and reviews various records and reports such as maintenance requests, billing invoices, shipping invoices, technical study reports, architectural drawings, electrical diagrams, pressure temperature charts, etc. 
  • Utilizes a wide array of tools such as sheet metal tools, carpentry tools, electrical tools, mechanical tools, masonry tools, plumbing tools, HVAC tools, computers, refrigerant recovery machine, various electronic testing equipment, leaks detectors, phones system testing and analyzing equipment, etc. 
  • Works as a member of the maintenance team on various projects, completing HVAC and general maintenance and construction tasks.  
  • Responsible for responding to after hours and weekend HVAC equipment outages per the direction of the Director of Facilities Maintenance.

Education and Experience: High school graduate with vocational/technical school training in HVAC courses with three to five years of experience in troubleshooting, repairing and installing HVAC systems; or any equivalent combination of education and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities. Must be certified to purchase and recycle refrigerant gases.  Must possess or be eligible for a valid SC driver's license. Must be available to work weekends and on call as needed.

Housekeeper

Part-time
Grade 3
Salary: $9.42/hr
Posted: 9/11/2019
Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

Responsibilities: Under general supervision is responsible for the routine maintenance and upkeep of Riverbanks facilities. Works to maintain a high level of cleanliness throughout Riverbanks Zoo and Garden by following cleaning routines and responding to non-routine cleaning issues. Reports to the Environmental Services Manager.

Education and Experience: High school graduate or equivalent, with five to eleven months of experience in grounds maintenance, or any equivalent combination of training and experience which provides the required skills, knowledge and abilities.  Must possess a valid S.C. driver's license.

Groundskeeper (Part-time)

Part-time
Grade 3
Salary: $9.42/hr
Posted: 9/11/2019
Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

Responsibilities: Under general supervision is responsible for the routine maintenance and upkeep of park grounds and facilities. Works to maintain a high level of cleanliness throughout Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Operates trucks, forklift, blowers and various grounds maintenance tools to perform tasks. Reports to the Environmental Services Manager.

Education and Experience: High school graduate or equivalent, with five to eleven months of experience in grounds maintenance, housekeeping, or any equivalent combination of training and experience which provides the required skills, knowledge and abilities.  Maintains a flexible schedule. Must possess a valid S.C. driver's license.

SSA — Food Service, Catering, and Retail

Service Systems Associates (SSA) is the on-site provider of culinary and retail experiences at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. SSA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and offers a variety of full- and part-time positions at Riverbanks throughout the year. Benefits will vary.

Current Job Openings with SSA (last updated on October 21, 2019)

Assistant Restaurant Manager

Full-time
Posted: 10/21/2019

Assistant Restaurant Manager, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden 

Reports To: Restaurant Manager

Schedule: Flexible, at the discretion of Operations Manager. Includes weekends, holidays, and occasional night events as well as nights in October for Boo at the Zoo and nights in November and December for Lights Before Christmas.

Summaries of Duties and Responsibilities:·        

  • Responsible for all of the day-to-day operations associated with Tuskers and maintain the restaurant in a clean, attractive and highly marketable condition.
  • Ensure maximum profitability and compliance with company procedures.
  • Must communicate with the Executive Chef, Warehouse Manager, Tuskers Manager, Operations Manager and other kitchen personnel pertaining to product inventory, its proper usage and staffing matters.
  • Manage the preparation of food products within company guidelines while adhering to all health department guidelines.
  • Ensure all employees are trained to properly and safely handle food.
  • Supervise the front line staff and cashiers to ensure the highest level of customer service.
  • Must have a positive attitude and be a team player, self-starter and have a sense of urgency.
  • Must be able to maintain good staff morale.
  • Conduct daily meetings in which pertinent details are specified to staff (attendance projections, menu changes, special events, food prep plans, etc.)
  • Monitor employees on all SSA policies/procedures, and work with the Operations Manager and Restaurant Manager to take necessary action on employees who violate guidelines.
  • Must possess the ability to manage multiple positions including grill, expo, fryers and front line. 
  • If additional staff is needed during peak times, must communicate with the Operations Managers in a timely matter to ensure adequate staff is on-hand.
  • Responsible for inventory control by monitoring stock levels, completing stock sheets daily and controlling waste.
  • Complete Month End Inventory as directed by the Operations Manager.
  • Maintain a clean and safe environment. Keep stock room, coolers and all work areas organized.       
  • Oversee front of house cleanliness and ensure utensils, napkins and condiments are stocked.         
  • Uphold the merchandising standards set forth by the Operations Manager and Restaurant Manager.
  • Must have knowledge of POS systems and adequate cash handling skills.
  • Represent our client’s mission and develop a seamless and professional relationship with all clients and employees to ensure a positive working environment. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills, duties, requirements, efforts or working conditions associated with this job description. The General Manager reserves the right to revise the job description or to require that other or different tasks are performed when circumstances change (i.e. emergencies, changes in personnel, workload, rush jobs or technological developments).                       

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and list of 3 professional references to Lavonda McDowell, Restaurant Manager, at lavondamcdowell@kmssa.com. If we determine that your experience and skills match the needs for this opening we will contact you directly.

Catering Operations Manager

Full-time (Benefits Eligible )
Posted: 10/21/2019

Catering Operations Manager at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

Reports to: General Manager and Assistant General Manager

Supervises: Catering Staff

Work Schedule: Flexible, at the discretion of GM. Includes nights, weekends and holidays.

Summaries of Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform the steps of SSA EXTRA Guest Service to ensure a memorable experience for every guest and client.
  • Plan, produce, and execute private events in coordination with the sales team.
  • Will require strong communication skills to effectively produce events in accordance to the expectations set by the sales team.
  • Cultivate a creative and collaborative environment.
  • Partner with internal team members to ensure event success.
  • Generate detailed event plans such as execution plans, timelines and diagrams.
  • Manage banquet staff, scheduling, staff performance, and facilitate equipment procurement, repairs, and storage.
  • Create eye catching & innovative displays with Executive Chef and implement team.
  • Understand the client and organization, as well as the details of planning and executing an event from setup, event service, and post-event processes.
  • Responsible for providing each guest uncompromised hospitality and quality service.
  • Maintaining customer and client relations throughout the event, touching base and maintaining contact with customer and client needs from start to finish of event.
  • Maintain all catering spaces and work environments in a clean and organized condition and in line with the City of Columbia Health Department guidelines.
  • Must have a positive attitude, be a team player, self-starter and have a sense of urgency.
  • Must be able to maintain good staff morale and cultivate a culture that coincides with that of the culture set by GM and SSA.
  • Maintain a professional appearance and mannerisms at all times.
  • Represent our client’s mission and develop a seamless and professional relationship with all clients and employees to ensure a positive working environment.

Job Requirements:

  • Minimum of 2-4 years previous catering sales and operations experience, with a previous knowledge of facility-based catering.
  • Must have knowledge of culinary menus, bar service, plated dinner service, buffet operations and beverage service.
  • Must be able to manage and execute multiple events in multiple venues at one time.
  • Excellent written and verbal skills.
  • Great people skills and customer service abilities.
  • Must be organized and be able to hire, train, and manage full time and part time banquet staff.
  • Candidate must be proficient in Microsoft Office applications and basic experience in calendar and/or BEO software similar to Delphi or Caterease.

In order to be considered for this position you must submit a cover letter, resume, and list of 3 professional references.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills, duties, requirements, efforts or working conditions associated with this job description. The General Manager reserves the right to revise the job description or to require that other or different tasks are performed when circumstances change (i.e. emergencies, changes in personnel, workload, rush jobs or technological developments). 

REVISED: October 2019


Concessions Associate

Part-time (Weekends, holidays, and special event evenings required)
Posted: 10/21/2019

Service Systems Associates at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is now hiring outgoing, customer service oriented individuals. This position is is part-time seasonal. We are looking to fill positions for the hours of 9am-5pm Monday-Friday. Scheduling is flexible within limits. Must be able to work outdoors in all weather conditions. 

Compensation: Competitive wages based on experience.

Responsibilities:

  •  Uphold the highest level of customer service.
  • Maintain a friendly and approachable attitude towards guests and staff.
  • Uphold a professional appearance and mannerism at all times.
  • Provide excellent food and beverage service for zoo guests.
  • Maintain knowledge of policies and procedures.
  • Maintain sense of urgency when on the service floor.
  • Maintain back of the house, front of the house, and side work duties for overall productivity.
  • Maintain positive and professional attitude at all times.
  • Seek council from management when needed.
  • Maintain clear and open communication between all staff members for overall positive guest experience.
  • Work well within a team and independently.
  • Must be able to take initiative.
  • Ability to work well under pressure.
  • Follow Health and Safety practices at all times.
  • Complete all other duties as assigned.

Education and Experience:

  • Customer service, food service, or waiter experience preferred, but not required.
  • Some areas require service of alcohol to guests.
  • Previous experience serving alcohol in a concessions like setting is not required but preferred.
  • Be willing to interact with guests of all ages.Must be able to work weekends and weekdays, and some nights for special events.
  • Ability to perform physical activities such as lifting 25–50 lbs, balancing, walking, and handling of delicate materials.

Private Events Banquet and Event Server

Part-time (10–40 hours weekly depending on season)
Posted: 10/21/2019

Service Systems Associates at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is now hiring outgoing, customer service oriented individuals. The Catering Operations Banquet and Event Servers report to the Catering Operations Manager and Assistant Manager. Position is part-time and include day, evening, and weekend hours. Scheduling is flexible within limits.

Compensation: Based on Experience.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Uphold the highest level of customer service.
  • Maintain a friendly and approachable attitude towards guests and staff.
  • Maintain a professional appearance and mannerism.
  • Assist with set-up of tables, linens, chairs, etc, for full service of events.
  • Provide excellent food and beverage service for events.
  • Ability to perform physical activities such as lifting 25–50 lbs, balancing, walking, and handling of delicate materials.
  • Maintain knowledge of policies and procedures.
  • Pay close attention to detail.
  • Maintain sense of urgency when on the service floor.
  • Maintain back of the house, front of the house and side work duties for overall productivity.
  • Maintain positive and professional attitude.
  • Seek council from management when needed.
  • Maintain clear and open communication between all staff members for overall event success.
  • Work well within a team and independently.
  • Must be able to take initiative.
  • Ability to work well under pressure.
  • Follow Health and Safety practices at all times.
  • Complete all other duties as assigned.

Requirements

  • Customer Service or waiter experience.
  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • Previous experience serving alcohol in an event setting is not required but is a plus.
  • Reliable transportation 

Restaurant Dishwasher

Part-time
Posted: 10/21/2019

Reports to: Restaurant Manager and Assistant Restaurant Manager  

Responsibilities for Dishwasher   

  • Scrape, rinse, and load dishes and utensils into dish machine or 3 compartment sink    
  • Wash and sanitize all pans, utensils, and dishes     
  • Clean, sanitize, and maintain dish machine      
  • Unload dishes and utensils from dish machine and organize them properly     
  • Empty trash containers and wash them regularly     
  • Maintain a clean work area and kitchen by sweeping and mopping as needed      
  • Clean food prep stations and equipment      
  • Support other restaurant staff members by assisting with other tasks as needed      
  • Must have a positive attitude with a team mentality 

Qualifications     

  • High school diploma or general education degree (GED) preferred     
  • Restaurant or customer service experience preferred    
  • Must be able to stand continuously throughout an 8 hour shift     
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds      
  • Comfortable bending, climbing, reaching, stooping, and moving quickly   
  • Available 9am-5pm weekdays with the ability to work special event nights, weekends, and holidays      
  • Working knowledge of sanitation procedures  

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills, duties, requirements, efforts or working conditions associated with this job description. The General Manager reserves the right to revise the job description or to require that other or different tasks are performed when circumstances change (i.e. emergencies, changes in personnel, workload, rush jobs or technological developments).    


Retail Sales Associates

Part-time (Weekday and weekend availability)
Posted: 10/21/2019

Service Systems Associates, is currently hiring for sales associates, at the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Gift shop. Candidate should displays a high level of energy and enthusiasm on the sales floor. Duties include, but not limited to:

  • Greeting Guests entering the Associate’s zone.
  • Guests focused.
  • Actively smiling and is approachable.
  • Crossing paths and proactively engaging Guests.
  • Suggestively Sells, Offers add-ons with every purchase.
  • Consistently demonstrates the ability to transition from store maintenance to Guest Service smoothly and with a sense of urgency.

The Associate is quickly and accurately counting and checking in merchandise; follows the standards and expectations set forth in the Visual Presentation binder. Actively stocking and cleaning (including detailed areas); keeps busy when Guest traffic is slow. Teamwork by assisting their peers; assists peers with Guest questions and needs.


Shift Leader

Part-time (15-40 ours weekly depending on the season)
Posted: 10/21/2019

Service Systems Associates at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is now hiring outgoing, customer service oriented individuals. The Shift Leader reports to the Food and Beverage Operations Manager and Assistant Managers. Position is part-time and include day, evening, weekend, and holiday hours. Scheduling is flexible within limits.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Uphold the highest level of customer service.
  • Maintain a friendly and approachable attitude towards guests and staff.
  • Maintain a professional appearance and mannerism.
  • Assist with opening and closing of park and garden.
  • Ability to perform physical activities such as lifting 25–50 lbs, balancing, walking, and handling of delicate materials.
  • Maintain knowledge of policies and procedures.
  • Pay close attention to detail.
  • Maintain sense of urgency when in the park.
  • Maintain back of the house, front of the house and side work duties for overall productivity.
  • Seek council from management when needed.
  • Maintain clear and open communication between all staff membersWork well within a team and independently.
  • Must be able to take initiativeAbility to work well under pressure.
  • Follow Health and Safety practices at all times.
  • Ability to instruct, teach, and motivateAbility to multi-task and accomplish several tasks in one day.
  • Some understanding of fiscal responsibility.
  • Understands food safety rules.
  • Understands Merchandising.
  • Able to handle constructive feedback and will work hard to learn.
  • Complete all other duties as assigned

Requirements

  • A positive and professional attitude and appearance.
  • Customer Service experience.
  • Experience managing a small team.

If we determine that your experience and skills match the needs for this opening we will contact you directly.