This position is located within the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, in the Veterinary Medical Unit (VMU) where all care of live laboratory animals is performed. The animal caretaker is responsible for animal husbandry and care of attendant housekeeping.
Clean and disinfect animal cages and cage racks using automatic cage washer;
Dump old bedding, dispose of animal wastes, cages or housing floors;
Sterilize cages and bedding using autoclave;
Replenish feed and water bottles/watering cans of various animal species;
Determine type and amount of feed animals receive including any special feed requirements, supplements, etc.;
Transport or assist in transporting, loading, or unloading cages, animals, supplies, as needed for the care of laboratory animals or conduct of research;
Assist in treating minor husbandry problems such as ear mites, overgrown or mal-occluded teeth, overgrown claws, etc.;
Assess air exchanges and advises of potential problems with room temperature, humidity, light cycles, or air exchanges;
Maintains accurate animal inventory sheets;
Identifies laboratory animals by ear tags, ear notches, or tattoos;
Restrain and handle commonly used animal laboratory species;
Determine which animals can be placed together and which ones must be separated (including weaning of newborn rodent pups, separation of males or males from females to prevent fighting, unwanted breeding or competition for feed and territory);
Oversee breeding or reproduction of animals according to their physical traits or to produce given numbers of animals; and
Perform all other duties as assigned.
Work Schedule: Full-Time, 6:00am to 2:30pm - Weekend and holiday coverage required.
Recruitment & Relocation Incentives: Not authorized
Job family (Series)
5048 Animal Caretaking
Conditions of Employment
You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
Subject to a background/security investigation
Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
May be required to serve a probationary period
Pre-employment physical may be required
Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
Physical Demands & Work Environment: The position often requires lifting and carrying feed materials weighing up to 75 pounds and frequently handling items such as feed trays weighing up to 20 pounds. It also requires walking or standing for extended period and frequently working in a bent position. Light physical effort required to lift or handle docile animals. May need to use greater strength or agility to capture and restrain stronger or more active animals.
Work is performed inside and outside. Inside work often exposes animal caretakers to unpleasant odors and noises. Outside work exposes animal caretakers to sun and occasionally bad weather. Animal caretakers usually work on concrete floors and may be exposed to bites, scratches, and animal wastes. Caretakers may also work on grass or soil. Work may require contact with unpredictable or ill-natured animals exposing worker to greater possibility of injury from bites, scratches, and kicks. Animal caretakers may be exposed to contagious diseases.
Applicants will be rated in accordance with the OPM Federal Wage System Qualifications . For this position, the job element method is used to match what you, the applicant, can do against what the work calls for. Your knowledge, skills and abilities will be compared to the knowledge, skills and abilities (called job elements) needed for success. Your qualifications will first be evaluated against the prescribed screen out element. Applicants who appear to meet the screen out element are considered for further rating; those who do not are rated ineligible and are eliminated from consideration. The potential eligibles are rated against the remainder of the job elements. While a specific length of training and experience is not required, your responses to the questionnaire must be supported by detailed descriptions of your experience on your resume.
You will be rated on the following Job Elements as part of the assessment questionnaire for this position:
Dexterity and Safety
Interpret Instructions, Specifications (other than blueprint reading)
Use and Maintain Tools and Equipment
IMPORTANT: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. All experience listed on your resume must include the month and year start/end dates. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
This job does not have an education qualification requirement.
Receiving Service Credit for Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.
Special Employment Consideration: VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities (i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities), and/or disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more. For more information on how to apply using this appointment authority via the Selective Placement Coordinator within the office, contact the facility Human Resources Department at (203) 932-5711.
It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.
Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.
The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation and be found well-qualified (have a final rating of 85 or more before any Veterans preference points) for this vacancy. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/ .
Financial Disclosure Report : Not Required
This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.
If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC . WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).
Your responses to the assessment questionnaire will be reviewed along with the information provided in your resume and supporting documentation to determine if you are qualified for the position. If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your rating may be lowered and/or you may lose consideration for this position. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your eligibility.
Candidates who apply under All U.S. Citizens announcements will be rated and ranked using Category Rating procedures. Qualified candidates will be assigned to a quality category. The categories are defined as follows:
Best qualified - applicants possessing experience that substantially exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are highly proficient in all requirements of the job and can perform effectively in the position;
Well qualified - applicants possessing experience that meets the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are proficient in some, but not all, of the requirements of the job; and
Qualified - applicants possessing experience and/or education that meets the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors.
Application of Veterans' Preference : Category rating and selection procedures place those with veteran's preference above non-preference eligibles within each category. Preference eligible applicants that meet the eligibility and qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent are listed in the highest quality category.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
IMPORTANT: Please ensure your resume include up-to-date contact information (phone number(s), email address(s), etc.)
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), documentation to support Veterans Preference or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees).
DD-214/ Statement of Service
Disability Letter (VA)
SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx .
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits .
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Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.