Animal Health Technician

Link to Animal Health Technician position

About this Opportunity

The University of Victoria is one of Victoria's largest employers and one of Canada’s best diversity employers. Together we are more than 5,000 dedicated faculty, librarians and staff supporting the University of Victoria’s diverse academic programs, world-class research and commitment to civic engagement.

Hours of Work - Sunday to Thursday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Please note that end date for term has been extended to November 30, 2018

Job Summary

Within the Office of Research Services, Animal Care Services (ACS) supports students, researchers and society by providing excellence in care to all species of animals involved in research and teaching at the University of Victoria. We build on the strength and diversity of our staff and stakeholders to optimize our ability to support research and teaching with animals following ethical and standard-of-care principles.

Our commitments include public and internal accountability, employing our core strengths to benefit our internal and external communities, promoting environments for work and study that are safe, supportive, inclusive and healthy and that foster mutual respect and civility, and recognizing that people are our primary strength.

All researchers working with animals are required to receive approval through the Animal Care Committee. Working under the Canadian Council on Animal Care’s (CCAC) guidelines, ACS provides housing facilities and services for animals, including veterinary and diagnostic services as well as training and expertise in laboratory animal medicine. The team includes Animal Health Technicians (AHTs), Registered Laboratory Animal Technicians (RLATs), and Animal Care Assistants (ACAs) working together in the delivery of animal care services.

Reporting to the Animal Health Technician (AHT) Coordinator, the AHTs are responsible for knowledge of animal health and husbandry for aquatic, amphibian, reptilian and mammalian species and for applying that knowledge to facilitate research and to provide daily husbandry, health assessment, and medical treatment of research animals at the University of Victoria’s Animal Care Units. This position is responsible for maintaining animal colonies under the supervision of the AHT Coordinator and Veterinary Director, including aspects of breeding (pre-weaning, weaning, sexing and retiring) for assigned colonies). The AHT provides cross-departmental support to RLATs, performing husbandry duties as assigned for workload management.

This position is also responsible for maintaining animal housing and environment, including environmental checks, disinfection and sanitization of facility rooms, assisting with machine/supplies maintenance, ensuring and improving employee safety, performing daily animal rounds and changing and cleaning of housing units as well as the operation of heavy machinery. Awareness and understanding of infectious substances and pathogens is also required for this position.

The AHTs work collaboratively to clarify research needs and to provide service, assistance and training related to animal health and husbandry. The AHTs contribute to efficient operations by participating in the development, implementation and revision of standard operating procedures (SOPs) related to animal health and husbandry, and through effective collaboration and teamwork.

Recognizing the inherent sensitivities around research with animals, ACS team members are expected to uphold the highest standards as they relate to ethical research and confidentiality. As a member of ACS staff, this position demonstrates a high standard of professionalism at all times as a reflection of our overall mission.

To effectively support operational requirements, these positions are required to work a modified schedule, to be able to adapt to changing priorities, and are tertiary call-out contacts in the event of urgent animal health and welfare. This requires willingness and ability to be flexible in working evenings/weekends.

These positions work in a lab environment where there is a hazard of Laboratory Animal Allergy. There are mandatory requirements in place to minimize/eliminate the hazard, such as enrolment in the UVic Allergy Awareness program (requiring baseline and annual pulmonary function tests); adherence to WorkSafeBC requirements (including the appropriate use of respirators and to be clean-shaven while wearing them).

As these are hands-on roles working with aquatic, amphibian, reptilian and mammalian animals, the AHTs are required to maintain no known allergies to rodents or rabbits, and the products used for normal housing of these species. The AHTs are required to work outdoors with aquatic, amphibian and reptile species. The department provides appropriate clothing for inclement weather.

A full knowledge of husbandry, health, medical care and skilled technical procedures for aquatic, amphibian, reptilian, and mammalian species is required. Animal health technicians are required to work collaboratively with researchers providing service, assistance and training for matters relating the animal husbandry, health, and technical procedures. This position contributes to efficient operations by developing, implementing and revising SOPs related to animal husbandry, health, and technical procedures. Technical skills required include handling, tissue sampling, surgical procedures, necropsies, IV IP, and SQ injections, gavage, anesthetics, medical treatments, euthanasia etc.

Job Requirements

This position requires an undergraduate degree in a related field (e.g. Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology) plus a minimum 2 years’ of related experience:

  • With aquatic, amphibian, reptile and mammalian species and their housing systems
  • Working in a regulatory environment with standard operating procedures

An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered (including AHT diploma).

Knowledge requirements include:

  • Animal Health Technologist diploma from a North American – accredited institution (or internationally – recognized equivalent).
  • RLAT certification with the Canadian Association of Laboratory Animal Science (CALAS) within one year of hire. Maintaining certification status is mandatory.

In addition this position requires:

  • Demonstrated strong organizational and client-focused service skills.
  • Superior communication and time management skills.
  • Proficiency with information/communication technologies (web searches/email/word processing/spreadsheets).
  • Ability to work collaboratively on a team as well as individually.
  • Discretion, discernment and confidentiality

Assets or Preferences:

  • Preference may be given to applicants holding advanced relevant training/certification and/or experience working in a post-secondary or research environment.

Why join UVic?

Pursue a meaningful career in the world’s best environment for dynamic learning and discovery—a place where you can create vital impact. To learn more about working at UVic and how we reward our employees click here.

  Canada   British Columbia   Victoria

Company Name: University of Victoria, Office of Research Services
Active from 11/10/2017 to 11/20/2017



CALAS/ACSAL National Office: PO Box 20507 - 2901 Sheppard Avenue East Toronto, ON M1T 3V5
Tel.:416-593-0268 | Fax: 416-979-1819 | Email: