Cage Wash Technician (Research Technician 1)
Case Western Reserve University 107 reviews - Cleveland, OH

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The Cage Wash Technician is a member of the Animal Resource Center (ARC) cage wash operations/ animal husbandry team. The Cage Wash Technician is responsible for washing animal cages and other materials, and cleaning and filling water bottles in compliance with ARC’s standard operating procedures. This position also performs cage washer repair and preventative maintenance. ARC staff members are responsible for maintaining the health and well-being of Case's research animals; and therefore, play a vital role in supporting the Case School of Medicine’s research efforts. Cage Wash Technicians and all other ARC staff must enjoy working with and caring for animals, and appreciate the value of animals in research. Case's animal facilities are accredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) and is managed according to the "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals” appropriate Federal Animal Welfare Regulations, and the Public Health Service “Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals." This position, and all animal research personnel, are subject to internal compliance to ARC standard operating procedures and to compliance regulations of the Animal Welfare Act, Public Health Service Policy, AAALAC guidelines, the State of Ohio Veterinary Practice Act, Federal Drug Enforcement Administration regulatory guidelines, US Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine regulations and other applicable regulatory guidelines.


  • Collect and empty cages and return dumpsters to receiving area; collect water bottles and refuse and return to appropriate locations. Ensure animals and equipment are removed from cages prior to emptying and cleaning cages.
  • Review cage orders and obtain the necessary supplies to complete the order in the requested time.
  • Load dirty cages and bottles into the cage washer and equipment into the tunnel washer.
  • Remove clean cages, bottles and equipment from cage/tunnel washer and return to the appropriate locations. Ensure cages, bottles and equipment meet quality standards for cleanliness.
  • Load and remove cages and bottles from the autoclaves.
  • Fill water bottles; ensure that filled bottles meet quality standards. Check bottle holes, caps and sipper tubes for appropriate flow; return bottle baskets to appropriate locations.
  • Perform quality control of autoclaves using temperature indicator strips and spore vials.
  • Perform routine housekeeping duties to maintain work area.
  • Perform daily cleaning and testing of tunnel and cage washer.


    Perform other related duties as may be assigned by operations manager, animal husbandry manager operations manager and/or team leaders, which may include back-up for animal tech husbandry duties.


    Department: Daily contact with supervisor, direct co-workers, and other ARC staff.

    University: Regular contact with university staff working with the ARC.

    External: Regular contact with outside vendors

    Students: Regular contact with student employees working with the ARC.




    Experience: 0 to 3 months of previous experience in laboratory animal facility. The employee will receive regular on-the-job training in responsibilities and in recognizing basic signs of animal health, chemical safety, microbiological and physical hazards associated with the workplace, and handling of animal waste materials.

    Education/Licensing: High school education required. The employee will be encouraged and assisted in obtaining certification through the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) as an Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT) and in obtaining more advanced certification and will be recognized for the achievement.


  • Must demonstrate compliance with ARC policies and procedures and compliance to regulations of the Animal Welfare Act, Public Health Service Policy, AAALAC guidelines and other applicable regulatory guidelines.
  • Must demonstrate compassion for animals within the ARC facilities and dedication to ARC’s mission.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills; and good interpersonal skills with the ability to work and communicate with various individuals within and external to the University.
  • Good organization skills; ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines. Must demonstrate attention to detail and accuracy, time management, and follow-through. Must be observant of issues that may impact the animals' health and well-being.
  • Ability to work effectively independently and collaboratively within a team. Must demonstrate sound judgment and good decision-making.
  • Must demonstrate flexibility and ability to work under pressure; must be able and willing to work in a fast-paced, changing environment, and conform to shifting priorities, demands and timeline.
  • Basic computer skills.
  • Must demonstrate willingness to learn new techniques, procedures, processes, and computer programs as needed.
  • Must be able and willing to assist animal husbandry staff with handling animals if need.
  • Must be able and willing to maintain a high standard of personal cleanliness and utilize protective gear to protect the health the animals.


    This position will work in the Animal Resource Center facility, working directly with animal cage and cage equipment cleaning machinery. Potential hazards include cuts from broken water bottles and sharp edges of cages, burns from steam and hot water used in cleaning procedures, and dermatitis resulting from exposure to strong cleaning compounds, insecticides and organic chemicals. This position may work directly with laboratory animals, including rodents, rabbits, dogs, cats, pigs, sheep, goats, and non-human primates. Animal bites, scratches, kicks, etc., may be encountered, as well as unpleasant odors, noises and temperatures associated with working with animals, soiled cages, and other equipment. The incumbent must pass a physical examination, including tuberculin test and/or chest x-ray (to be repeated periodically). This position may have direct contact with, or have exposure to, the following biological and chemical hazards: bloodborne pathogens, chemical agents (hazardous agents as well as routine cleaning agents), select agents and infectious agents (including zoonotic diseases), waste from prion-injected animals (generally trace amounts), exposure to radiation from isotope-injected animals (generally trace amounts), X-rays, human blood and tissue, animal blood and tissue, and formaldehyde. This position will perform moderately repetitive tasks. This position may require the ability to independently lift or assist with lifting animals ranging from small to large in size. Potential hazards include strain or accident associated with frequent moving of heavy (up to 50 lbs.) equipment and animals, feed sacks, and bagged or baled bedding. Where appropriate, the nature of this position may require the use of a respirator (must have prior health evaluation) or surgical mask. This position also requires baseline evaluation of hearing and vision. Hazards to health and safety are minimized by prior training and proper instruction in handling animals, and operation of equipment. Training and personal protective equipment (hearing, eyewear, gowns, respirator and gloves) will be provided. There is a necessity for completing the job before leaving work. Animal care cannot be held over to the next day. Animal care is a 7-day per week, 365-days per year job. All tasks must be performed in compliance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NRC2011), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Public Health Service, and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC). Compliance with any university, state, and local regulations is also enforced. An individual will be scheduled to work for every third weekend and every third holiday. The Animal Resource Center adheres to a strict attendance policy. This position may require travel by driving to satellite facilities on campus, as well as off campus to MetroHealth Medical Center, the VA Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, as well as transport of biohazardous waste including clinical samples, human blood or tissue, animals, contaminated equipment, etc. This position is subject to an FBI background check and fingerprinting.


    Diversity Statement

    In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

    Reasonable Accommodations

    Case Western Reserve University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at 216-368-8877 to request a reasonable accommodation. Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.

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