How to Get Job at a Zoo – All You Want to Know in 2021

A zoo is an amazing place to know more about animal species and their requirements if you want to start a career dealing with animals.

A graduate degree in zoology or veterinary medicine is advised if you want to work with animals regularly, such as as a wildlife biologist or veterinarian. Veterinary technicians, zookeepers, and wildlife technicians are examples of jobs that need less education but need frequent, direct contact with animals.

Many animal career searchers are interested in working with exotic species, thus zoological park job openings might be limited. For each post offered, zoos typically receive thousands of applicants. By boosting your résumé with hands-on experience and education, you may significantly improve your chances of winning one of these desired roles. 

What does Working at a Zoo Mean?

Working at a zoo entails caring for zoo animals regularly, whether they are native or foreign species. Employees must also maintain zoo facilities, which include cleaning displays, conducting landscaping jobs, and relocating animals to better suit their requirements. Zoo personnel must also connect with the general public to ensure zoo safety and educate them about animal species.

It is dependent on the sort of work you are seeking. In a typical zoo, there are six departments and they are as following:

  1. Volunteering
  2. Veterinary
  3. Finance
  4. Administration
  5. Engineering
  6. Security
  1. Volunteering

You may assist educators or scientists in their work by volunteering. Usually, this is a free service.

  1. Veterinary

You should have a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science as well as the necessary experience. Surgeons, nutritionists, biologists, and researchers are among the vocations that demand specialty. This group also includes zookeepers and gardeners, both of whom require expertise earned through a degree or as a volunteer. 

  1. Finance

For a job in the finance department, a zoo, like all financial organizations, needs MBA degrees. Cashiers, financial counselors, and income tax advisers may all be found here.

  1. Administration

One should pass a national test to be considered for this position (for India it is conducted by UPSC as an IFS exam). You might become the zoo’s curator/director by doing so. By taking the same test, you may apply for various roles such as deputy, assistant, and so on. Other positions that require a degree of expertise include computer/social media cum website developers and educational officers. Some peons and assistants are required to have a minimum of credentials.

  1. Engineering 
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You should have a bachelor’s degree in engineering (usually civil) and the necessary years of work experience. You could serve as a senior engineer as a result of this. If you have a bachelor’s degree in architecture, you can work as an enclosures designer at various zoos. (Check with the zoo administration for confirmation).

  1. Security

Contractors in the security industry hire personnel. Ex-servicemen from the Indian army, for example (for Indians only).

Applying for a Job in Zoos: A Few Pointers

There will be various things to think about before and after applying for zoo employment. So, here are a few pointers to help you build your application materials and apply for the correct kind of zoo jobs:

Determine Your Preferred Employment Position or Field of Expertise

Create a list of what interests you the most about working at a zoo before you start applying for zoo employment. Consider the various species of animals that intrigue you and if you’d like to provide medical or ordinary care to them. It will assist you in your job hunt by providing you with a sensation of direction.

Locate Zoos in Your Neighborhood by Doing Some Research

Depending on where you reside and where you want to conduct your job search, you may direct your job search by location. Get a broad notion of prospective job opportunities in your neighborhood, state, or country. 

If you’re limited by geography, this might help you reduce your search to one or more zoos, however, if you don’t reside in an area with zoos, you’ll need to broaden your employment search.

On Your Resume and Cover Letter, Emphasize any Relevant Experience Dealing with Animals

You might not have professional experience in zoos, based on your past job experience. Alternative experiences, such as serving or volunteering at an animal shelter, aiding with animal research projects in terms of your degree program, or doing an internship caring for and treating animals, can be highlighted. 

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Follow up on Your Application and be Proactive in Your Approach

Send an employer a follow-up email around a week after you’ve submitted your application. It should be a formal email that includes your name, the job title you applied for, and the date you submitted your application. 

Reiterate your interest in the post, and thank them once again for the chance to apply. This demonstrates your interest in the position and reminds employers to review your application materials.

Maintain an Open Mind to New Possibilities

Your ability to secure your ideal zoo employment straight away may be contingent on your prior experience and current employment opportunities. As a result, you must make the most of any chance to add zoo-related experiences to your CV.

Volunteer opportunities, internships, and entry-level maintenance employment are available in several zoos for anyone with an interest in animals and wildlife education. These chances might lead to full-time jobs in fields that are relevant to your career aspirations.

Inquire About Job Vacancies at Zoos in Person

If you can’t locate particular information on zoo employment in your region online, visit a zoo in person and inquire about volunteer or career possibilities. You can even come across signs for help sought that the employer didn’t put up on its website. 

It also helps you to build a professional relationship with an employer before submitting your application documents.  If they ask for your résumé and cover letter, make sure you have them with you. 

Acquiring an Education

A two-year degree to a four-year degree may be necessary for certain employment, with certain professions needing extra graduate study. Many students are interested in working at a zoo major in biology, zoology, animal behavior, animal science, conservation science, or a related topic.

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Although many keepers have a four-year bachelor of science (BS) degree, certain roles require only an associate degree. A B.S. degree is usually required for positions such as zoologists, with M.S. or Ph.D. degrees preferred. Before entering veterinary school, veterinarians must first finish their undergraduate degree; those who pursue professional licenses in the veterinary sector must complete extra years of study and testing. 

Acquire Practical Experience

Volunteer apprenticeships at a zoo are a great opportunity to get hands-on experience. Many zoos provide programs that allow members of the public to interact with their animals in some way. Typical responsibilities include aiding with educational programs, aiding with animal ration preparation, aiding with veterinary treatment, watching keepers as they care for animals throughout the day, and aiding with animal enclosure maintenance. Part-time or seasonal roles are also available at several zoos.

If you don’t live near a zoo, you can obtain experience by volunteering or interning with animals at aquariums, museums, animal parks, humane organizations, rescue groups, stables, wildlife rehabilitation centers, or fish and game departments. 

Working as a veterinarian assistant can help you advance in a range of zoo careers. Supporting a wildlife veterinarian is excellent, but working with an equine veterinarian, a big animal veterinarian, or a small animal veterinarian can also give an excellent experience for your career. Engaging with a range of animals in a hands-on position is the most important component here. 

Reference

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/zoo.20359
  2. https://www.mdpi.com/725434