Jobs Working in Zoos

Jobs Working in Zoos
jobs working at a zoo

Jobs Working in Zoos

One of the biggest questions that animal lovers and conservation advocates might be asking is how they can find work in a zoo. The good news is that zoos have a need for employees and specialists from several backgrounds and trades. 

Zoos provide unique job opportunities that range from hands-on work with animals and animal maintenance to creative and academic positions like research and curating. With more than 2,000 zoos in the United States alone, 10,00 worldwide, those eager to work with and for the betterment for animals have a variety of ways to do so.

Here are some of the most notable and demanded jobs in zoos. 

Veterinarians & Zookeepers

While there’s more to zoos than zookeeping and animal maintenance, these are still two of the most demanded and iconic jobs in zoos. 

Veterinarians are responsible for maintaining the health of animals and providing emergency care when animals are in critical condition. Veterinarians will be required to take x-rays, provide birth assistance, annual checkups, mouth and teeth cleansing, and make psychological/behavioral evaluations. As of 2017, The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the average pay rate for veterinarians is $90,000 annually. Veterinary technicians, those responsible for assisting veterinarians with animal care, earn between $30,000-$40,000 annually.

Probably the most iconic field of employment in zoos, zookeepers are responsible for feeding, monitoring behavior, cleaning the animal living spaces, veterinary care assistance, and providing information about the animals to the public. While zookeepers earn about $25,000 a year, the appeal of working up-close with exotic animals makes their position one of the most competitive and sought after in zoos. 

Educational Jobs Working in Zoos

Zoos provide one of the most unique opportunities for academics, animal researchers, and educators to conduct research and expand learning on animals. Perhaps nowhere else in the world can a single place cull together animals from opposite sides of the globe in such a concise and unifying way. 

If you’re interested in getting into educational jobs in zoos, here are some of the top positions available today:

  • Zoologist: Zoologists analyze data, conduct research, initiate programs with captive breeding, and evaluate the impact that humans have on various species. Data retained from a zoo can be applied to phenomena occurring in the wild, making in-house zoologists excellent partners for conservation organizations and animal-protection agencies. Zoologist can expect to earn between $60,000-$70,000 yearly. 
  • Zoo Educators: Zoo educators are responsible for providing in-house educational opportunities to the public. They provide things like tours, lectures, and educational pamphlets. Some zoo educators will be asked to create materials for the zoo to post on their website, blog, or in unison with their research staff. Educators also work with interns looking to become zookeepers or part of the research team. Zoo educators have an annual salary of about $35,000.
  • Educational/Research Curators: Educational/research curators share a more administrative role than their educational counterparts. They’re responsible for developing new educational programs, events, and learning opportunities for the public. Additionally, because they have greater insight through research staff, education curators work side by side with the marketing team, providing them with details of programs in order to inform and bolster their marketing strategies. Educational curators have a median annual salary of about $55,000. 



Administrative and Managerial Jobs Working in Zoos

Like in any institution, zoos require members of management to oversee, delegate, and manage both day-to-day operations as well as long-term strategies.

Of the many administrative positions, zoo curators are among the most important and sought after. Curators are designated throughout the park and are responsible for monitoring and managing zookeepers, veterinarians, enclosure spaces, and other relevant staff that work under them. As a curator, you could be potentially responsible for a specific group of animals under a family or genus, or a specific area of the park. Most curators will earn approximately $45,000 annually. 

Other administrative positions include head zookeeper, veterinarian, aquarium lead, operations director, retail managers–like in gift shops or restaurants– and zoo registrars. Many of these positions require the tracking and detailed recording of the animals in their supervision, as well as comprehensive interactions with the zookeepers and staff under them.

[Read more: Zoo Marketing Strategy]

There’s a lot that goes into running a zoo, which means there are a number of available jobs working in zoos. Whether you’re looking to apply in a zoo or you’re already managing one, having up-to-date technology to assist you in your day-to-day and long-term needs will help keep you and your staff happy. 

ACME ticketing provides a simple and straightforward zoo software to manage your ticketing needs, transactions, memberships, and important data to help you understand your visitors better. Simplify the management process, and try the ACME demo today.

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