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How to Find Work as a Zookeeper

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, zookeeper jobs can expect "keen competition" due to "slow job growth." Learn how to get a zookeeper job in a competitive job market.


  • Step 1: Apply for an entry-level job if there are no zookeeper jobs available at your chosen zoo. Current zoo employees will have the inside track to jobs posted by the human resources department.
  • Step 2: Try to get a zoo internship if you can't find an entry-level job. The AZA and AAZK websites list intern opportunities. An internship can lead to an entry-level job. Internships can lead to entry-level jobs.
  • FACT: For 600 years, lions and other animals were kept in the Tower of London as part of the Royal Menagerie.
  • Step 3: Search the list of accredited zoo websites at the AZA website if you choose to look for zookeeper work outside your current locale.
  • TIP: Additional certification may be required of zookeepers attending specific zoo areas such as an aquarium.
  • Step 4: Read individual job requirements, which typically include a Bachelor's degree in a relevant biological field and hands-on experience with animal care.
  • TIP: Other American job requirements can include a valid driver's license and the ability to speak and write English fluently.
  • Step 5: Visit a nearby zoo's website to check for full-time, part-time, and seasonal job openings. Draft a cover letter and a resume if you don't already have one.
  • Step 6: Visit the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) and Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) websites for job listings.

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