Zoo Careers

What is the role of a Zookeeper?

A zookeeper is in charge of the daily cleaning, maintenance, and feeding of the animals. These professionals must be observant in order to notice changes in behaviors to ensure the health of their animals, and must be able to maneuver in a physically taxing environment. Additionally, zookeepers must be available to provide around the clock care, educate the public on conservation issues, and often research on how to preserve endangered species (especially reproductive husbandry). Keepers may work with a generalize population or specialize in areas such as being elephant keepers or primate keepers.

What type of education is required?

A bachelor of science in any Biology related field such as Biology, Zoology, or Animal Science is recommended. An advanced degree in zoology or veterinary medicine is often recommended, but is not always required. Consider participating in continuing education labs/lectures on conservation and wildlife issues to obtain the necessary academic knowledge.

What is the expected salary?

Salaries for zookeepers are typically low compared to the amount of education and training required. The average salary is about $26, 080.

How can I prepare myself for a job as a Zookeeper while at NC State?

Taking courses in invertebrate biology (ZO 402) or Animal Phylogeny and Diversity (350), or more concentrated courses such as Captive Animal Biology (ZO 333) or Avian Ecology (AEC 501) might be of interest. There are many of zoological courses offered at North Carolina State, and a list can be found in the Zoology (BS) Course List

What kind of experience is required?

Zookeeping is a competitive career therefore first aid training and relevant internships in animal husbandry or exotic animals is suggested. It is important to demonstrate your knowledge and interest in animals through animal-centered work and/or volunteer experiences. This can include volunteering in local zoos and aquariums; national parks; wildlife refuges, management facilities, and animal shelters. Experience with domestic animals is also helpful. You can obtain these experiences by volunteering at animal hospitals and clinics; horse farms or stables; and kennel or boarding facilities.

Where can I find more information?



Career Opportunities

Visit https://www.aza.org/careers_in_zoos_and_aquariums?locale=en for more information about potential career opportunities in a Zoo .