Are you fascinated by nature shows? Do you spend your days trying to spot wild animals? Do you want to get paid to work with cool creatures? Why don’t you become a zookeeper?
Zookeepers are professional animal keepers that care for exotic animals in zoos and aquariums. It’s their job to work with wild animals in an established setting for the purposes of research, recreation, conservation, and education.
Working at zoos and aquariums is not your typical “job.” Zookeepers may work individually or in teams to do a wide variety of tasks pertaining to wild animals like gorillas, giraffes, chimpanzees, zebras, grizzly bears, hyenas, monkeys, elephants, tigers, panda bears, pelicans, alligators, iguanas, boa constrictors, tortoises, parakeets, lions, gazelles, camels, hippopotamuses, rhinoceros, orangutans, kangaroos, seals, eagles, and other cool creatures.
Since they work with a diverse selection of species, no two days are the same. Zookeepers are responsible for veterinary care, research, cleaning, education, training, feeding, and monitoring all of the creatures within the confines of the zoo or aquarium. It’s a big job that’s most certainly very rewarding.
It’ important to realize that being a zookeeper isn’t all fun and games. Anytime you’re in close proximity to a wild animal, there are certain risks involved. Despite the risks, being a zookeeper is a highly coveted job and that means there’s lots of job search competition.
If you want to become a zookeeper, you’ll need to earn a degree in zoology, animal science, wildlife management, biology, veterinary medicine, or a related niche. The next step is to gain experience at vet clinics, stables, zoos, wildlife rehabilitation centers, or other places where you can get hands on with large animals. Most zoos offer volunteer opportunities and internships too.
Once you have built up your zookeeper resume, it’s time to apply for jobs. Here are a few resources to kickstart your job search to become a zookeeper:
- Cincinnati Zoo
- Philadelphia Zoo
- San Diego Zoo
- St. Louis Zoo
- Association Of Zoos & Aquariums
- Bronx Zoo
- Alaska Zoo
- Birmingham Zoo
- San Diego Zoo
If you’re a true animal lover and are passionate about creatures of all shapes and sizes, become a zookeeper. It might be the best job ever.