Careers - Zoo Keeper
Have you ever thought of a career in a zoo? We explore some key roles at ZSL and what they entail
Qualifications and experience
At least five good GCSEs and at least one A-level. BTEC qualification in Animal Science or Husbandry is also acceptable.
What zoos look for
Someone who can demonstrate a genuine interest in animals and their welfare and an interest in conservation. Someone who is fit and healthy, not afraid of hard physical work and prepared to work regular weekends. Someone who is self-disciplined and a team player. Also someone who is happy to talk to visitors and answer questions
What the work involves
Cleaning out dens and enclosures; preparing food; observing animals and keeping records; giving talks to visitors, working with the vet if animals become ill.
After a six-month probationary period, keepers start a two-year course leading to an Advanced National Certificate in the Management of Zoo Animals. This involves learning about nutrition, enclosure design, health, safety and hygiene, restraint and transport of animals, conservation, disease and the husbandry needs of different types of animal.
Applying for a job
Competition is high. At ZSL we look for a disciplined, unsentimental approach to animal welfare, enthusiasm, a commitment to conservation and a willingness to communicate with visitors. Jobs are advertised on the ZSL website.