Do you love animals? Do you want a career that allows you to work with them daily? If so, you might consider searching for “zoo jobs near me.” Zookeeping is an important and challenging field, and many different positions are available. It can also be incredibly competitive to get a position in the field since there are a lot of other animal lovers just like you.
When looking for a zoo job, there are a few things that you need to consider to make sure the field is the right one for you. The first is that zookeepers don’t make a lot of money. The average salary for zookeepers in 2021 was $32,000/year, so if that doesn’t sound like a liveable wage to you, you might want to reconsider applying.
The zoo industry is doing a lot to make having a job at the zoo attractive, but it isn’t profitable, so it will take some time to change the trends. The second is that zookeeping jobs require a lot of physical labor. Many zookeepers retire early due to injuries or bad backs. Lastly, being a zookeeper can put a strain on your mental health. When other living beings rely on you for their care, it can create a lot of stress.
If you are still interested and want to Google “zoo jobs near me,” this guide will show you how to find a job at the zoo and what to expect from the process. We will also provide tips on how to make yourself the best candidate possible. So whether you are just starting your job search or you are already in the midst of it, read on for all the information you need to land your dream job at the zoo!
How to find a job at the zoo in 7 steps
Finding jobs in zoos and wildlife parks can be a challenging and competitive process, but with the right approach, you can increase your chances of success. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that many jobs in zoos and wildlife parks require their employees to have experience in the field.
Therefore, one of the best ways to prepare for zookeeper jobs is to complete a zoo internship. This will provide you with valuable hands-on experience and help you develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in this field. Once you have the experience on your resume, you’re ready to start applying for zoo jobs.
1. Check out your local zoo’s website
Most local zoos have a list of open zoo keeper jobs on their website, so if you want to stay near home or have a favorite zoo in mind, check their openings by searching “ zoo jobs near me.” Zoos such as Tanganyika Wildlife Park lists open positions in its website’s employment section year-round.
Note that the average job tenure in zoos and wildlife parks is just over two years. Thus, if your zoo has 30 zookeeping positions open, about 15 of them will come up for hire yearly. While the field is competitive, positions are often available, and you don’t have to wait too long to apply for zoo jobs.
Pro tip: One of the best ways to get hired at your local zoo is to volunteer until your dream zoo job becomes available. The zoo team will know if you’re a good fit when you do apply, and you’ll have the inside scoop!
2. Ask family and friends if they know of any open positions at a zoo
Asking family and friends if they know of any open positions at a zoo can be a useful way to learn about job opportunities that may not be widely advertised. This approach is similar to the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” concept, which suggests that any two people on Earth are connected through a maximum of six social connections.
As for finding a job at a zoo near you, you can learn about job opportunities through your family and friends who know someone who works at the zoo. This approach can help you expand your network and increase your chances of finding a job in this field. It’s also a good idea to be proactive and reach out to people in your network, as they may need to be made aware that you are looking for a job at a zoo.
3. Sign up for job alerts online so you can be notified as soon as a position becomes available
Many job search and professional networking sites allow you to create an account and set up alerts for specific keywords, such as “zoo keeper” or “wildlife park.” Thus, you will receive an email notification whenever a new zoo keeper job is posted.
This can help you stay on top of the latest job opportunities and be one of the first to apply. Additionally, some wildlife parks have web portals where you can sign up for alerts to be notified of open positions. This can prove helpful in learning about opportunities at specific organizations you are interested in.
4. Network with people who work at the zoo or who have connections to the zoo industry
Networking with professionals who have jobs in zoos and wildlife parks is a valuable way to learn about job opportunities and gain insight into the industry. Attending conferences and workshop can provide you with the opportunity to meet and connect with people who are working in this field.
These connections can be valuable sources of information, advice, and support and can help you learn about job opportunities that may not be advertised publicly. In addition to attending industry events, you can also connect with professionals through online forums, professional networking sites, and social media. These connections can help you build your network and increase your chances of finding a job in this field.
In some cases, these connections may lead directly to a job at the zoo, as people in your network may be able to refer you for zoo job openings or provide you with insider information about upcoming positions.
Pro tip: Zoo-keeping professionals and hiring managers mostly look for zookeeping applicants with staying power. It can take 1-2 years to fully train a zookeeper, and it drains staff when people quit within the first two years. So when you’re networking, think about interviewing at different zoos to find somewhere you can stay and weather the storms that come with any job.
5. Be prepared to apply for multiple positions, as there is often high competition for these jobs
Working with African Penguins or educating the public about Cheetah Conservation is a highly sought-after opportunity, as it allows individuals to work closely with these incredible animals and positively impact their conservation. However, securing a job in this field can be challenging, as high competition exists for these positions.
As a result, you may need to apply for many jobs at multiple zoos before securing the one you want. This is why it is crucial to be persistent, flexible, and open to different positions and locations. By taking these steps and networking with professionals in the field, you can increase your chances of finding a job in this exciting and rewarding industry.
6. Look for jobs at the US Zoo associations
If you want to find jobs in zoos and wildlife parks here are the top three websites to look at:
- The Zoological Assocation of America Job Board
- The American Association of Zoo Keeper’s Job Board
- The Assocation of Zoos and Aquariums Job Board
Most zoos, wildlife parks, and aquariums don’t post their positions on traditional jobs boards like Indeed or Monster. This is because they are looking for people with experience working with exotic animals. They assume that people who are knowledgeable in the field will look for jobs on these professional zoo job boards.
Pro tip: Apply for more than one zookeeping job but don’t apply for everything all at once. It may take more time, but think hard and make sure the job you’re applying for is for a long time.
7. Consider volunteering, internships, or seasonal jobs to get your foot in the door
When applying for a job at a zoo, it’s important to consider seasonal employment opportunities, internships, and volunteer work as viable options. These can provide valuable experience and help you develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in this field.
Additionally, these opportunities can help you build your network and connect with zoo and wildlife professionals. In many cases, who you know can be just as important as what you know when finding a job in this field.
Employers want to ensure that you are a good fit for the team and that you have a strong work ethic, so they may be more inclined to hire someone who has already demonstrated these qualities through seasonal work, internships, or volunteer work. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you can increase your chances of finding a job in a zoo.
Tips for Applying for zoo jobs
Once you have chosen the best zookeeping jobs to apply for, you must also study the job description and application rules. Unfortunately, many zookeepers aren’t considered when they first start applying for zoo jobs because they forget to follow simple rules like attaching a cover letter or filling out an online application in full.
When applying for jobs at zoos and wildlife parks, carefully prepare your resume and cover letter to make the best impression on hiring managers. Your resume should be one page or less and focus on your most recent and relevant experience. Hiring managers at zoos often have only a few seconds to review your resume, so you want to ensure it stands out and showcases your skills and accomplishments.
To make your resume more effective, highlight any special projects or skills that make you a strong candidate for the job. Additionally, research the organization and the position beforehand and tailor your resume and cover letter to the job’s specific requirements. A good resume and cover letter can be built with the help of some great resources.
Finally, have someone review your application to ensure it’s error-free and presents you in the best light possible. These steps can help you increase your chances of getting an interview and ultimately securing a job at a zoo or wildlife park.
Pro tip: Consider three things you feel you excel at in the job description, and write a paragraph about how your previous experience has prepared you for these tasks.
Get your Entry Level Zoo job by excelling at your interview
If you are fortunate enough to land an interview at a zoo or wildlife park, you must do your research beforehand to make the best impression. This means looking at recent articles and blogs about the organization and learning as much as possible about the zoo and its operations.
By doing this research, you can prepare thoughtful questions or comments to share during the interview, showing the interviewer how interested you are. Additionally, this research can help you understand the needs and goals of the organization and allow you to tailor your answers to the specific requirements of the job. By preparing for the interview, you can increase your chances of standing out from the other candidates and securing the job you want.
In addition to questions about the organization, you should also have some questions about your dealbreakers. By now, you have some work experience and are starting to understand what you like and don’t like. This can help you identify the factors that are important to you in a job, such as the size of the team you work with, the focus on conservation, or the typical hours and shifts.
By understanding your preferences, you can ask thoughtful questions during the interview to make sure the job is a good fit for you. For example, if you are interested in working with a small team, you could ask the interviewer about the size of the team you would be working with. Alternatively, if you are passionate about conservation, you could ask about the organization’s efforts in this area. By knowing the questions to ask, you can learn more about the job and the organization and make sure you are applying for the right job.
When it’s time for your interview, it’s essential that you make a good impression by dressing appropriately and professionally presenting yourself. Some jobs will start with a phone interview, and even though the interviewer can’t see you, dress up and smile.
How you dress has an impact on how you behave and on how others view you. Even if the interview is conducted over Zoom or another online platform, stay well-groomed and dressed in business casual attire. If you can, ask your potential employer about what you should wear and what you should expect.
Conclusion: Getting zoo jobs near me
In conclusion, finding and applying for zoo jobs can be a fun and exciting process. By searching for “zoo jobs near me” and looking into job opportunities at your local zoo, you can take the first step towards starting a rewarding career working with animals.
Be sure to carefully read the job description and requirements before applying, and submit a well-written and personalized cover letter and resume to increase your chances of being considered for the position. With a bit of research and effort, you can find and apply for the perfect zoo job.