Do you want to pursue a Zoo Career?

There are several career paths you can pursue within a zoo, including zoo keeping, veterinary science, biology & zoology, education... If you are unsure what path is the right for you, check out the BIAZA's Zoo Careers Guide and the AZA's Types of Zoo and Aquarium Jobs.

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Photo: Dallas Zoo

What to study?

Depending on the country, there are different education paths you can pursue if you are interested in working in a zoo. Biology, Zoology, Veterinary Science, Animal Behaviour & Welfare are all relevant subjects for a zoo job.

However, some countries offer very specific courses on the subject. You might be interested in studying one of these if you want to have a zoo specific education.

Aspiring zoo scientist?
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5 Tips to Help You Getting Into a Zoo Science Career

Job Vacancies

Zoo Research & Conservation

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Conservation Coordinator- Marine Species & Ecosystems

Indianapolis Zoo/ Global Center for Species Survival (United States)

The Global Center for Species Survival Staff Team provides critical training, capacity and coordination support to further mobilize the species conservation efforts of IUCN SSC Network of experts alongside wider partner and key stakeholder communities. Seven Conservation Coordinators (each assigned to a specific taxon or realm) comprise part of the Global Center for Species Survival Staff Team.   

We are currently seeking a Conservation Coordinator: Marine Species and Ecosystems to complete our team. This position is open and available to all candidates worldwide. International candidates must be able to acquire a work visa. Fluency in English a requirement of all positions.  Fluency in other languages is desired. 

The Marine Conservation Coordinator will focus on assessing, planning and mobilizing policy and action for mammals conservation around the world. 

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Deadline: October 12

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Animal Behaviour Assistant – Fixed term

Marwell Zoo (United Kingdom)

An exciting opportunity has arisen to support Marwell’s Animal Behaviourist with researching, monitoring and assessing animal welfare in relation to our brand-new winter event, Glow Marwell. This opportunity will allow the successful applicant to gain experience in zoo-based research and the scientific assessment and advancement of animal welfare.

This will be fixed term contract, running to the end of December 2022. Glow Marwell will run from 18 November to 30 December 2022.

Welfare monitoring will begin in the lead up to the event and will continue throughout to help us assess and mitigate against any impact on our animals. This means that the hours will vary from 9am-4pm (on non-event days) and 2pm-9pm (on event days).

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Deadline: October 9

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Medical Technologist/Clinical Lab Scientist

SeaWorld San Diego (United States)

We’re seeking one more enthusiastic, dedicated, and hard-working Medical Technologist/Clinical Laboratory Scientist to join our growing Team. Join us and play an important part in our incredible team!
What you get to do:
•Perform laboratory analyses to enable veterinarians and curators to properly manage the health of the animal collection in the park and the animals rescued, rehabilitated, and returned back into the wild.
•Enthusiastically represents SeaWorld by displaying a positive attitude, maintaining a high level of energy and commitment to quality throughout all aspects of the job.
•Follows laboratory procedures according to federal, state and local regulations.
•Follows engineering and work practice controls for laboratory workers.
•Performs analyses in hematology, chemistry, microbiology, mycology, parasitology, urinalysis, cytology and water chemistry.
•Computes and prepares test results.
•Maintains records and enters data into computer.
•Prepares and processes samples and maintains records for animal care and research projects.
•Maintains laboratory supplies and equipment.
•Dispenses vitamins and other supplies as needed.
•Assists and participates in animal care projects as needed.
•Ensures excellent animal care service by responding to team's requirements, expectations and needs.
•Other related duties as assigned.

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Director of Animal Wellbeing

Association of Zoos & Aquariums - AZA (United States)

Under general supervision, directs and supports the Association’s animal wellbeing and welfare initiatives.  Responsibilities include overseeing the implementation of AZA’s Strategic Framework for the Wellbeing of Animals, facilitating development of welfare-related tools and resources, promoting applied welfare-related research among AZA member organizations, and building capacity throughout the AZA community on management strategies that enhance animal wellbeing, animal health, and population sustainability.

The Director of Animal Wellbeing will work in partnership with other AZA staff, AZA’s Animal Welfare Committee and other relevant committees, Scientific Advisory Groups, Animal Programs, task forces, and AZA’s Accreditation Commission, as well as external animal welfare-focused groups and academic organizations.

This position reports to the Senior Vice President of Conservation, Management, and Welfare Sciences, and is based in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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Animal Wellbeing Program Assistant

Association of Zoos & Aquariums - AZA (United States)

Under direct supervision, performs various duties in support of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA’s) Conservation, Management, and Welfare Sciences department.  Responsibilities include providing administrative and programmatic support to animal wellbeing initiatives, including the implementation of AZA’s Strategic Framework for the Wellbeing of Animals, program support to the Animal Welfare Committee, providing excellent member services and support to AZA members, partners, and the general public, and completing other duties as needed. Works closely with the Animal Welfare Committee, other relevant Committees, Scientific Advisory Groups, Animal Programs, and task forces, as needed.

This position reports to the AZA Director of Animal Wellbeing and is based in Silver Spring, Maryland.

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Marine Species Conservation Program Manager

New England Aquarium (United States)

A leader in marine species scientific research, we seek a collaborative anddedicated individual with a strong record of strategic and cross-functional program implementation to serve as the F/T Program Manager for an exciting new conservation advocacy position centered on marine species protection and responsible use of the ocean. This position will build our capacity as a thought leader in right whale and other marine species conservation. Integrating outcomes-focused work that occurs across existing departments, this interdisciplinary position will leverage our science and policy expertise, harness the power of our public engagement capability, and cultivate relationships with other zoos and aquaria increasing impact on the survival of marine species. Working closely with NEAq leadership at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life (ACCOL) and under the supervision of the Director of Ocean Policy, the Program Manager will harmonize various individual functions by overseeing organization-wide species conservation plans. The Program Manager will also cultivate external relationships that build upon NEAq's leadership in research towards conserving marine species.

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Nutrition Center Manager

Denver Zoo (United States)

Denver Zoo is a leader in animal care, wildlife conservation, and education. We are passionate about our commitment to excellence in support of our mission of Inspiring Communities to Save Wildlife for Future Generations. Denver Zoo's Animal Health department has an opportunity for a full time Nutrition Center Manager to support Denver Zoo’s mission and goals by ensuring optimal nutrition for the Denver Zoo’s animals. This includes the formulation, preparation, and scientific assessment of diets and nutritional records; tracking diets and diet changes; and assisting with the diet review process. Candidates should have at least 2-years of experience in a zoo commissary or similar operation. 

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Animal Nutrition Manager

Memphis Zoo (United States)

Memphis Zoo is seeking to hire an exceptional nutritionist to oversee all aspects of the zoo's Animal Nutrition Center. Under direction of the Senior Veterinarian, the Nutrition Manager will direct and guide the Nutrition Center staff ensuring accuracy, quality control, safe/proper work methods/techniques and compliance with all USDA and AZA standards.

Duties:

  • Determines dietary/food supply needs based on the most current industry standards for the wide variety of species within the zoo. Always ordering/maintaining adequate quantities of all dietary items. Performs analysis on dietary items (eg. forage, fish, etc.) on a regular basis.

  • Creates and maintains the Nutrition Center's annual budget.

  • Responsible for soliciting vendors which includes negotiating prices, purchasing products and keeping accurate records.

  • Receive and inspect deliveries for highest product quality. Immediately address any issues with vendors and communicate issues as well as resolutions with appropriate staff.

  • Maintains a collaborative, transparent, and innovative rapport with nutrition team members, veterinary staff, animal care managers/staff, browse team manager, leadership team as well as other internal and external customers.

  • Conducts and participates in nutrition team meetings as well as cross departmental meetings.

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Conservation Technician

National Aquarium (United States)

General Purpose: Coordinates and supports components of Conservation Program Initiatives including the Field Conservation and Conservation Community Engagement programs, and responsible for general communication and reporting for program activities.

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Director of Community Research & Evaluation

Denver Zoo (United States)

The Director of Community Research & Evaluation oversees and participates in research and evaluation projects that progress the organization’s ongoing development and impact for audiences and wildlife conservation efforts. By overseeing the social science evaluation of strategic plan activities and key performance indicators (KPIs), and providing guidance in implementation science, this role ensures our services, programs and exhibits are designed to best connect guests and community members with the organization’s mission. The Director provides leadership and supervision for a team of two managers who coordinate and implement systematic, data-based inquiries that engage Denver Zoo audiences. Additionally, the Director provides collaborative and strategic leadership by actively seeking partnerships with key internal and external collaborators that contribute to the Zoo’s mission to inspire communities to save wildlife for future generations.

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Marine Aquarium Research Associate

Disney's The Seas/New College of Florida (United States)

The Research Associate will help develop, support, assist, and provide technical expertise to implement science-based animal care and conservation programs, novel research, and outreach at Walt Disney’s Parks & Resorts. The position will be based primarily at Epcot’s The Seas but, as part of a larger Science Operations team, may also contribute to projects at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and other offsite locations. These projects may include animal behavior assessment, health monitoring, environmental and water quality monitoring, exploration of cognition, and review of animal care practices. However, we work as one multidisciplinary team to address dynamic needs where they arise across disciplines.

This is a three-year appointment (with 6-month initial probationary period) beginning as soon as October 16th as a third-party contractor. This position is a Marine Aquarium Research Associate employed through New College of Florida and based at Disney’s The Seas in Orlando, FL. Applicant must be able to work in the United States. Employer will not pay fees associated with relocation or visa/work permit applications. 

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Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory Technician

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium (United States)

We are seeking a Genetics Diagnostic Laboratory Technician to be responsible for performing molecular diagnostic testing of samples from zoo and captive animals for various maladies including elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus (EEHV) hemorrhagic disease. Additionally, the Diagnostic Laboratory Technician will be responsible for the development of pedigree data and molecular sexing diagnoses in zoo and captive animals. This position typically works an 8-hour workday, five days a week, totaling 40 hours a week; however, some nights, weekends, and/or holidays may be required especially when emergency diagnoses are necessitated. The Diagnostic Laboratory Technician reports to the Laboratory Manager as well as the Director of the Conservation Genetics Department.

 

Duties and Responsibilities (include but not limited to):

  • Assist in care, maintenance, and utilization of department equipment and supplies.

  • Execute lab procedures and required tasks under supervision and independently.

  • Prepare solutions and media for molecular biology applications.

  • Maintain cleanliness and sanitation in the laboratory while following all safety procedures.

  • Prepare standard operating procedures for molecular diagnostic tests.

  • Liaise with vet and animal care staff on sample collection.

  • Perform DNA extractions using various methodologies.

  • Quantitate DNA with fluorometer and qPCR.

  • Conduct various molecular diagnostic tests with PCR for animal diseases as needed, including testing trunk washes, feces, and blood for the presence of EEHV on a routine basis.

  • Responsible for troubleshooting and resolving problems regarding essential laboratory equipment.

  • Compile detailed and accurate documentation of all testing conducted.

  • Prepare and analyze data and report on results of molecular tests to department director, veterinarian staff and relevant zoo departments

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Postdoctoral Scientist Conservation Genetics

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium (United States)

We are seeking one post-doctoral researcher with interest/expertise in the generation and analysis of next-generation sequencing data of lemurs, tortoises, and other taxa from Madagascar. This position will report to the Director of Conservation Genetics.

 

Duties and Responsibilities (include but not limited to):

  • Be proficient in the construction genomic libraries and in solution hybridization methodologies for high throughput sequencing as well as all relevant analysis of large datasets, and manage next-generation sequence workflows.

  • The researchers will be responsible for development, implementation, and support of software applications related to variant detection and interpretation from high-throughput experiments involving multiple species of lemurs, tortoises, and taxa from Madagascar.

  • Assembly of whole genomes is in-progress but will require additional analysis pertinent to specific research projects.

  • Data on a variety from a variety of species has already been generated, thus candidates will be able to quickly start analysis and manuscript preparation.

  • Will work closely with two full-time technicians to manage NGS lab work, as well as with a full-time bioinformatician.

  • While in Omaha the researchers will work with a variety of Malagasy graduate students and is expected to assist with the progression of a variety of projects and assist with completion of their degrees and peer-reviewed manuscripts.

  • Travel to Madagascar to support the field programs of Omaha Zoo and the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership to Madagascar is required for a single five-week interval once a year.

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Cat Colony Research Associate

Cincinnati Zoo - CREW (United States)

The successful candidate will oversee, monitor, and support all activities of the domestic cat research colony housed at CREW, ensuring the animals receive proper husbandry and care and that the facility is in compliance with regulations and guidelines set forth by CREW, IACUC, IRB, USDA, and PHS.
 
The chosen applicant will serve as manager over the colony animal keeper staff and volunteers, but approximately 30% of time and effort will be devoted to performing the daily duties of the colony. Key responsibilities include the following:

  • Facilitate husbandry, training, and enrichment programs for the ~80 cats housed in the research facility

  • Supervise, train, and develop the animal care team (including keepers, volunteers, interns, and students)

  • Develop SOPs for research studies; collect data/samples as outlined in SOPs

  • Assist the veterinary staff with restraint and treatment of animals

  • Administer medications and special diets; observe, record, and report on health status of animals

  • Keep detailed records of all activities in colony; maintain animal inventory database

  • Implement sanitation and biosecurity protocols

  • Develop and oversee adoption program for cats

  • Participate in the general care and maintenance of the colony; and maintain and service facility equipment.

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Conservation & Research Coordinator

Twycross Zoo (United Kingdom)

Reporting to the Conservation and Research Manager, you will support the delivery of our Conservation and Research Strategy. This will include helping to develop partnerships with Higher Education institutions and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to deliver conservation and research outputs.

You will also help to plan, process, and deliver conservation and research activities through maintaining records, organising events, and supporting the effective communication of activities both internally and externally.

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Stranding Biologist: Stranding Investigations Program

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium (United States)

The stranding biologist will be directly involved in the 24-hr response, recovery, and transport of stranded marine mammals and sea turtles within Mote’s stranding response area (Manatee, Sarasota, and parts of Charlotte and Lee Counties).  The duties include responding to a 24-hour, 7-days/week stranding notification pager and coordinating response based on the species, number, size, and condition of the animal(s) and with state and federal partners when appropriate.  The biologist will be directly involved in the recovery, examination, data collection, tissue sampling processing and distribution of samples, and disposal of carcasses. The biologist will be working both independently and as part of a larger team. The biologist will be responsible for maintenance and data entry of the Incident Report database, the cetacean stranding database the Sea Turtle stranding database, photo archives and assistance with other research projects, as requested by the Program Manager.  Duties also include supplies inventory and equipment maintenance.  The biologist will coordinate and supervise interns and volunteers.  The biologist will represent MML and interact with the public in a professional manner and assist MML in education, outreach and other special programs.  The biologist may present scientific research at peer reviewed meetings and/or publish scientific research in peer reviewed publications. 

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Chief of Animal & Conservation Programs

Virgina Aquarium (United States)

The Virginia Aquarium's Chief of Animal & Conservation Programs oversees three areas of operations; Animal Care, Advocacy & Government Affairs, and Sustainable Practices, providing executive guidance and assuring collaboration and integration of these areas internally and externally to achieve the Aquarium's mission. This position will lead a diverse team responsible for:

  • all aspects of care for Aquarium animal collections.

  • engaging with partners to advocate for operational and conservation policy and legislation.

  • developing and implementing a plan for sustainable operations.

  • developing and supporting research and field conservation projects.

This position will collaborate with the Aquarium’s Chief Veterinarian and the Vice President of Animal Care to oversee the animal care and welfare associated with the Aquarium’s live animal collection and the stranded animal programs.

Develop, interpret, and enforce policies and procedures to assure compliance with health and safety regulations including Aquarium procedures and protocols for staff and animal collections.

Lead and position the Aquarium’s efforts to advocate and promote policy legislation in support of operational priorities and marine conservation. Build and manage strategic partnerships and support Aquarium leadership by providing advice on conservation issues.

Develop overall section objectives, policies, planning, and participation in conservation activities.

Prepare and manage the Animal Programs and Conservation budgets.