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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Animal Welfare Scientist

Lincoln Park Zoo (United States)

Lincoln Park Zoo is seeking a full-time Animal Welfare Scientist to join the Animal Welfare Science Program. The Animal Welfare Science Program takes a strategic approach to advancing animal welfare and maximizing our positive impact on animals by (1) prioritizing research questions that have the greatest potential to advance zoo and aquarium animal welfare; (2) developing and disseminating practical methods for evaluating animal welfare; (3) communicating findings broadly and assisting in implementation to enhance animal welfare globally; (4) training the next generation of applied scientists to amplify our influence on animal welfare into the future.

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Manager of Conservation Operations

National Aquarium (United States)

The Manager of Conservation Operations is responsible for coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the National Aquarium’s mission impact. This includes developing and delivering conservation communications, coordinating internal meetings and programs, event preparation, tracking metrics and creating reports.

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Chief of Animal & Conservation Programs

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science (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.

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Enrichment Coordinator

Toledo Zoo (United States)

Under direct supervision of the Curator of Behavioral Husbandry, works to coordinate the development, scheduling, and evaluation of animal enrichment throughout the zoo. Develops evaluation methods and conducts behavioral assessments to ensure that enrichment elicits species-appropriate behaviors, offers animals choices, and enhances animal wellbeing. Works with animal keepers and curators to set behavioral goals, develop enrichment schedules and provide effective enrichment. Interacts with visitors and community members to provide information and educational experiences regarding enrichment and animal wellbeing. This position will assist with professional development of zoo staff and training of interns. This position is non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act and requires time worked in excess of forty hours per week.

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Assistant Editor for Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research (JZAR)

European Association of Zoos and Aquaria  - EAZA (Home-based)

The Assistant Editor will be responsible for supporting the Managing Editor in all aspects of the administration, planning, and producing of each quarterly issue of JZAR. The role will consist of performing a range of administrative and editorial tasks necessary to the publication of issues. The post holder will be involved in progressing submissions through the peer-review process in a timely fashion, by possessing a strong ability for attention to detail, excellent communication, and organisational skills. The successful candidate will be required to liaise with authors, editors, and reviewers to ensure manuscripts are processed to a high standard. The position of Associate Editor is a part-time post to be employed on a consultancy basis. The Associate Editor will not be contracted to EAZA as a staff member. The Associate Editor will report to JZAR’s Managing Editor. This is a part-time position equivalent to 72 hours per issue. The candidate will be required to work flexibly in response to fluctuation in workload due to the journal’s quarterly publication schedule. The position can be based at the successful applicant’s home institution. Remuneration will be on an issue by issue basis for four issues per year, at €1,136 per issue. The role is offered subject to acquiring suitable funding.

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Stranding Response & Research Technician 

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center (United States)

The Stranding Response & Research Technician will primarily be responsible for assisting with maintaining the overall health and well-being of rehabilitation patients and their environments in the Darden Marine Animal Conservation Center. Secondarily, this position will assist with all aspects of Stranding Response including after hours standby duty, field response, data collection/entry, and necropsy.

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Conservation Technician I 

Phoenix Zoo (United States)

Responsible for maintaining the safety, health and well-being of all assigned conservation specimens through the performance of documented husbandry practices, especially husbandry of animals reared specifically for release to the wild. This position assists in training volunteers and interns; participates in field conservation and research activities; provides support for conservation partnerships as assigned, and participates in guest interaction in support of the ACNCs mission and goals.

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Animal Programs Coordinator

AZA - The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (United States)

Under general supervision, manages, supports, and works to strategically increase the successful operation and management of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA’s) cooperatively managed Animal Programs, including Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs) and Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Programs. Facilitates the work of AZA members and Animal Programs in population management, which includes assisting the Animal Population Management and Aquatic Collections Sustainability Committees in meeting their strategic plan goals; increasing Program Leader training and support; assisting in population management-related research initiatives; coordinating departmental communication efforts; enhancing the functionality of AZA’s Animal Program databases; and attending and presenting at meetings and conferences to foster relationships with Animal Program participants.

Liaises with relevant Committees, Scientific Advisory Groups (SAGs), and Task Forces. Advances AZA’s cooperatively managed animal population initiatives by providing strong member services and resources to AZA’s members. This position reports to the Director of Population Management Strategy and is based in Silver Spring, Maryland.

*Please note that all individuals hired by AZA must present documentation of FDA-approved COVID vaccination.

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Research Officer (Full-Time)

Chester Zoo (United Kingdom)

This exciting role will take responsibility for managing Chester Zoo’s scientific and ethical project review processes, provide effective project management and research support to our funded research projects and report on science and training outputs to facilitate evidence-based management to underpin our conservation initiatives.

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Deadline: June 6

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SAFE Sharks and Rays Conservation Coordinator (1-Year, Remote)

AZA (United States)

The AZA SAFE Sharks and Rays Program Conservation Coordinator (Coordinator) will play a key role in supporting work to execute the conservation plan. The Coordinator will work with Program leadership, Steering Committee members, partners, and advisors to provide project management, communications, and fundraising support for key strategies outlined in the conservation plan. 

This is a one-year remote contract with SAFE Sharks and Rays through funds managed by Seattle Aquarium. The Coordinator will report directly to the SAFE Sharks and Rays Program Leader. Periodic travel at the expense of the project will be required of the Coordinator.