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Do you want to pursue a Zoo Career?

The zoo industry is full of exciting careers to pursue, such as animal and veterinary care, education, conservation,  and research. If you are unsure what path is the right for you, have a look at the BIAZA Careers Guide and at AZA's list of types of zoo 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.

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5 Tips to Help You Getting Into a Zoo Science Career

Job Vacancies

Zoo Research & Conservation

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Wood Turtle Field Biologist

Zoo New England (United States)

The Wood Turtle Field Biologist will be involved in all aspects of our wood turtle conservation project throughout eastern Massachusetts, documenting turtle movement patterns and habitat use though radiotelemetry, conducting standardized visual surveys and nest surveys, and assisting Field Conservation Department staff with other ongoing research. The technician will keep careful notes, regularly input field data into online databases, and assist with data analysis and map generation at the end of the season.


The Field Biologist should have a strong interest in turtle ecology and conservation and be willing to do field work independently in any weather condition. Our fieldwork can be arduous, requiring hiking through dense brush, mud, swamps, and water. Enthusiasm and the ability to work independently are key to all our positions. However, qualified applicants will know their limitations and will readily ask for assistance and clarification as needed. This is a grant funded position. 

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Regional Conservation Director - Asia

Denver Zoo (United States)

The Regional Conservation Director – Asia will lead Denver Zoo's mission and goals through strong program-level leadership in the management and development of a comprehensive portfolio of field conservation projects based in Asia. With the Director of International Field Conservation, they will develop, implement and oversee Denver Zoo’s engagement in Asia and play a vital role in expanding and diversifying Denver Zoo’s presence on the continent. The Regional Director – Asia will identify and recommend new initiatives in Asia (in addition to any existing projects) that align with the new International Field Conservation strategy and conservation action campaigns.  With the ultimate goal of project sustainability, the Regional Conservation Director will work at the community level to co-create effective, long-term plans that leverage local knowledge systems and values, and support capacity-strengthening to improve the status of ecological and human well-being.  In addition to managing operations in-situ, this position will also work to represent the efforts happening in the field to our staff and volunteers and our on-campus and virtual experiences for our guests.

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Animal Welfare Program Coordinator

Dallas World Aquarium (United States)

The Dallas World Aquarium seeks Animal Welfare Coordinator to assist the Animal Care Departments in the implementation of the animal welfare program, by observing, reviewing, recording, planning and applying best practices to the animal collection, following the 5 opportunities model. This position obtains and manages the resources needed and directs the evaluation and implementation of animal behavior and wellbeing.

The Animal Welfare Program Coordinator is an active member of the Animal Welfare Committee, and may also be asked to respond to any animal welfare concerns expressed by staff or visitors. The candidate will also oversee the Enrichment and Training Programs.

Candidate will be responsible for staff training in Animal Welfare, participation in welfare assessments, and multidisciplinary discussions with all Animal and Maintenance Department Managers of proposed goals and improvements.


Monitoring Officer (Project Godwit)

WWT Welney (United Kingdom)

This role will be responsible for implementing a monitoring programme for black-tailed godwits at project sites, around the Fens with a concentration on the Ouse washes. This will require colour ring reading, nest and chick monitoring. Working closely with RSPB colleagues to help guide the future of our black-tailed godwit monitoring plans in the Fens and assisting with our trial corncrake reintroduction, working alongside the Conservation Breeding & Monitoring Officer (Corncrake Project) to undertake avicultural and monitoring roles for this breed to release project.


Deadline: February 19

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Great Ape Research Intern - Chimpanzees (Paid)

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo (United Kingdom)

The Zoological Department at the Zoological Society of London is offering an excellent opportunity to gain experience with one of the UK’s leading conservation research organisations. The intern will assist the ZSL’s Zoological Directorate to undertake required data collection with the chimpanzee group at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, which is managed as part of the EAZA conservation programme. The principal task associated with this is the collection of data on the behaviour and activity of the chimpanzee group.

Main Duties and Responsibilities
To collect baseline data covering agreed priority areas for the Whipsnade Zoo chimpanzee group:

- Data collection on chimpanzee behaviour, including; enclosure use, general activity and social interactions.
- Assisting with the development of optimum methodology to act as a platform for long-term behavioural monitoring.
- Compilation of data collected in an appropriate format.


Deadline: March 1

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Director of Animal Behavior and Wellbeing

Minnesota Zoo (United States)

This position is responsible for leading the Minnesota Zoo’s animal behavior and wellbeing program applying best practices in behavioral management and animal wellbeing to the animal collection. This position obtains and manages the resources needed and directs the implementation and evaluation of current and new animal behavior and wellbeing across all departments within the Minnesota Zoo. Through leadership, the incumbent of this position will cultivate a culture of commitment to the wellbeing of animals across all departments. This position reports directly to the Chief of Animal Care, Health, Conservation, and Behavior (CHCB) and works closely with the Directors of Animal Health, Conservation and Bioprograms to provide industry-leading animal care. The position represents the zoo at state, federal, and international levels to elevate the Minnesota Zoo’s impact and reputation as a leader in animal care and wellness. This position involves significant discretion and substantial involvement in the development, interpretation, and implementation of agency-wide animal care department policies.

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Education and Research Manager [Vacancy in French]

Parc Zoo du Reynou (France)

[FR] Développe et gère les actions éducatives:

-Rédige les contenus réglementaires à destination du public
-Conçoit, met en place et diversifie régulièrement les offres ludo-éducatives de sensibilisation des publics (animations orales, activités sur réservation tel que soigneur d’un jour et activité anniversaire, campagnes nationales, européennes ou mondiales…)
-Conçoit et développe un programme éducatif pour les scolaires
-Assure la diffusion d’informations par la rédaction de panneaux éducatifs
-Assure le lien avec l’éducation nationale et les autres organes de formations
-Participe à la sensibilisation du public à la conservation de la biodiversité conformément aux missions des parcs zoologiques, notamment en prenant en charge certaines activités éducatives
-Contribue à la communication et diffusion des actions du parc auprès du tout public et de la profession
-Fait appliquer le règlement intérieur au public avec courtoisie
Répond aux missions scientifiques et de conservation

-Actualise, applique et fait appliquer le Plan de Collection Institutionnel conjointement avec le l’équipe d’encadrement du pôle zoologique.
-Développe des programmes de recherche scientifiques et gère leur mise en place conjointement avec l’équipe d’encadrement du pôle zoologique.
-Participe à la recherche de fonds et subventions pour les programmes de recherche et de conservation
-Assure le partage de connaissances et d’expériences (Species360, conférences, publications…)
-Assure le lien entre le parc et l’Association Recherche, Conservation, Histoire et -Environnement dans les domaines de la recherche et de la conservation
-Rédige le rapport de Conservation et d’Education de l’Etablissement
-Assure la représentation et visibilité du parc auprès des instances adaptées (EAZA, AFdPZ…)

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Medical Technologist/Clinical Lab Scientist

SeaWorld San Diego (United States)

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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Postdoctoral Scholar in Conservation

Fresno Chaffee Zoo (United States)

This person will assist with development and implementation of a fully funded grant program to re-wild federal and California endangered Blunt-nosed Leopard Lizards (Gambelia sila) to relict San Joaquin Desert habitat in the Panoche Hills in central California. In the process, this person will lead efforts to quantify natural selection for a suite of fitness-relevant traits and monitor space use, in part using an automated radio-telemetry system. This person will also assist with the management of field teams composed of Conservation Interns, that will typically be college students. This position will have both field and laboratory elements, and opportunities to interact with the public as part of conservation-education programs. Funding is secured for 3 years.

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Assistant Professor, Zoo Technology

Santa Fe College (United States)

This is your opportunity to make a difference for the next generation of zookeepers while using your practical skills from the zoo field.  The Zoo Animal Technology Program at Santa Fe College is the premier zookeeper-training program in the United States.  To facilitate the training of animal professionals, Santa Fe College has its own AZA accredited zoo, the Teaching Zoo, located on campus.  Set in a naturally wooded environment, the 10-acre facility is a functioning zoo open to the public with a diverse collection of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.  Supervised by the professional staff of the Teaching Zoo, the students gain hands-on experience in every aspect of zoo animal care from daily care to habitat construction and maintenance to working with the public.  

The Zoo Animal Technology program is a unique program that educates students in animal care and conservation and trains them in the responsibilities associated with working in a zoological facility.  In addition to classroom work, the students gain practical experience in a working zoo on campus.  The faculty members serve both as academic leaders for the Zoo Animal Technology Program and as supervisors of the training experiences in the Teaching Zoo.

This is an exciting time to join the Zoo Animal Technology Program, with new programs, an upcoming master plan and a celebration of our 53rd year training the next generation of Animal Care professionals, your contributions to this program will be felt well into the future!  

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Director of Sustainability

Columbus Zoo (United States)

Responsible for developing programs and new initiatives focused on sustainability for the Family of Parks including but not limited to waste, energy, water, green building technology, and awareness.

  • Develop short and long term strategic plans for sustainability.

  • Create and implement communication strategies to promote the Zoo’s sustainability efforts on and off site.

  • Coordinate, support, and expand opportunities for staff to learn about and participate in sustainability initiatives.

  • Evaluate current sustainability practices and make recommendations for improvements to the SVP of Operations.

  • Initiate, manage and expand new sustainability programs.

  • Provide financial reporting on costs and benefits of sustainability projects

  • Prepare articles, reports, power point presentations and education materials.

  • Maintain database of utilities usage.

  • Lead inter-departmental team effort to develop new program menus and subsequent operational plans for both off-site as well as on-site for our current and future sustainability efforts.

  • Monitor current programming and partnership trends within the industry and related industries and make recommendations for Zoo wide use.

  • Work with all departments on the coordination of sustainability practices. Balance the Zoo’s shared objectives for a healthy environment, animal wellbeing, superb guest experiences and continued economic vitality for the Zoo.

  • Coordinate activities that accomplish all levels of conservation and sustainable development within the Zoo which may include green purchasing, energy conservation, solid waste recycling, green building, resource and water conservation, greenhouse gas reduction, renewable resources, and environmental reporting metrics.

  • Provide oversight and direction of research and analysis of Zoo and community sustainability needs to determine program direction and goals.

  • Develop effective partnerships with community members, organizations, governmental and non- government agencies with a focus on sustainability related initiatives.

  • Acts as Director On Duty as assigned.

  • Constantly strives to further the mission of the organization and avidly supports the Columbus Zoo Family of Parks.

  • Implements sustainable practices in daily tasks whenever possible.

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Animal Endocrinology Research Associate

Disney's Animal Kingdom (United States)

Be a part of a transformative team and culture by working on a team on projects optimizing animal health, welfare and reproduction along with guest experience and messaging. 


Major Duties and Responsibilities 

·Analyze hormones in a variety of exotic animal species to assess physiology such as pregnancy, effective contraception, and positive welfare as part of our animals’ comprehensive wellness program. 

·Analyze data and present animal hormone and behavior information to science and animal husbandry and health partners to help with animal management decisions. 

·Maintain Disney’s standard operating guidelines for lab safety and provide daily technical support for maintenance of assays and equipment in the Disney Science Center Lab.  

·Assist in the training of partner science and animal husbandry team members on endocrine processes and projects.  

·Share animal physiology results at Disney’s staff seminars, and in scientific journals, conference presentations, and popular publications. 

·Assist in the development of interactive and interpretive experiences with Disney’s scientific and educational staff.   

·Participate in guest interactions and tours sharing Disney’s animal care and welfare and conservation messages.  

·Work in close association with other members of the Science Operations Team. 


Term: Three-year appointment (with 6-month initial probationary period) beginning as soon as February 2023 as an independent contractor. This position is an Animal Endocrinology Research Associate through New College of Florida based at Disney’s Animal Kingdom 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. 


Research Assistant

Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (United Kingdom)

To assist with the implementation and dissemination of conservation genetics projects, to agreed standards and under the appropriate guidance and support within the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) WildGenes team. This is a fixed term role for a period of 3 years.

Some of the things you’ll do:

  • To take responsibility for delivery of conservation genetic projects being run by the WildGenes team, to include experimental design, analysis, administration and reporting.

  • Undertake analyses on a wide variety of genetic datasets, including mitochondrial DNA, microsatellites and SNPs generated via RADseq, target capture or genome resequencing (where required).

  • To contribute to the dissemination of WildGenes research through the preparation of project reports and/or manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals.

  • Where required, work closely with the research scientists on bioinformatic analyses.

  • Assist the Research Scientist(s), in conducting literature reviews, as well as qualitative and quantitative research.


Deadline: February 28

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Oiled Wildlife Response Manager

Alaska SeaLife Center (United States)

This position is responsible for the coordination and management of the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) Oiled Wildlife Response program and aiding the broader Wildlife Response program. 

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Manager of Applied Behaviour

Dallas Zoo (United States)

The Manager of Applied Behavior & Welfare will facilitate behavioral evaluation of husbandry programs, as well as development and management of operant conditioning and environmental enrichment initiatives across the Animal Care and Welfare Division. The Manager will serve as the primary contact and liaison for operant conditioning training and will provide leadership, supervision, and training to keeper staff. This position will be responsible for the development of keeper staff in order to implement and evaluate effective behavioral management practices.

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One Health Research Coordinator, Urban Wildlife Institute

Lincoln Park Zoo (United States)

As urbanization expands around the world, understanding how the changing landscape affects the health of wildlife, humans, and the environment (One Health) will provide scientists and land managers with the tools they need to support urban biodiversity, public health, and human-wildlife coexistence. Our goal is to create a comprehensive understanding of urban ecosystems by understanding complex relationships between humans, wildlife, and urbanization in Chicago and beyond.  This full-time position will support a variety of field-based projects as part of the One Health for All Program within the Urban Wildlife Institute. Projects include an extensive urban survey of mammals using motion-triggered cameras, conducting tick sampling at long-term monitoring sites, assessing habitat for urban rats, and the development of new projects related to this initiative. Responsibilities will include independent field work in the greater Chicago area, as well as data management and public engagement with One Health projects. Driving to and from study locations in the city and suburban areas is required, and a vehicle will be provided.   

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Research Internship (Paid)

North Carolina Zoo (United States)

Students will work with PhD level curatorial staff to learn about research in zoos. Students will gain hands-on experience collecting behavioral data, learn to manage and analyze their data, and receive training in public speaking and professional dissemination of scientific findings. Results from these projects are used by zookeepers and curators to inform management decisions and provide insight into the welfare of the animals in our care.

Students are responsible for all expenses associated with serving as an intern (i.e. housing, transportation, food, uniform, etc.). A stipend will be available to help off-set these costs.

A hybrid schedule with a minimum of 24 hours each week is required. Interns will serve a minimum of two, 8-hour days each week on site at the Zoo to collect behavioral data. A minimum of 8-hours each week is required remotely for data analysis, report writing, meetings, etc. Summer Internship: May through August 2023


Deadline: March 1 2023

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Research Experience for Undergraduates in Conservation Science

Zoo Miami (United States)

Zoo Miami, the Zoo Miami Foundation, and Florida International University (FIU) will offer a Research Experience for Undergraduates program funded by the National Science Foundation during the summers and starting in 2021.  In this 10-week summer program, students will conduct independent research in conservation science under the mentorship of the conservation biologists, wildlife veterinarians, and education researchers at Zoo Miami and FIU.


Important Dates:
Applications Open: November 1st, 2022

Applications Close: February 1st, 2023

Students Notified of Acceptance: March 15th, 2023

Program Begins: May 22rd, 2023

Program Ends: July 30th, 2023


REU Students will receive:
Weekly stipend ($600/week)

Paid summer housing (at FIU University Towers Dorms)

Food allowance ($100/week)

Travel costs to and from Miami


Students enrolled in college throughout the U.S. are eligible to apply.  Students from minorities underrepresented in science and students from universities with limited research opportunities are particularly encouraged to apply.

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