how to work at a zoo without a degree

If you’re looking to work at a zoo without a degree, there are several ways to get started. You can apply for a position, volunteer to help out, or get on-the-job training. Whichever route you choose, make sure that you’re prepared to work hard.


If you want to learn how to care for animals, volunteering at a zoo might be your best bet. Not only is it fun, it can also provide you with valuable industry experience. However, keep in mind that volunteer positions are not guaranteed. You may be able to find work in your area after a short period of time, but you will have to prove that you are worthy of such a position.

Several zoos offer more specific roles for volunteers. These may include construction, education, and animal care. They often require a minimum one-year commitment. Some are seasonal, while others have volunteer opportunities year round.

Zoos with the most impressive volunteer programs are the Smithsonian Zoo and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Both require a background check, medical clearance, and an in-person interview.

Another notable program is the ZOO Crew. This group of dedicated volunteers inspires conservation action through educational and hands-on experiences. The program is a good opportunity to build your resume and improve your job skills. During the program, you will work under the supervision of experienced staff, and you will be encouraged to participate in special events and activities.

Although a zoo can be a great place to volunteer, it is not necessarily the quickest or easiest way to earn a paycheck. There are several ways to find employment in your area, from searching for available jobs on sites like to calling previous employers.

Many zoos have a variety of volunteer programs, but the most popular ones fill up quickly each season. Depending on the size of your local zoo, you might be assigned to do simple tasks like filing, answering phones, or feeding newly hatched birds. Depending on your age and interest, you might be more interested in a position that allows you to work closely with the animals.

Most volunteer opportunities will not allow you to do anything that is more impressive than a simple rake, but you might find the opportunity to paint a wall or pull invasive species. As long as you have a sense of humor and a good attitude, you will have a great time.

On-the-job training

If you’re interested in a career in wildlife or zoology, on-the-job training at a zoo without a degree can get you started. These jobs require you to care for wild animals and to work with plants. You may also need to take a course in biology or chemistry to help prepare for a job.

A zoo job can be a rewarding experience. However, it’s important to remember that these positions aren’t easy. They require a great deal of dedication and commitment.

Zookeepers are the closest human contact with the animals in a zoo. It’s your responsibility to ensure the health and safety of these animals, and you must be knowledgeable about their behavior. In addition to providing care, zookeepers need to be able to educate the public about their animals.

Most zoos provide on-the-job training for keeper trainees, so you can take part in an internship program and become a keeper as you develop your skills. For more information, check out the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

If you’re a high school student, you can look for on-the-job training at a college that has a zoo technology program. Many of these programs will allow you to apply to a keeper position once you’ve graduated.

Another way to gain experience is to intern at an animal rehabilitation center. Some zoos have formal keeper training programs. There are also many organizations that offer training programs.

If you’re looking for on-the-job training at zoos and museums, the Smithsonian National Zoo and the Conservation Biology Institute are great places to start. Both offer online courses for those who want to learn more.

You can also work at a veterinary hospital or pet store. These jobs will give you experience with animals, and some of them even offer paid internships.

Other options include volunteering at animal shelters and farms. Even if you’re not interested in a zoo job, these opportunities are still helpful.

Having experience working with animals will definitely increase your chances of landing a zoo or wildlife career. Volunteering and internships are a great way to gain experience in the field, and can lead to valuable referrals and job offers.

Job outlook

If you’re interested in working with animals, consider becoming a zookeeper. Zoos often hire more animal keepers than any other classification. These jobs require applicants to have a strong interest in animals, as well as practical experience in caring for them.

While zoologists work in an animal habitat, they may also conduct research on health and disease problems. Many zoos have programs to educate the public about the animals they house. They also have volunteer opportunities.

Keepers in larger zoological parks may specialize in primates or large cats. Large zoological parks often need extra care on weekends and holidays. Zoologists who work in fields of research tend to spend long hours on the road, often traveling to distant locations.

Several nonprofit organizations and animal charities offer internships and volunteering opportunities. Prospective zookeepers can find out more about these options on the Internet. Most programs require a commitment to a certain amount of time. Some offer paid or unpaid sabbaticals.

A bachelor’s degree is typically required for an entry-level zoo job. For more advanced investigative and scientific work, a master’s or Ph.D. may be needed. Research positions in zoos are backed by grants or government funding.

While many zoologists work full-time, others may work part-time. In addition, most zoos offer medical, dental, and vision insurance. Depending on the institution, they may also offer mental health plans.

Zoos offer a challenging and rewarding career for people who enjoy interacting with animals. However, zookeepers must be willing to work long hours. Despite this, they can enjoy a good salary.

Several universities offer courses on zoology and biology. Internships are available at the college level. Those with a passion for wildlife can pursue a degree in veterinary technology.

Some zoos offer paid summer jobs and volunteer positions for teens. To apply, go to the zoo’s website and click “apply now” to create an account. Then, create a profile and search for open positions.

Once you find a zoo that interests you, complete the application. Be sure to include detailed descriptions of your work experience. You’ll receive a confirmation email when your application is complete.


If you’re interested in working in the zoo, you can find jobs there that are paid well. But the pay can vary by location and experience.

While most zoos require a college degree, a lot of them have volunteer programs, so students can get some hands-on experience with the animals before applying for a job. Volunteering also gives students a chance to gain experience in their preferred career fields.

Zoo salaries can vary, but the average amount is around $29,000 per year. This amount is close to minimum wage. In addition, zoos are open to the public 363 days a year.

Animal care workers have the potential to earn as much as $34,780 a year. However, most internships are unpaid.

These jobs are available in the United States. The highest paying job is at the Green River Zoo in Wyoming. Other top jobs include a Zoo Veterinarian, a Zoo Director, and a Zoo Engineer. Those who wish to pursue a career in the zoo industry must have a Bachelor’s or Masters degree.

Generally, a zoo will place you as a handler for a single species. You may also be assigned to groom and feed other animals. Depending on the specific position, you may be required to attend training classes.

Zoos also hire zoologists, which are people who study animals and their health. A zoologist can work for the federal government or a private organization. They may be involved in research studies, and they can advise veterinarians on animal health and care.

Most zoos are owned by state authorities or charitable trusts. Because of this, the number of jobs at a zoo is expected to increase.

Some zoos have paid internships. During these internships, you can earn college credits or get valuable experience.

If you’re looking to apply for a zoo job, you can search online for positions. To do so, you must enter your email address and password. Once you’ve created a profile, you’ll receive a confirmation email.

Zoos are open 363 days a year, so if you’re interested in working at one, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find a job. The competition for these positions is stiff, but a high school education and experience with animals can make you a competitive candidate.

Chelsea Glover