If you want to work at a zoo, there are several ways to get an entry-level job without a degree. These options include volunteering, on-the-job training, and the EATM program at Moorpark College. If you are interested in working in a zoo but don’t have a degree, consider doing some college courses related to zoology.
EATM program at Moorpark College
The EATM program is offered at Moorpark College, a public community college in California. Admission to the program is based on a lottery system. Applicants must complete an application form, submit their transcripts, and attend an AIM meeting. If there are more applicants than spaces available, the program will use random selection. The acceptance rate is about 50 to 75 percent.
The EATM program at Moorpark College prepares students for careers in the animal care industry. Upon completion, students earn an Associate of Science Degree or Certificate in Exotic Animal Training and Management. Students may also choose to pursue a graduate degree in wildlife education or animal care.
Mara Rodriguez started working at the America’s Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College as a summer job. She has since worked there for more than 30 years and has won several awards. She has been named Ventura County Community College District 2022’s Classified Employee of the Year, as well as the Moorpark College’s Classified Employee of the Year. Six years after earning her associate’s degree, Rodriguez moved on to become a lab technician, working closely with Ira the Lion and the Bengal tigers Neil and Karma.
The Exotic Animal Training and Management (EATM) program at Moorpark College combines classroom work with hands-on animal experience. The program requires a two-year commitment and typically includes around 50-60 hours per week at the zoo.
In addition to classes, students are required to work at the America’s Teaching Zoo. The assistants assist in the care and maintenance of the zoo’s animals. The assistants also perform clerical duties that are related to the Exotic Animal Training and Management program. Moorpark College is one of the most picturesque community colleges in California, and its mission is to empower a diverse community of learners.
Applicants for the EATM program must have completed five college courses. They must have taken Introductory Biology, Freshman English Composition, a Safety/First Aid course, and Intermediate Algebra level math.
During the EATM program, students have the opportunity to work with animals and educate the public about wildlife conservation. Students also present Wildlife Education Programs and Shows in front of large crowds. Public speaking skills are strongly recommended and developed as part of the course curriculum.
For those who aren’t interested in pursuing a degree, volunteer internships at zoos are great opportunities for those who are passionate about wildlife and science. While internships are unpaid, they can help you gain experience in animal care, animal behavior, and communications. Some zoos even offer college credit for their internship programs.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have completed a year of college. Those with an associate’s degree or higher in a related field are preferred. Interns should also have strong observation and communication skills, be able to work independently, and have good problem-solving skills. In addition, interns must have their own reliable transportation and a valid driver’s license. Interns must also be able to work a minimum of ten hours per day.
Volunteer internships at zoos can lead to paid positions after a year. For example, a summer internship at the Pittsburgh Zoo will give you hands-on experience, as well as an insider view of a modern zoological park. However, before you can begin an internship, you should undergo a criminal background check. If you reside in Pennsylvania, this process can be completed online for free. You must also submit proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.
If you’re interested in a career in zoos without a degree, research your options. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums offers helpful publications and career guides on the zoo industry. Depending on the position you’d like to pursue, education requirements range from a two-year to four-year degree. Those who wish to become a veterinarian or wildlife biologist require additional training at the graduate level.
An internship at a zoo is a great opportunity for anyone interested in animal care. Interns assist the Conservation Education Department by promoting conservation issues through entertaining, educational experiences. Interns may also be asked to assist with on-site programs such as giraffe feeding and nature hikes.
Zoo keeping is a demanding and physical occupation. Interns must be physically fit to be successful in this position. They should have strong cardiovascular endurance, be able to work in various climates, and be able to lift up to 50 pounds. Interns are also required to have certain vision abilities, such as near and far-field vision, color vision, and depth perception. In addition, they must have the ability to follow oral and written instructions.
Volunteer internships at zoos can be rewarding for those who don’t have a degree in animal care or education. Some zoos offer specialized internship programs that allow volunteers to work closely with various species. For example, the Kentucky Reptile Zoo offers an internship program for college students who are interested in herpetology. The internship program offers students the opportunity to work with animals and complete a research study in herpetology. The internship pays $55 a week and provides interns with housing and transportation.
Zoo internships can help aspiring zoologists gain hands-on experience. During a summer internship, interns work for 32-40 hours per week, for 15 weeks. They may also be required to work on holidays.
To gain experience at a zoo without requiring a degree, you can look for ways to enhance your education and develop your professional skills. For example, you could take an online course to learn more about specific care methods. This course could help you improve your resume and give you a better understanding of how zoos function.
Those who are passionate about wildlife should consider working at a zoo. This career field has a number of rewarding benefits and requires a commitment to the health and welfare of animals. Those interested in working in the zoo can become animal trainers or veterinarians. Veterinary technicians need less training, but are still in close contact with animals.
Most zoo residents require care every day. There is never more than one zookeeper per animal. This allows schedules to be organized based on animal needs. Inexperienced keepers might be assigned to unusual days of the week or fill in for more experienced keepers. Depending on the specific job, you might need to work in inclement weather.
While zookeepers with a degree typically have some experience, there are many entry-level positions for those with no degree. Some organizations offer two-year programs to train individuals. In addition, there are online courses that train zookeepers without a degree.