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Becoming a zookeeper advice needed plz!

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by nikib393, 7 Apr 2016.

  1. nikib393

    nikib393 Member

    Joined:
    7 Apr 2016
    Posts:
    6
    Location:
    USA
    Thought I'd introduce myself and see if anyone has any advice for me!

    I'm currently an animal care volunteer at a zoo but have worked in other science areas before this. I have a degree in biology and am in my 30s. Any advice on breaking into the field of zoo keeping? Is it too late/am I too old? Please, any advice would be appreciated! :D
     
  2. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15 Oct 2010
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    1,427
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    Becoming a zookeeper.....

    Volunteer as much as you can, go on courses, do internships if possible, network with as many people as you can. I got my first paid zoo job at age sixty, and you are probably younger than that. Good luck!
     
  3. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Nov 2015
    Posts:
    2,087
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    There are a number of ways that you can go about it. I've spoken to many zoo employees (keepers mainly) that got in simply because they volunteered for a long time and then asked for a job, and got it, whether they had a degree or not. FBBird did a great job of explaining it. If you want (or can afford) to go back to school, there are also two teaching zoos in the United States, and I believe three other colleges with strong Zoology programs. However, your degree in biology should suffice. Best of luck, and welcome to ZooChat!
     
  4. overread

    overread Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9 Dec 2015
    Posts:
    289
    Location:
    England
    Honestly sounds like you need to do two things:

    1) Apply to lots of places

    2) Network like crazy. Because honestly this might get you the job more than anything else at this stage.

    You sound like you've got practical experience and the paperwork to back it up. What you need now is just to get your foot in the door somewhere and get the job. Not easy but certainly something you can achieve. Age shouldn't be a barrier at all (heck I'm trying to get into conservation work at 30-- well 3 months off 30).


    Keep networking; keep positive; keep volunteering; consider that some smaller enterprises might be easier to get into and get some "practical experience" formally as part of a job before you can move into a larger institution.