Join our zoo community

Career advice

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by im a chinchilla, 4 Dec 2014.

  1. im a chinchilla

    im a chinchilla New Member

    4 Dec 2014
    Hey everyone!

    I'm looking for some advice from you guys to help direct me on a path so I can get my dream job, I live in the UK and I'm currently studying for my level 3 in animal management. What else would you people suggest I do? is uni really that important to become a keeper? I also have 4+ years experience working in kennels.

    Thanks a lot!
  2. Parrotsandrew

    Parrotsandrew Well-Known Member

    25 Feb 2011
    Bridlington, UK
    Presumably you will be able to do or have done work placements in a zoo, but have you also got a zoo nearby where you can volunteer on a regular basis? Or if not maybe find one you can visit for a period of volunteering? I think that would help you on your way - three new members of staff at my local zoo were all volunteers there. Going to university will not mean you will be a good keeper, but equally it will not mean you will be a bad one. I think, however, that a number of zoos are going down the graduates only entry route (wrongly in my opinion as you will have gathered from the previous sentence), so I suppose it depends on whether you have your heart set on a particular place or type of collection. On the other hand a member of this site who worked at my local zoo and had not been to university got a job at a safari park ahead of several interview candidates who had - he had the experience from volunteering and then working in a zoo.
  3. Suricate

    Suricate Member

    22 Aug 2014
    Volunteer work, volunteer work, volunteer work! That's what got me my job! It can take months or even years, but experience is the key to getting the job. Having a University degree in animal/science/environmental definitely helps and is usually considered more highly over other schooling institutes. Having said that, I got my job without those qualifications, lots of hard work and making contacts is what eventually scored me the spot. It's good that you have some experience in kennels, but working in zoos is very different so having experience within one is pretty critical. My recommendation is to go for a smaller zoo or a wildlife park, it's usually easier to get into them, then you can gradually build your way up to the big places! Good luck!
  4. geckoruth

    geckoruth Member

    11 Nov 2014
    As everyone else has said experience is key when trying to get a zoo keeper job. A zoo close to me only employs volunteers when positions become available and that's probably because its a continuous on the job interview. Evaluating not just how you work with the animals, staff and public but how you would cope too if things go wrong.

    Gaining valuable and relevant experience is key to making you stand out from the other job candidates. After all qualifications on a piece of paper doesn't mean that you can practically do the job.