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Requirements to become a Zoo Keeper?

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Eggham, 9 Apr 2015.

  1. Eggham

    Eggham Member

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    Hello,

    I am new to ZooChat so I am not sure if I am posting this thread on to the relevant topic.

    I just want to ask current/past Keepers if it helps to be a member of an association for example Biaza or ABWAK, to get a Zoo Keeper role?

    My goal is to become a Zoo Keeper but I am wondering if it is something I am doing wrong or if its just a matter of luck.

    I have Animal Management Level 3 qualifications, I have experience from my studies(maybe not enough) and I am volunteering every week in a wildlife place.

    I want to make sure I have everything covered so it increases my chances of getting my dream job!

    Thanks for reading :)
     
  2. Hexaprotodon

    Hexaprotodon Well-Known Member

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    Yes you are doing pretty much all the right things!!

    Now keep an eye on the Zoo Jobs website (link below), and apply for pretty much every entry level job that comes up. Be prepared to move, not earn very much money and work hard!!

    Zoo Jobs

    Good luck!
     
  3. Eggham

    Eggham Member

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    Thank you!
     
  4. meg4213

    meg4213 New Member

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    Undertaking a university course or the DMZAA would also be advantageous, I'm doing the same animal management course as you and volunteering at a zoo
     
  5. Lemurs

    Lemurs Well-Known Member

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    I've seen Howletts have a primate job. A 'Zoo Animal Management qualification' would be an advantage. However, BIAZA's site only really mention Chelmsford, Portsmouth and Plymouth unis. Do many colleges do such courses? I haven't really got the time or money to go back to uni. Cheers.
     
  6. Eggham

    Eggham Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I completed my BTEC Extended Diploma Animal Management Level 3 at College, not University. Although, there is a College called Sparsholt in Hampshire and you are able to take degrees there.

    Unfortunately, it is difficult to find these courses part-time, the ones I have found are all full-time but usually that's only 3 days.

    Hope that helps... :)
     
  7. Eggham

    Eggham Member

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    Okay, Thank you and good luck with your studies :)
     
  8. banham.tiger

    banham.tiger Well-Known Member

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    Out of interest what zoo would you ideally want to work at?
     
  9. Eggham

    Eggham Member

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    Ideally Marwell Wildlife because that is the zoo closest to me. I am willing to locate but only within the Southern region or towards the West Country.
     
  10. ISOE2012

    ISOE2012 Well-Known Member

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    Merrist Wood College in Guildford does Uni courses. They have a very nice animal unit, which is expanding
     
  11. geckoruth

    geckoruth Member

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    Experience is key, especially if you are applying for roles which are not advertised as trainee etc.... Most zoos when advertising keeper roles will want at least 2 years relevant experience if not more (depending on the role). I don't think that most zoos would be too concerned whether you were a member of an association or not.
     
  12. CC

    CC New Member

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    In my experience, I personally wouldn't waste your time getting a full three year degree (unless you want a degree for your own personal development), the DMZAA is key really to getting a good job in a zoo. Any reputable zoo would want you to have/take it, and at many collections you won't progress beyond trainee/junior level unless you complete it (even with a degree!). Volunteering is also important (so you are doing the right thing!), zoo work is hard and poorly paid and employers want to see dedication, and you will be getting invaluable experience and connections hopefully with your volunteering. Wild animals do not behave in a text book fashion so experience is always more important than qualifications. As with anything though getting a job can really be about knowing the right people and being in the right place at the right time, so yes if you aren't already an ABWAK member, sign up, go to their workshops and symposia and get networking :) having ABWAK membership will definitely look good on your CV and it will also give you a discount on the DMZAA and lots of free zoo entries. Good luck!
     
  13. Eggham

    Eggham Member

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    Thank you so much. That's really helpful:)
     
  14. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    Wingham have a trainee mammal keeper vacancy on their FB page
     
  15. Lemurs

    Lemurs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Another thing holding me back is my inability to drive! I guess that's a necessity for all bigger parks. I'll get my bike licence sorted then start looking into that.
     
  16. Eggham

    Eggham Member

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    Yes, a good friend of mine wants to work with animals and he struggles without having a driving licence. I hope you get it sorted though!