How Do I Become A Zookeeper?
- How do I become a zookeeper? What qualifications do I need? >
- What does a zookeeper actually do? >
- What other qualities do you look for in a zookeeper? >
- Do you offer traineeships or internships relating to zoo keeping? >
- Besides zookeeping, what other areas of employment are available at the Zoo? >
How do I become a zookeeper? What qualifications do I need?
Zoos SA employs around 50 Keepers on a full-time, part-time, contract and casual basis at its two sites, Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Zoo. The turnover of staff in this field is quite low and competition for jobs is fierce.
It is extremely difficult to get work in this industry in SA. While we do not require any formal pre-requisites as such, any animal related study demonstrates to us your interest in this field of work. In Years 11 & 12, look to study biology or a related area. Other relevant studies include Certificate and Diploma courses in Animal Technology run by the Torrens Valley Institute of TAFE , a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Zoology at University or studies in Environmental Management may also be useful.
Any voluntary work for a sustained period in an animal-related area is also indicative of your interest in the field. Members of the Royal Zoological Society of SA Inc can apply to do voluntary work at both Adelaide and Monarto Zoos. The areas available for voluntary work do not include zoo keeping. Further information on this program can be obtained by contacting the Manager of Volunteer Programs on 8267 3255 or email@example.com.
If you gain permanent employment with us, you will be asked to complete studies which are Zoo-specific and only available to people working in the industry.
What does a zookeeper actually do?
Zookeepers look after the general health and wellbeing of animals and also assist in the upkeep of their exhibits. Animals include Mammals, Birds or Reptiles, both exotic and native. The job involves a lot of physical work including lifting, raking, shovelling, scrubbing, hosing, food preparation and pushing wheelbarrows or sulo bins, as well as assisting in the capture and restraint of animals. Zookeepers also need to keep accurate records on their animals’ health and behaviour and present talks to Visitors, therefore good communication skills, both written and verbal are also required.
What other qualities do you look for in a zookeeper?
Animal related studies may play one part in the recruitment process, but we always look for the right attitude in potential staff. People looking for a career in zoo keeping must be passionate about animals and conservation in general, be willing to work in all weather extremes, have a team-friendly approach to working and be willing to convey information to Visitors. As we are open every day of the year, you will need to work regular weekends and public holidays according to a 7-day roster.
Do you offer traineeships or internships relating to zoo keeping?
Unfortunately, we currently do not have the capacity to offer these programs.
Besides zookeeping, what other areas of employment are available at the Zoo?
There are many sorts of jobs which contribute to the success of Zoos SA. These include:
- Conservation management
- Collection development
- Horticulture trades
- Building / Maintenance trades (welding, carpentry, plumbing, concreting, painting)
- Veterinary Science
- Research Science
- Visitor Services
- Marketing, Events and Tourism
- Media and publications
- Memberships / sponsorships
- Graphic design
- Human Resources
When vacancies occur we may place advertisements in local newspapers and/or websites (The Advertiser and www.CareerOne.com.au).