Becoming a Zoo Keeper
Below is our job description for a zoo keeper
- To carry out general husbandry for the animals in your care.
- To carry out environmental enrichment.
- Maintain high standards of welfare and husbandry on your section.
On average keepers work 40 hours per week, however this may increase during the busier periods.
- Must work well alone and as part of a team.
- Must have good communication skills.
- Must have good presentation skills.
Minimum requirements: good GCSE’s in English, Maths and Science. A national vocational qualification in animal care and husbandry is preferable.
Preference often given to applicants with qualifications in Animal Care or Animal Management.
There are many certificates and types of training that may also make you stand out, including experience in animal training, public speaking, scuba certification, etc.
When considering applicants for the job, the director looks to see what animal experience the applicant has had in the past. A career in a zoo environment can be very competitive, so you need to have a lot of experience. Hence, it's best to start with getting voluntary work experience at animal organisations, whether it's a kennel, an animal sanctuary, etc. This then looks very good on your CV – giving you experience, but also showing that you are dedicated to working with animals.
A limited number of work based learning opportunities are available at Colchester Zoo, click here for more details.