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Zookeeper

Oversee the care and feeding of animals in captivity for conservation and education.

What's it like to be a Zookeeper?

A Zookeeper is a person who cares for zoo animals that are kept in captivity for conservation, education and to be displayed to the public. They are responsible for the daily care and feeding of the animals, and the maintenance of their enclosures.

Zookeeper
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Zookeepers work to ensure captive animals are happy, healthy and thriving. They provide enrichment activities, train and condition the animals to accept human contact, take care of their nutrition and present information to the public. Zookeepers are observant, empathic, physically fit and, passionate about animals!

How to become a Zookeeper


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Qualifications are not required for entry-level Zookeeper positions, but may be looked on favourably due to the high volume of applications zoos receive every year. If you intend to undertake study, you’ll require completion of year 10 for certificate courses, and year 12 or alternative entry requirements for a tertiary degree.

  1. Ensure you have the minimum physical fitness required to become a Zookeeper. You will be required to take a fitness test, which can include the beep test, push-ups, planks, grip strength and lower back strength, among other tests.
  2. Enrol in and complete a Certificate III in Captive Animals (ACM30310). Alternatively, complete a Bachelor of Zoology, a Bachelor of Science, or a Bachelor of Biodiversity and Conservation.
  3. Consider postgraduate entry by completing a bachelor degree of your choice, then going on to study a Master of Science or a Master of Science in Agriculture.
  4. If you’d like to get involved in a professional development group, consider joining the International Society of Zoological Sciences or a local group in your state.

Explore related qualifications

SEEK users who have worked as a Zookeeper have studied these qualifications.

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Certificate III in Captive Animals

This qualification provides foundation skills to prepare for entry level roles in captive animal facilities.

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Bachelor of Science

Develop broad skills in science to prepare for opportunities in a range of industries with this qualification.

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Job market trends for Zookeepers
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Job opportunities

Zookeeper jobs on SEEK
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Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Role Reviews

Latest Zookeeper reviews

Latest reviews from 4 Zookeepers surveyed on SEEK
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Positive
Negative
May 2021
Zookeeping is hard work but very rewarding
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate III in Captive Animals
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Mammals and birds
The good things
The job is very rewarding as you care for a variety of animals and some are endangered species. You get to educate the public about many species and hopefully they make a change to their everyday live...
The challenges
You do have to work in all types of weather and we start very early in the morning! Some customers are against zoos and animals in small areas so that is hard to hear when they don’t listen to why we ...
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Oct 2018
Volunteer keeping is as rewarding as it is dirty.
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Science
Experience
Less than a year
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Wildlife Education
The good things
A wonderful stepping stone into the world of animal care or zookeeping. The ability to gain experience and be mentored by other keepers is invaluable. A very good way to get a feel for the realities o...
The challenges
Most of the keepers are so grateful of your help. But there are those that can act like you are in their way or talk down to you. Remember you are there to assist keepers and provide excellent animal ...
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Source: SEEK Role Reviews