Zoos have many purposes that revolve around conservation, education, and entertainment. One of their primary roles is to safeguard and protect certain animal species through breeding and preservation programs. They also offer visitors, especially children, a unique opportunity to connect with and learn about various animals, their habitats, and conservation efforts.
Zoos also often contribute to scientific research, aiding in the study of animal behaviour, health, and environmental interactions. Modern zoos increasingly emphasise ethical and humane care, offering environments that mimic animals’ natural habitats and meet their physical and psychological needs.
Every zoo is different, but they do have some things in common:
- Loving animals is great – but you’ll probably also need to go above and beyond that to provide the highest quality care.
- Expect to work on your feet – many of the roles in a zoo require a high amount of physical work.
- They’re found everywhere – from big cities to rural expanses, zoos are popular all around the world.
Preserve, educate, and conserve Earth’s biodiversity
Zoos contribute to society by fostering education, conservation, and empathy for animals.
- Feed and care for animals
- Clean and maintain exhibits
- Run guided tours and educational programs
- Provide veterinary support and medical care
- Ensure public safety and manage crowds
- Research animal behaviour and health
- Provide enrichment activities for animals
- Fundraise and advocate for conservation
You can find zoos in the arts and recreation services industry
Zoos are generally found in the arts and recreation services industry. There are lots of different types of zoos, including traditional zoos, safari parks, and specialised sanctuaries.
You can expect regular hours and on-site work
Regular hours | Work on-site | Jobs in all areas | Strong job growth
The typical opening hours of a zoo can vary, but they generally range from around 9am to 5pm, although some zoos might have extended hours during weekends, holidays, or specific seasons. Some workers may need to come in and do work during the night when there are no visitors in the zoo.
The primary operations of zoos, such as animal care, exhibit maintenance, and visitor engagement, typically require on-site work. Animal care professionals, educators, maintenance staff, and other roles also need to be physically present at the zoo. While some administrative or research-related tasks might allow for remote work, on-site work is generally more common.
Zoos can be found across rural, regional, and metropolitan areas.
The Career Clusters you’ll find in a zoo
People from all Clusters are needed for a zoo to run successfully, but Guardians and Makers are typically the most common Cluster. In many roles, you might find yourself performing tasks across multiple Clusters.