Zookeeper

Zookeepers look after animals in zoos, safari parks and aquariums.

Potential salary
£12,000 to £25,000
Working hours
37 to 40 a week
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

In this role you could:

  • prepare food and feed animals
  • clean out enclosures and change bedding
  • check for signs of distress or disease
  • work with a vet to care for sick animals
  • check enclosures for signs of wear or damage
  • monitor conditions like temperature and humidity
  • keep daily healthcare records on paper and computer

You may need to wear a uniform and protective clothing.

You could work at a zoo or at a wildlife park.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and physically demanding.

In larger zoos, wildlife parks or aquariums, you could progress from keeper to team leader or head keeper.

You might need to be willing to relocate to another part of the country to work your way up into higher positions, as competition for senior jobs can be tough.

With experience and a degree, you could become a curator. You could also move into education or conservation research.

You can find out more about working in zoos from the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Data from National Careers Service.
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