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How to become a Zookeeper


Career progression and salary expectations for a Zookeeper


Trainee Zookeeper

| Up to £14,000


| Up to £25,000

Head Keeper

| Up to £40,000

The role of a Zookeeper

Always wanted to be a Zookeeper when you grew up? Why not start now…Zookeepers care for a range of animals in zoos (just, you know, to make that clear), aquariums and even in the wild. However, just because this job is a childhood ambition for many, it’s far from easy. It means hard work and long days, and can involve conducting tours or scientific research as part of the day job.Typical duties for a Zookeeper could also include:
  • Preparing food and feeding the animals
  • Ensuring all enclosures are kept clean, and temperature/humidity levels are maintained
  • Observing animal behaviour and checking for injuries
  • Caring for sick animals
  • Providing information for guests, and answering questions and giving talks to visitors
To become a Zookeeper, you’ll need to be good with all creatures, great and/or otherwise. You have to have great confidence and be completely comfortable around all kinds of animals, something which can seem easier said than done when it’s your turn to clear out the lion enclosure.Warning: Those not willing to get their hands dirty need not apply...Other key skills include:
  • Self-determination and a motivational personality
  • A passion for conservation
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Patience
  • A good level of physical fitness
"I’ve wanted to work with animals pretty much as far back as I can remember. I used to watch the Really Wild show every day after school – and not just because I had a crush on Terry Nutkins. I never even knew becoming a Zookeeper was an option, but after some voluntary work at my local wildlife park, I started working as a trainee. It’s like a dream job. I get to spend time with Lions and Tigers all day, and get paid for it. Not bears though. Someone else does that."

Get qualified as a Zookeeper

All Zookeeper jobs