General Zoo Positions Guide
With more than 110 million people visiting zoos annually, employees have the opportunity
to educate the public about the critical need for the conservation of wildlife and
wild lands. This responsibility assures an interesting and rewarding career, but
the profession requires more than a commitment to conservation – it requires hard
Zoo employment is not always glamorous. Much of the work requires physical strength,
as well as the ability to make detailed observations and keep information up-to-date.
It takes a special kind of dedication to provide care to captive animals that require
attention 24 hours a day, seven days a week, come snow, rain or shine.
The rewards for such efforts are great. Zoo employees share in the knowledge that
they are providing the best care for the creatures in their facility, as well as
developing a forum for others to learn how they too can participate in the conservation
of our planet’s natural resources.
The conservation and scientific programs in zoos have become highly technical and
specialized. Although practical experience with animals may sometimes be substituted
for academic training, most entry-level keeper positions now require a four-year
college degree or two-year degree from a specialized zoo related school. Training
in animal science, zoology, marine biology, conservation biology, wildlife management
and animal behavior is preferred. Students wishing to pursue animal-related careers
are encouraged to carefully review the curriculum of the schools they wish to attend,
as some programs focus more on zoological application than others.
Students who are interested in the business side of zoo operations should concentrate
on skills related to a particular area of expertise.
Salaries for zoo employees vary depending on the size, funding and location of the
institution. Non-profit institutions, many times, base salary on experience, individual
performance, work ethic and value to the institution.
Positions at Cougar Mountain Zoo
The Cougar Mountain Zoo is seeking applicants who are professional in attitude and
appearance, energetic, enthusiastic, outgoing, team orientated, hard working, self-motivated,
able to multi-task, follow direction, communicate with visitors and love working
Applicants, regardless of experience, must come to terms with the demands of a zoo
position and the risks involved in working with zoo animals.
Click here for a list of zoo positions
How to Apply
We're sorry that, due to the number of responses we receive, we are unable to
personally contact every applicant or take inquiries about the status of your
Email or send resume with cover letter and professional references to
email@example.com, Cougar Mountain Zoo, ATTN: Marcie McCaffray, 19525 SE
54th Street, Issaquah, WA 98027