Zoo Service Assistant Career Profile

How do I become a Zoo Service Assistant?

READ: This page helps you read about the career and the information you need to decide whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for a career, then join the OZT community! Members have access to tools, while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


Mentor Avatar
Join Us!


5 March 2024


What is a Zoo Service Assistant?

A Zoo Service Assistant is a person who works in a zoo to provide various types of support and assistance in the daily operations of the facility. This role can encompass a wide range of duties depending on the zoo’s size, its focus, and its specific needs.

Wildlife 1

Alternative Names

Alternative names for a Zoo Service Assistant may vary depending on the specific zoo or organization, but they might include:

  • Zookeeper’s Assistant
  • Zoo Technician
  • Zoo Education Assistant
  • Wildlife Sanctuary Assistant
  • Conservation Center Assistant
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Wildlife Rehabilitation Assistant
  • Zoo Animal Husbandry Assistant
  • Zoo Keeper Assistant

Difference between a Zoo Service Assistant and a Feeding Station Attendant

In smaller zoos or wildlife sanctuaries, the Zoo Service Assistant tends to cover the tasks normally performed by other positions or career profiles. One of those roles is that of the Feeding Station Attendant.

The duties of a Feeding Station Attendant typically include preparing and distributing food for animals, ensuring proper diets are maintained, monitoring animals during feeding times, and maintaining cleanliness in the feeding areas. These tasks align closely with the responsibilities of a Zoo Service Assistant who may be involved in the daily care and maintenance of animals in a zoo or wildlife sanctuary.

OZT covers both roles independently. Click on the link to learn more from the Feeding Station Attendant career profile

Career Categories

The Zoo Service Assistant falls within the following Career Categories:

  • Animal Care
  • Zoo, Aquariums, Museums and Amusement Parks

What does a Zoo Service Assistant do?

Groups of animals a Zoo Service Assistant works with

Critters List Icon OZT
Farm Animals Icon OZT
Farm Animals
Mammals List Icon OZT
Birds List Icon OZT
Fish List Icon OZT
Reptiles List Icon OZT
Amphibians List Icon OZT
Insects List Icon OZT
Arachnids List Icon OZT
Mollusks Link Icon OZT
Crustaceans List Icon OZT
Cnidaria Icon 2

Zoo service assistants work with a wide variety of animals, depending on the zoo or wildlife park where they are employed. These animals can include:


Elephants, lions, tigers, bears, primates (such as gorillas, chimpanzees, and lemurs), seals, sea lions, giraffes, zebras, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, kangaroos, and many more.


Parrots, eagles, owls, penguins, flamingos, storks, vultures, macaws, pelicans, and other birds of Prey and waterfowl.

Reptiles and Amphibians:

Snakes, turtles, tortoises, alligators, crocodiles, lizards, iguanas, frogs, and salamanders.

Fish and Aquatic Animals:

Sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, octopuses, seahorses, and various freshwater and saltwater fish species.


Spiders, scorpions, insects, mollusks, and crustaceans.

Other Animals:

Zoo Service Assistants may also work with other animals such as amphibians, marine mammals (such as dolphins and whales), and even domestic animals like horses and donkeys in some zoo settings.

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

With whom does a Zoo Service Assistant work with?

As a Zoo Service Assistant, you may work under the supervision of experienced zookeepers, veterinarians, or other animal care professionals, depending on the organisational structure of the zoo or wildlife sanctuary. Your primary tasks will likely include assisting with animal care, maintaining enclosures, and providing guest interaction and education about the animals. Additionally, you may work with fellow Zoo Service Assistants and volunteers to carry out daily operations and special events.

What do Zoo Service Assistants focus on?

Zoo service assistants are responsible for the care, feeding, enrichment, and overall well-being of the animals they work with. They may also participate in habitat management, animal health monitoring, and public education programmes about the animals under their care.

What are the daily tasks of Zoo Service Assistant?

The daily tasks of a Zoo Service Assistant can vary depending on the specific needs of the zoo or wildlife sanctuary. However, typical daily tasks might include:

Animal Care:

This can involve feeding, cleaning, and general care of the animals.

Enclosure Maintenance:

This includes cleaning animal enclosures and ensuring they are safe and suitable for the animals.

Visitor Assistance:

Answering questions, providing information about the animals and the zoo, and assisting visitors as needed.

Educational Programmes:

Assisting with educational programmes, guided tours, and talks about the zoo’s conservation efforts.

Administrative Duties:

This might include record-keeping, scheduling, and inventory management.

Event Assistance:

Assisting with the organisation and running of special events, educational programmes, and children’s activities.

Conservation Initiatives:

Assisting with conservation initiatives, research projects, and fundraising efforts.

Emergency Response:

Assisting with emergency response procedures, such as animal escapes or medical emergencies.

These tasks can be varied and may require flexibility and adaptability, depending on the day-to-day needs of the zoo or wildlife sanctuary.

With what kind of tools and technology (if any) does a Zoo Service Assistant work with?

A Zoo Service Assistant may work with various tools and technologies to carry out their daily tasks, depending on the specific responsibilities assigned to them. Some of these tools and technologies might include:

Cleaning Equipment:

This could include brooms, mops, buckets, and cleaning solutions used for maintaining the cleanliness of animal enclosures and public areas.

Feeding Tools:

Such as food scales, feeding syringes, and scoops used for measuring and distributing animal diets.

Communication Devices:

Such as two-way radios or cell phones used for communication with other staff members or in case of emergencies.

Educational Materials:

Including pamphlets, posters, or visual aids used to provide information to visitors about the animals and conservation efforts.

First Aid Kits:

Used for providing basic medical care in case of minor injuries or emergencies.

Record-Keeping Software:

Computer programs or apps used for recording and maintaining animal care logs, schedules, and inventory.

Training Equipment:

Including items such as target sticks or clickers used in animal training sessions.

Protective Gear:

Such as gloves, masks, or safety goggles, especially when handling animals or cleaning enclosures.

Power Tools:

Depending on the scope of their work, Zoo Service Assistants might occasionally use power tools for tasks like enclosure maintenance or construction.

Zoo Management Software:

Some zoos use specialized software for managing animal information, guest data, and other administrative tasks.

It’s important to note that the specific tools and technologies a Zoo Service Assistant uses can vary widely depending on the size of the facility, the type of animals they work with, and the nature of their duties.

In which Environment does a Zoo Service Assistant work in?

What are the environment and places of employment like?

The indoor and outdoor working environments for a Zoo Service Assistant can vary greatly depending on the size and scope of the zoo or wildlife sanctuary, as well as the specific role and responsibilities of the individual. Generally, however, a Zoo Service Assistant may work in the following types of environments:

Indoor Environments:

Administrative Offices:

Some time might be spent in administrative areas handling paperwork, scheduling, and other administrative tasks.

Veterinary Facilities:

In larger zoos, there might be veterinary facilities where animal health is monitored and managed, and Zoo Service Assistants may assist with this.

Education Centers:

If the zoo offers educational programmes or events, Zoo Service Assistants may work in educational centres or classrooms.

Animal Quarantine Areas:

In some cases, Zoo Service Assistants may work in quarantine areas, especially when new animals are brought into the zoo.

Gift Shops and Cafes:

Some zoo facilities may have gift shops or cafes, where Zoo Service Assistants may assist with sales or food preparation.

Public Restrooms:

Part of the Zoo Service Assistant’s responsibility may include monitoring and maintaining the cleanliness of public restrooms.

Outdoor Environments:

Animal Enclosures:

A significant portion of the work might involve outdoor areas, where Zoo Service Assistants care for and maintain animal enclosures.

Paths and Walkways:

Assistants may be responsible for keeping paths and walkways clear of debris and safe for visitors.

Outdoor Educational Spaces:

Some zoos have designated outdoor areas for educational programmes or events, which Zoo Service Assistants may help set up or maintain.

Gardens and Landscaping:

In some cases, Zoo Service Assistants may help with gardening and landscaping tasks to maintain the zoo’s appearance.

The specific working conditions can also depend on factors such as the climate, weather, and time of year. Zoo Service Assistants may be required to work outdoors in varying weather conditions, and they should be prepared for physically demanding work, such as lifting heavy items, cleaning large animal enclosures, and being on their feet for extended periods.

What is the Average Salary for a Zoo Service Assistant?

The average yearly salary for a Zoo Service Assistant can vary significantly depending on factors such as experience, location, the specific organisation, and the country’s economy.

Country-Wise Average Salary/Wages for a Zoo Service Assistant:

North America:

USA: $26,000 – $38,000 USD
Canada: $27,000 – $42,000 CAD


UK: £17,000 – £23,000 GBP (not including London weighting)
EU: €19,000 – €27,000 EUR


India: ₹1.9 lakh – ₹3.2 lakh INR
Australia: AU$48,000 – AU$67,000 AUD
New Zealand: NZ$40,000 – NZ$58,000 NZD


Nigeria: ₦1.2 million – ₦1.7 million NGN
Kenya: KSh 700,000 – KSh 1.2 million KES
South Africa: R126,000 – R165,000 ZAR

Regional Average Salary/Wages for a Zoo Service Assistant:

South America:

Average: Varies greatly by country and can range from around $6,000 to $20,000 USD annually.

Southeast Asia:

Average: Varies greatly by country and can range from around $4,000 to $10,000 USD annually.

Can Zoo Service Assistants be promoted?

As a Zoo Service Assistant gains more experience and expertise in their field, they may have opportunities for advancement. Promotions can vary widely depending on the specific organisation and its organisational structure. However, here are a few potential advancement paths based on Education, Responsibilities, and Certification:

Education Levels

Entry Level:

High school diploma or GED equivalent.


Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as zoology, wildlife management, or biology.

Senior Level:

Master’s degree or higher in a relevant field with several years of experience.

Responsibility Levels

Entry Level:

Assisting with animal care, maintenance, and guest interaction.


Supervising and training new Zoo Service Assistants, leading educational programmes, and assisting with animal care planning and coordination.

Senior Level:

Taking a leadership role in animal care and management, contributing to conservation initiatives, and playing a key role in the strategic direction of the zoo’s programs.

Certification Levels

Entry Level:

No specific certifications are required, but familiarity with animal care practices is beneficial.


Obtaining certifications such as Certified Zookeeper or Animal Care Technician.

Senior Level:

Pursuing advanced certifications related to specific areas of expertise, such as wildlife conservation or zoo management.

What difficulties do Zoo Service Assistants face?

Zoo service assistants may encounter a variety of challenges in their profession, including:

Physical Demands:

Working with animals can be physically demanding, requiring lifting and carrying heavy objects, bending and stooping, and being on one’s feet for long periods of time.

Safety Concerns:

Zoo Service Assistants must be aware of potential safety hazards and protocols to ensure their own safety as well as the safety of the animals and visitors. Animal bites, kicks, or scratches can occur, and there is always a risk of Zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans).

Variability in Working Conditions:

Weather conditions, such as extreme heat, cold, or rain, can impact working conditions. Outdoor work may be required in various climates and seasons.

Emotional Challenges:

Working with animals can be emotionally challenging, especially when dealing with illness, injury, or the loss of an animal.

Business Management:

In some cases, Zoo Service Assistants may be responsible for managing and maintaining aspects of the zoo’s business operations, such as inventory management, budgeting, or scheduling.

Regulatory Compliance:

Zoos and wildlife parks are subject to various regulations, including those related to animal welfare, safety, and conservation. Ensuring compliance with these regulations can be complex.

Continuing Education:

The field of animal care and conservation is continually evolving, so staying informed about new developments and technologies requires ongoing education and professional development.

Unpredictable Work Hours:

Zoo service assistants may work irregular hours, including weekends, evenings, and holidays. Emergencies or special events may require additional hours or on-call availability.

Job Security:

Some zoos and wildlife parks may face financial challenges or changes in management, which can impact job security for employees.

Public Interaction:

Interacting with zoo visitors and explaining animal behaviour, conservation efforts, and other topics requires effective communication skills and patience.

Physical Safety:

Working in close proximity to animals, even those in captivity, carries a risk of physical injury, especially if not handled properly or if an animal behaves unexpectedly.

It’s important for Zoo Service Assistants to be aware of these challenges and to have strategies in place for addressing them. This may include regular safety training, ongoing professional development, and self-care practices to manage the emotional demands of the job.

Future Growth and Possibilities of the Career

The projected annual growth of the job market for Zoo Service Assistants, or similar roles within the zoo and wildlife conservation industry, is dependent on a variety of factors, including regional economic conditions, the popularity of zoos and wildlife parks as tourist destinations, and the availability of funding for conservation efforts. However, several trends and possibilities may influence the future of the industry:

Growing Interest in Wildlife Conservation:

As awareness of environmental issues and wildlife conservation grows, there may be an increased demand for professionals who can work in zoos and wildlife parks to support conservation initiatives and educate the public about the importance of Biodiversity.

Technology and Automation:

Advances in technology and automation may impact certain aspects of zoo operations, such as animal monitoring, data analysis, and guest services. This could lead to changes in the types of skills and qualifications that are in demand in the industry.

Economic and Funding Challenges:

Economic conditions and funding availability can have a significant impact on the growth of the job market for Zoo Service Assistants. For example, if a zoo or wildlife park experiences financial difficulties, they may need to reduce staff or cut back on certain programmes.

Changes in Public Perception:

Changes in public attitudes and perceptions about zoos and wildlife parks, as well as the ethics of animal captivity, can influence the future demand for Zoo Service Assistants and related roles. Zoos that prioritise animal welfare and conservation efforts may be better positioned to attract visitors and funding.

Global Health and Tourism Trends:

Events such as pandemics and global health crises can have a significant impact on the tourism industry, including zoos and wildlife parks. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic led to temporary closures and reduced visitor numbers for many zoos around the world, impacting their operations and finances.

Legislation and Regulation:

Changes in laws and regulations related to animal welfare, conservation, and the operation of zoos and wildlife parks can also influence the job market. Zoos and wildlife parks may need to adapt to new regulations, which could create new opportunities or requirements for Zoo Service Assistants and related roles.

Overall, while the zoo and wildlife conservation industry can face various challenges, there are also opportunities for growth and innovation as organisations work to address pressing environmental issues and educate the public about the importance of protecting wildlife and biodiversity. However, it’s important to note that the future of the job market for Zoo Service Assistants and related roles will be shaped by a complex interplay of factors, and projections may change over time.

Availability of Jobs


Which Skills do Zoo Service Assistants need?

The skills required for a career as a Zoo Service Assistant can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills and personality traits, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills and Personality Traits

People employed as Zoo Service Assistants typically possess a unique combination of personality traits that allow them to effectively care for animals, work in team settings, and engage with visitors. Some of these specific personality traits include the following:

Passion for Animals:

Zoo service assistants have a genuine love for animals and a deep desire to care for and protect them. This passion drives their work and helps them connect with the animals they care for.

Patience and Resilience:

Working with animals can be unpredictable and sometimes challenging. Zoo service assistants need to be patient and resilient, able to handle the ups and downs of the job with grace and perseverance.

Empathy and Compassion:

Zoo service assistants understand the needs and emotions of animals and have the ability to show compassion and empathy towards them.


Working in a zoo or wildlife park requires adaptability, as the environment and animals’ needs can change rapidly. Zoo service assistants must be able to adapt to new situations and handle unexpected challenges.

Physical Fitness:

The job often requires physical tasks, such as lifting and carrying heavy objects or cleaning enclosures. Zoo service assistants need to be physically fit and capable of performing these tasks.

Attention to Detail:

Zoo Service Assistants must pay close attention to detail to ensure the animals’ needs are met, the habitats are maintained, and the zoo’s policies and procedures are followed.

Teamwork and Collaboration:

Working as part of a team is common in zoo environments. Zoo service assistants must be able to work well with others, communicate effectively, and collaborate to achieve common goals.

Communication Skills:

Zoo service assistants often interact with visitors, staff, and other professionals. Strong communication skills are important for conveying information, educating visitors, and working effectively with others.

Critical Thinking:

Zoo Service Assistants must be able to think critically and make decisions quickly, especially in emergency situations or when addressing animal care needs.

Passion for Conservation:

Many Zoo Service Assistants are passionate about wildlife conservation and environmental preservation. They often advocate for the well-being of animals and participate in conservation efforts.

Problem-Solving Skills:

Zoo service assistants often encounter challenges in their work, such as animal behaviour issues or habitat maintenance problems. Strong problem-solving skills are essential for finding solutions.


Working in a zoo or wildlife park can involve varied tasks and responsibilities. Zoo service assistants need to be flexible and willing to take on new tasks as needed.

Commitment to Animal Welfare:

Zoo service assistants are committed to the welfare of the animals in their care. They prioritise the health, safety, and comfort of the animals above all else.

These personality traits are essential for Zoo Service Assistants to excel in their roles and contribute to the well-being of the animals and the success of the zoo or wildlife park.

Life Skills

Career Skills

  • Animal Care
  • Animal Handling
  • Handling Equipment
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Basic computer literacy
Career Skills

Which Subjects must I have at School?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become a Zoo Service Assistant?

To become a Zoo Service Assistant, the specific educational requirements can vary depending on the organization and the level of responsibility involved in the position. However, here are some general guidelines:

Minimum educational qualification

The minimum educational requirement for many entry-level positions as a Zoo Service Assistant is a high school diploma or equivalent. Courses in biology, chemistry, environmental science, and mathematics can be beneficial.

Subject focus

Subjects if Further Study is Required:

Animal Science:

Further study in animal science can provide a deeper understanding of animal biology, behaviour, and nutrition.


Advanced coursework in biology can provide a strong foundation in animal anatomy, physiology, and ecology.

Environmental Science:

Additional study in environmental science can deepen your understanding of ecosystems and wildlife conservation.


If you are interested in leading educational programmes at the zoo, coursework in education or communication can be valuable.

Veterinary Science:

Although not required, coursework in veterinary science can be beneficial for understanding animal health and care.

Advanced Studies (if necessary):

Bachelor’s Degree:

Some organisations may require or prefer candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as biology, zoology, wildlife management, or a related discipline.

Master’s Degree:

For higher-level positions, such as supervisory roles or specialised positions, a master’s degree in a relevant field may be required or preferred.

Optional Short Courses:

Certification in Animal Care:

Courses or certifications in animal care can provide additional training and credentials.

First Aid and CPR Certification:

First aid and CPR training can be beneficial for dealing with medical emergencies.

Public Speaking:

Courses in public speaking or communication can be useful for leading educational programmes and interacting with visitors.

Technology Skills:

Short courses in computer skills or specialised zoo management software can be valuable for certain positions.

Wildlife Conservation:

Courses or workshops in wildlife conservation can provide a broader understanding of conservation issues and strategies.

Study duration

The duration of most Bachelor’s Degrees are between 3 and 4 years full time. The duration of short courses differ, but can range from a few days to a few months.

​Possible Career Preparation Paths

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A preparation path is like a road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

A high school student interested in pursuing a career as a Zoo Service Assistant can follow a career preparation path that includes the following steps:

1. Attend Career Guidance Sessions:

High school students can attend career guidance sessions offered by their school’s guidance department or career counselling services to learn about various career options, including the Zoo Service Assistant role.

2. Research All Possible Careers:

Students should research careers related to zookeeping, wildlife conservation, and animal care to understand the various paths available in the field.

3. Explore Educational Paths:

Explore educational paths such as certificate programmes, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and graduate degrees related to animal care, zoology, wildlife biology, and conservation.

4. Align High School Subjects with the Educational Path:

High school students can align their coursework with their future educational path by taking relevant science courses (e.g., biology, environmental science, chemistry) and elective courses related to animals and wildlife.

5. Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent:

Students should focus on completing their high school diploma or equivalent (e.g., GED) to meet the minimum educational requirements for entry-level positions in the field.

6. Learn About Animals They Will Work With:

Students can learn about the animals they may work with by visiting zoos, wildlife centres, and sanctuaries, as well as by reading books and online resources about animal behaviour and care.

7. Align Post-School Path with Either Entering a Career/Job Directly, Studying Further, or Starting a Business:

After high school, students can choose to enter the job market directly, pursue further education in a relevant field, or start a business related to animal care or conservation.

8. Gain Experience Through Volunteering, Internship, Mentorship, etc:

Students can gain valuable experience through volunteering at zoos, wildlife centres, or conservation organisations, participating in internships, and seeking mentorship from professionals in the field.

9. Pursue Extracurricular Activities:

Participating in extracurricular activities such as clubs, volunteer organisations, or internships related to animal care and conservation can help students build their skills and experiences.

10. Join Professional Associations:

Joining professional associations related to zookeeping, wildlife conservation, and animal care can provide networking opportunities, access to resources, and professional development opportunities.

11. Gain Specialised Skills:

Students can gain specialised skills related to animal care, such as animal handling, habitat maintenance, and health monitoring, through coursework, internships, and hands-on experience.

12. Network with Professionals:

Students can network with professionals in the field by attending industry conferences, joining professional organisations, and connecting with professionals on social media platforms like LinkedIn.

13. Enter the Job Market, Finish Tertiary Studies, or Launch a Business:

After completing their education or gaining sufficient experience, students can enter the job market as Zoo Service Assistants, pursue further studies, or start their own animal care or conservation-related business.

14. Stay Updated and Pursue Continuing Education:

Continuous learning is essential in the field of animal care and conservation. Students can stay updated on industry trends, best practices, and advancements in the field by pursuing continuing education and professional development opportunities throughout their career.

By following this career preparation path, high school students interested in becoming Zoo Service Assistants can develop the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to succeed in the fields of animal care and wildlife conservation.

Possible Combined career paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternative(s):

Stepping Stone Career

A stepping-stone career refers to a job or position that serves as a transitional or intermediate step towards a long-term career goal. Individuals may take on a stepping-stone job as it requires minimum education or finances to enter, or to gain relevant experience and develop skills, or to make professional connections that will ultimately help them progress towards their desired career path.

These interim positions may not be the ultimate or dream job, but they provide valuable learning opportunities and contribute to the individual’s overall career development. Stepping-stone careers are often seen as a strategic approach to building a successful and fulfilling professional trajectory, allowing individuals to gradually move closer to their desired roles or industries.

A career as a Zoo Service Assistant can provide valuable experience and skills that can be applicable to a variety of other career paths within the zoo and wildlife conservation industry, as well as related fields. Some possible career paths that Zoo Service Assistants may transition into in the future include:

Training and Apprenticeship

The on-the-job training and apprenticeship requirements for a person entering a Zoo Service Assistant career can vary depending on the organisation and the specific responsibilities of the role. However, here are some general guidelines:

Orientation and Onboarding:

New Zoo Service Assistants typically undergo an orientation process to learn about the zoo’s policies, procedures, and safety protocols. This may include information about animal care, public interaction, and emergency procedures.

Hands-On Experience:

Much of the training for a Zoo Service Assistant takes place on the job, under the supervision of experienced zookeepers, animal care professionals, or other senior staff members. New assistants may shadow experienced staff members and gradually take on more responsibilities as they gain experience.

Animal Handling and Care:

Zoo Service Assistants receive training in handling and caring for the animals under their care. This includes learning about animal behaviour, nutrition, habitat management, and basic medical care.

Visitor Interaction:

Assistants also receive training on how to interact with zoo visitors. This includes answering questions, providing information about the animals, and enforcing safety and behavioural guidelines.

Educational Programmes:

Depending on the zoo’s focus, Zoo Service Assistants may also receive training in leading educational programmes, such as guided tours, talks, and demonstrations.

Conservation Efforts:

Assistants may also receive training in the zoo’s conservation efforts, including participation in research projects, fundraising, and community outreach.

Safety and Emergency Procedures:

Training in safety protocols and emergency procedures is an important part of on-the-job training for Zoo Service Assistants. This includes training in handling animal escapes, medical emergencies, and natural disasters.

Technology and Equipment:

Assistants may receive training in using specialised equipment and software used for animal care, exhibit management, and data collection.

It’s important to note that on-the-job training for a Zoo Service Assistant can be ongoing and may continue throughout their career as they take on new responsibilities or work with different species. Additionally, many zoos and wildlife parks offer formal apprenticeship programmes or internships for individuals interested in pursuing careers in animal care and conservation. These programmes can provide valuable hands-on experience and training in a structured learning environment.

Average level of education of those entering the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certifications, Registrations and Professional Associations

The requirements for licences, certificates, and legal registration to become a Zoo Service Assistant can vary depending on the specific role, the organisation, and the country or region. However, some common requirements may include:

Zoo-Specific Training:

Some zoos may require Zoo Service Assistants to complete specialised training programmes or courses specific to their facility. This training may cover topics such as animal handling, safety procedures, and zoo operations.

First Aid and CPR Certification:

Many zoos require Zoo Service Assistants to have current certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) due to the potential for medical emergencies in the workplace.

Animal Care Certification:

Some zoos may require Zoo Service Assistants to have certifications in animal care or animal husbandry. These certifications can demonstrate the assistant’s knowledge and skills in caring for zoo animals.

Driving Licence:

Zoo service assistants may need a valid driver’s licence if their duties involve operating zoo vehicles or transporting animals or supplies.

Background Check:

Zoos may require Zoo Service Assistants to undergo a background check or provide a police clearance certificate to ensure the safety of animals and visitors.

Drug Test:

Some zoos may require Zoo Service Assistants to pass a drug test as part of the hiring process or ongoing employment.

Health Screening:

Depending on the role, Zoo Service Assistants may need to undergo a health screening or provide proof of immunisations to protect themselves and the animals from infectious diseases.

Work Permit (for International Applicants):

International applicants may need a valid work permit or visa to work legally as a Zoo Service Assistant in a particular country.

Continuing Education:

Zoo Service Assistants may be required to participate in ongoing education and training programmes to stay updated on new practices, technologies, and safety procedures.

It’s important to note that the specific requirements can vary significantly depending on the organisation and country or region. It’s advisable for individuals interested in becoming a Zoo Service Assistant to check with the specific zoo or wildlife facility where they are seeking employment for the most up-to-date information on requirements and certifications.

Professional Associations

Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA):

Website: aza.org

European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA):

Website: eaza.net

World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA):

Website: waza.org

American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK):

Website: aazk.org

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL):

Website: zsl.org

Australian and New Zealand Association of Zoos and Aquariums (ANZAA):

Website: anzaa.org.au

Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA):

Website: caza.ca

Zoological Association of America (ZAA):

Website: zoos-aquariums.org

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS):

Website: wcs.org

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN):

Website: iucn.org

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS):

Website: rzss.org.uk

Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA):

Website: zooaquarium.org.au

Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards animal care, nutrition and enrichment

How do I start to prepare for this Career?

If you do decide on following this career, then OZT can assist you in gaining knowledge about the career and the animals you will be working with. We do this by offering you thousands of FREE short courses.

A. You can access the specialised study guide that fits in with the above preparation path

B.  If you are still uncertain about choosing this career, then have a look at our special series of WHAT NEXT courses. They take you through all of the questions you might have on how to choose the right career, what to do while and after school, and even how to start your own business.

C.  Or, join OZT as a member to access easy-to-use lists of courses to make your career preparation as smooth as possible! And yes, membership is always free.

Join the OZT online community for special access to more tools!

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a zoo service assistant.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. Some career experience is necessary; otherwise, you won’t get the job!
  • Top-notch information on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes, and certificates. Be the best of the best while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being a zoo service assistant and want to join our community, or you are already a member, please click on the JOIN GROUP button.

If this career is NOT the one for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu to start a new search and learn about a different career.

Other interesting Careers

Job Vacancies in the same Category

These are a few of the current vacancies in the same category on the OZT Job Board. Search for your next internship, volunteer opportunity, or full- or part-time job!

Help us maintain this Profile

Do you want to Contribute?

Do you have information that you would like to contribute to this career?

My Story




Career Profiles and Resources

Career Mentors are Members who assist by volunteering to keep each Career Page factual and current, while mentoring Students in the related Career Group.

Learn More …

Contributions by expert members are always appreciated to allow the Students to make informed decisions. Please add your contribution through the attached Form:

Contribution Form

One Zoo Tree

A few pictures about the Career:

  • Link

Some of the best websites to help you decide on the Career:


We believe in feedback from our users. Please rate the career info, or leave us a comment on how we can improve on it

5 1 vote
Info Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Verified by MonsterInsights