Zookeepers are people who are responsible for the animals in a zoo.  This professional journey does not give an especially high pay, but the unique possibilities and experiences that the field offers are much sought after.
Many zookeepers are specialists in the given fields to handle animals such as birds, cats, elephants, or aquatic creatures. They might also help with breeding and nurture young animals for the propagation of endangered species in their zoo.
In all, in 2016 there was around 241,500 zookeeper, however, this includes some of the zookeepers that didn’t work in zoos.

What is a Zookeeper?

A zookeeper is a human that has extensive knowledge about animals and their habitats. They are capable of recognizing individuals, behaviors, and patterns.

The Zookeeper helps the client by providing answers, solutions, and suggestions for their problems. A Zookeeper is an essential person in the Zoo.

They have to do their job well, as it helps the animals stay healthy and happy. The more time they spend with the animals, the better they know them and understand what makes them tick.

A Zookeeper can be an experienced zookeeper or a person who has just started working in the Zoo. They must be able to deal with all types of animals, as some species may have different needs than others.

Zookeeper Duties & Responsibilities

Feeding- Feeding the animals is one of the main tasks of a zookeeper. They need to be able to feed the animals and ensure that they get all their daily needs.

Animal care- Zookeepers need to be able to care for all kinds of animals, including exotic ones. They will also have a high degree of responsibility when it comes to caring for the animal’s well-being.

Facilities maintenance- Maintain and repair any kind of facilities that are used by the animals

Personnel- Make sure that the animals are happy and well taken care of, this means that they will be more likely to stay in the zoo for many years.

Report on managers or veterinarians odd behavior changes- Telling managers about unusual behavior changes of the animals in the zoo can be very difficult and it is a task that zookeepers need to perform well.

Security- Security is one of the main responsibilities of a zookeeper. They will be responsible for protecting the animals from any potential danger, including wild animals and human predators.

Maintain comprehensive data- maintain a record of all the animals that are kept in the zoo administer medications and other treatments to the animals. Record breeding, gestation, delivery, and newborn information for each animal.

How to become a Zookeeper?

Acquire early experience

The best way to learn how to become a zookeeper is by gaining experience while working in the zoo. This will give you insight into the different aspects of being a zookeeper and help you prepare for all situations that may arise during your career. It is also important that you get some hands-on experience by working with animals.

Complete an undergraduate degree

It is important that you have a degree in zoology, animal biology, or a related field. This will allow you to understand the needs of the animals and how they behave. You should also know how to deal with all types of animals as some species may require different care than others.

Compile and apply for entrance positions your resume

You will need to get experience working with animals, which is one of the requirements for becoming a zookeeper. You should also show that you have enough knowledge about your chosen field and that you are able to deal with various types of animals.

Study and get a job offer interviews

Once you have applied for a position, you will need to go through the interview process. You should also prepare for this by studying the job-related topics and other animal-related questions that may be asked during an interview.

Get certified

It is important that you get certified in order to become a zookeeper. You will need to take classes that are related to the field of animal care and keep up with other requirements in order to get certified.

How does a Zookeeper Differ from a Zoologist?



Zoologists are scientists that specialize in studying and dealing with wild creatures. Often they work strange hours when animals are seen. They usually work in laboratories or offices when they are not in the field. To enter this sector, zoologists must have a bachelor’s program, however certain roles may demand a master’s or a doctor’s diploma. They might be of critical importance to assist us to understand how wildlife development or the consequences of invasive species brought into a new region are affected.

A zoologist’s tasks include:

  • Prepare research projects plans
  • Sample collection
  • Animals observation and observations document
  • Assess how environmental changes impact the populations of wildlife
  • Conduct sample testing
  • Written and oral presentation of results


Zookeepers can start their employment with a GED or secondary school certificate and can learn through training on the job, but animal work experience is a benefit. The animals who reside in zoos are looked after. Zoos might spend a lot of time bending down or transporting heavy objects, so they have to be fit. It also helps when zookeepers are vigilant because they then see changes in the condition of an animal that may require medical treatment.

Zookeeper tasks include:

  • Ensure that animals are routinely fed
  • Maintain clean animal habitats
  • Test animals for healthy assistance to vaccinate or euthanize animals Veterinarians
  • Train animals for guests.

Eligibility to become a zookeeper

For most jobs, the requirements are pretty standard. It would be best if you were 18 years old and had a high school diploma or GED. If you want to become a zookeeper, you must also pass an exam to test your knowledge of animals and their care. To become a zookeeper, you must have completed 12 years of education. This is an entry-level position, and you will most likely advance in your career from there.

Skills required to become a zookeeper

Patience: You will treat animals who don’t need to be with their finest behavior.

Fitness: Kneeling, climbing, crawling, and even running are necessary for this profession. Heavy food and straw bales must be able to raise up.

Knowledge of people: You will also take care of guests and control their safety behavior.

Detailed attention: Does an animal require and is it sick? The tiny indications you must observe. Food and medications are also measured and measurements need to be accurate.

What does a Zookeeper do?

Zookeeper Job

Zookeepers are the keepers of the animals in a zoo. They will work with all kinds of different species, from apes to elephants and monkeys to dolphins. In most zoos, a team takes care of the food and water for each animal in their habitat.

This team is called the animal care team. In the United States, a zookeeper is a person who takes care of and maintains all kinds of animals. A zookeeper can be a teacher or a student, but they must have the education to become one.

A zookeeper will spend most of their time inside, so they must work well with others and have good hearing and eyesight. They also need to have a high degree of patience, as they will be taking care of animals all day.

Educational requirements to be a zookeeper

Education: A zookeeper often holds a degree in animal science, biology, or zoology. Animal behavior, physiology and anatomy, reproductive physiology, and biology courses are helpful.

Expertise: Successful zoo applicants also have considerable experience in veterinary clinics, chandelles, wildlife refurbishment facilities, stables, aquariums, or zoos.

Average Salary of a Zookeeper

Zookeepers make a decent salary, but it will not be one of the highest-paying jobs in your field. The average starting salary for zookeepers is around $31,000 per year.

Final Words

Zookeepers will have a long career ahead of them if they choose to pursue it. Many zookeepers stay with their job for many years and become successful at them.

However, keep in mind that this is a challenging job because you will be taking care of animals all day long. The animals will expect the best from you, and if they don’t get it, there is a good chance they might become angry with you.

This means that you must understand their emotions and communicate well with them to keep your job for many years.

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