How much do zookeeper assistants make?
This depends on where you live and the facility you wish to work at. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is often a great resource for information about earnings and growth potential.
The challenge is that zookeeper assistants aren’t listed in a separate category but instead are lumped together with a variety of other animal related jobs called “Animal Care and Service Workers”. Another website called O Net Online also has interesting data but they also list zookeeper assistants with other jobs in a category they call “Animal Caretakers.”
Experience is also a factor in determining earning potential. The more experience you have the greater your marketability is likely to be. One of the most difficult aspects of this profession is the high interest it generates. This means that entry level jobs like zookeeper assistants have a great many animal lovers without any formal training (but a great deal of passion) clamoring for a chance. While no school can guarantee employment or earnings, ABC believes that taking a formal program that gives graduates a strong foundational understanding of zookeeping and many of the animals found in zoos, not only gives those graduates an advantage over others with no training but also communicates to potential employers that the graduate is serious and dedicated to their profession.
How long does it take to become a zookeeper assistant?
ABCs Zookeeper Assistant Program takes between 8 to 12 months to complete. Once you graduate and are successful in getting a zookeeper assistant job, it could take you several years of working full time to gain a professional level of experience. Experience coupled with additional education resulting in a zookeeper degree could potentially land you in a position at a large zoo or wildlife center, earning a zookeeper salary.
Are zoos humane?
Zoos that employ qualified people, and that focus on the humane treatment and housing of animals are not only humane but are key links in preserving vanishing species and educating the public. These zoos not only specialize in meeting the physical requirements of the animals in their care, but also focus on providing proper socialization for those animals who require it along with safe and educational presentations for people wishing to learn about animals. This turns the zoo into a place where new generations of people can observe and learn to appreciate animals and their role in nature.
Why are zoos ethical?
Zoos can preserve some species whose habitat in the wild has been degraded or destroyed. They can also educate people about animals and their unique place in nature. The more people come to understand and love all animals, the more likely it will be that large numbers of people will fight to protect them. While zoos are not the only way to educate people, they represent an outstanding one. In order for a zoo to be ethical it must employ qualified staff and focus on the humane treatment of the animals in their care. This covers everything from proper nutrition to safe and healthy environments.
How to become a zookeeper assistant
A great many people want to work with animals so taking a program focused on what you will need to know and do as a zookeeper assistant gives you a possible leg up. The best strategy is to learn as much as you can and then armed with a certification, willingness to work hard and a positive attitude, start applying for work or volunteering at zoos near you. The key here is to understand that the more you bring to the table the better off you will be. Getting a certification is important but that alone won’t get you a job. It shows you had the dedication and discipline to master a course of study, which suggests you are serious but if you aren’t willing to work hard, you won’t reach your goal. Conversely those applicants willing to work hard but lacking in education will likely be at a disadvantage compared to those with an education who are also willing to work hard. Finally, a positive attitude is important. Even though zookeeper assistants will work with animals, they will be part of a human team at the zoo. The greater your ability to work with people, the easier it will be for you. Perseverance is also key. Do you really want to work in a zoo? So do lots of other people. You will need to be prepared to apply multiple times, work long and difficult hours if you do get hired and remain positive regardless. So in closing, education, discipline, hard work, perseverance and a positive attitude are what you need to become a zookeeper assistant.
How to work at a zoo
A degree isn’t a firm requirement; however, a zookeeper assistant certification definitely helps give valuable experience, develop relationships with local zoos and demonstrate your commitment to the profession. All zoos are different but generally, you need to pay attention, watch, listen, take notes and follow directions. The more effort you put into learning the routines and safety precautions, the greater the likelihood of success. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and the better you get along with your teammates the easier it will be for you. Initially working in a zoo can be exciting and a little overwhelming. That’s why good listening and communication skills are vital as is patience and being open to learning.