How do you become a zookeeper?


Quick Answer

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, many zookeeper positions require at least a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as experience in the field. However, it is also common for zookeeper positions to require a bachelor's degree in zoology, biology or a related subject.

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Full Answer

The University of Florida's Department of Biology (UFL) emphasizes the two key points provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The UFL website states that experience and education are almost exclusively the deciding factors when hiring a zookeeper. Since experience is paramount, the UFL provides useful information for obtaining it. Some of the suggestions are to volunteer at a zoo, veterinary practice or animal shelter, or apply for a lower-level animal keeper position.

The UFL also recognizes the importance of education, stating that one way for a candidate to stand out is to have at least a bachelor's degree as the degree often gives job candidates a better chance at being hired. Since many of the positions to which the UFL refers when discussing how to become a zookeeper require only a high school diploma, it is apparent that, while both experience and education are important, experience alone can be sufficient in acquiring a position as a zookeeper.

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