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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
firstly, what do i have to do to work in a zoo?

secondly, how long will it take me to work in a zoo?

thirdly, how much do you get paid anually to work in a zoo?

fourthly, does it depend on the animal/s you work with, on how much you get paid?

lastly, what is it like working in a zoo?

(would be looking to work with exotic mammals, so coatis/raccoons/meerkats/etc)

had to put it like that so i didn't confuse myself :blush:

thanks for any replies : victory:
 

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firstly, what do i have to do to work in zoo?
It helps to get as much experience as you can with exotics....and by that I don't mean beardies. Apply to every single one going right across the UK. Then hope you're having a lucky streak!

secondly, how long will it take me to work in a zoo?
Depends how long it takes for you to do the above. Could take years.

thirdly, how much do you get paid anually to work in a zoo?
Naff all. I had to leave my zoo job because I couldn't afford to support myself....however, I do like a drink!

fourthly, does it depend on the animal/s you work with, on how much you get paid?
Nope. It depends on seniority and how long you have worked there.

lastly, what is it like working in a zoo?
Not glamourous. HARD WORK. Can be heartbreaking. Really interesting and good fun.

(would be looking to work with exotic mammals, so coatis/raccoons/meerkats/etc)

had to put it like that so i didn't confuse myself :blush:

thanks for any replies : victory:
Good luck. There are very few zoo jobs to go around. Remember....get experience (possibly through volunteering at a zoo), and apply apply apply.:2thumb:
 

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From what I've seen, even getting volunteer work at a zoo isn't easy and in high demand. Work for free just to get experience, and a fair bit of that will be clearing muck not working with animals. Similarly you can get volunteer work at animal charities and shelters, although of course there's less scope for exotics there.

Depends on what stage you are in life, I recently became aware of a course at Dartmoor Zoo on Animal Management, which is an equivalent to 3 A-levels. Other places run similar courses, but this one sounds more hands on. Obviously that's only a starting point and it'll still be up to you where to go after that.
 

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get a degree in biology and anything else along those lines...

education...
Apart from at the very big zoos (Chester, Durrell etc), degrees mean very little in the majority of UK zoos. It's all about the experience.

Doing a BTEC style course in wild animal management would be helpful though.....if you don't have one, the zoo may possibly make you take a correspondence course in this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
am i better off getting as much experience as i can and starting as early as possible then?
 
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I'm sorry but I completely disagree with the statement that other than the big zoos degrees mean nothing. Almost every zoo ad now asks for a degree or equivalent, and whilst it is true that many zoo keepers do not have one plenty of small zoos are involved in key conservation efforts and breeding programmes that need staff with a good understanding of the science behind it all. Whilst having a degree is not vital, I would say if you are absolutely serious about becoming a keeper then it is an excellent place to start, not only does it demonstrate intelligence and determination but also can help open up a lot more doors to you.
 

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Of course it would lend weight to any application, and I would never suggest leaving education early. But speaking from experience, all the animal care jobs I've had within large exotic collections have been more concerned with previous experience at the interview stage.

I got my zoo job not because of my degree, but because I had considerable experience with large dangerous wild animals. In fact, only one other keeper in the whole place was university educated.

With my current job in animal care, the requirements were only GCSE level....but I got the job because of my previous experience in the zoo.

I have students leaving now and heading to university. I also have a student walking straight into a zoo job because she has had experience working with our animals, and has put in time as a volunteer.....she was offered the job months before she even left.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
am i better off trying to get a degree as well just to be safe? :whistling2::whistling2:
 

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Others may disagree, but I'd say for the best of both worlds, you're better off getting a qualification in wild animal management. It's like a BTEC or ND or something.

Only because if you don't already have it, the zoo may ask you to do a correspondence course in it with the open uni or something like that. They did with me (in spite of the fact that I already had a degree in animal science and behaviour), and I guess it was a bit if a pain juggling that and an extremely tiring job.

I don't know how old you are, but there are many 6th form colleges that run courses like this
 

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That is unless you wanna work with fish/marine life....in which case, a degree is necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
what animals are you wanting to study?
exotic mammals, basically raccoons, meerkats, coatis, kinks, something along those lines.

Others may disagree, but I'd say for the best of both worlds, you're better off getting a qualification in wild animal management. It's like a BTEC or ND or something.

Only because if you don't already have it, the zoo may ask you to do a correspondence course in it with the open uni or something like that. They did with me (in spite of the fact that I already had a degree in animal science and behaviour), and I guess it was a bit if a pain juggling that and an extremely tiring job.

I don't know how old you are, but there are many 6th form colleges that run courses like this
i'm 15, starting year 11 in september and then going off to college after because i can't find any sixth forms that do any of them in liverpool :censor:

how long does the correspondence course take to complete?
 

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exotic mammals, basically raccoons, meerkats, coatis, kinks, something along those lines.



i'm 15, starting year 11 in september and then going off to college after because i can't find any sixth forms that do any of them in liverpool :censor:

how long does the correspondence course take to complete?
There is one fairly close to Liverpool.....well, Preston more like. It's called Myerscough.

There's also Reeseheath nr Chester. I know they seem like a long way away, but a friend of mine made the trek everyday from manchester because it was what he wanted to do.

A vocational course like that has the best of both worlds.....education and hands on experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
There is one fairly close to Liverpool.....well, Preston more like. It's called Myerscough.

There's also Reeseheath nr Chester. I know they seem like a long way away, but a friend of mine made the trek everyday from manchester because it was what he wanted to do.

A vocational course like that has the best of both worlds.....education and hands on experience.
there's a myerscough college in liverpool :mf_dribble: it's where i'm applying for :Na_Na_Na_Na:
 

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there's a myerscough college in liverpool :mf_dribble: it's where i'm applying for :Na_Na_Na_Na:
the Preston one is the main campus, liverpool is an 'offshoot' (cant remember the correct term). if the course you want/need is only offered at the preston campus, they will sometimes let under 18s stay overnight during the week, so you may not have to commute (if i remember rightly, they charge for that though).

to your original question, here is what one of the keepers at Edinburgh zoo told me: experience is key, then get your foot in the door with a zoo by whatever means necessary. apply for literally any job that becomes available, even if its nothing to do with the animals. then do some volunteer work for them. that way when a job becomes available, not only should you be one of the first to hear about it, you have the volunteer credits and you're already an employee so they know you're reliable and so on. apparently one of the girls in charge of the rhino's started off in the gift shop.
 

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I know this is way too far away for you, but for anyone else reading the thread in the north west, there's an excellent course at Eccles 6th form Centre, Salford City College. Good collection of animals too.
 

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Sparsholt college is where I went too. Was awesome place to study very hands on.
Ive been trying to get zoo work for the last 5 years and only had 3 interviews. Its cleary very competitive place to get in to, despite me getting full marks for my btec diploma in animal management and having a lot of experience for someone my age im still not in. :gasp:

Was also told for one position I applied for there was over 100 applicants that had gone for it...didn't even get a call, not surprised really. My advice would be study hard get as higher grade as you can (wish id stayed for degree) and do as much voluntary work as you can to build up experience.

I have my own zoo at home now so I don't need a stupid job at the stupid zoo anyway :Na_Na_Na_Na: (would still love one, if HR from the zoos around Essex and london are looking at this)
 

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I have been working at a agricultural college animal centre as a keep for 10 months now.
I havent got any animal based qualifications (in fact I have a human psychology degree) but managed to get the job on my practical experience alone (having kept and bred several speacies and always been 'animal minded')

However, next week is my last week as i also have another job in a school that is taking precedence now.
 
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