Zookeepers are animal caretakers in zoos. They are responsible for specific types of animals assigned to them. Zookeepers clean the exhibits, feed the animals and keep a good eye on the animals to make sure they are healthy. Every animal has different needs and the zookeepers do their best to make sure the animals needs are met.

Working Conditions

Zookeepers work outdoors often and in all kinds of weather. Their job can sometimes be unpleasant, from cleaning dirty exhibits to helping with a sick animal.


Salaries vary from minimum wage to $40,000. The size of the zoo, and the experience and education of the zookeeper will affect the earnings.

Helpful Skills and Subjects to Study

Zookeepers must be comfortable working outdoors in all kinds of weather and taking care of animals in all conditions. This includes feeding and cleaning the living areas of the animals. Science, English, animal science, and biology are good classes to take for this career.

Related Jobs

Animal breeders, animal trainers, veterinarians, wildlife biologists, zoologists and veterinary technicians.

Education & Training

Some zoos require a bachelor's degree in biology or animal science. Most require experience with animals, such as volunteer work in zoos. Some of the larger zoos have a training program all zookeepers must complete.

Job Outlook

There will be high competition for these job openings.

Sources for Additional Information

American Association of Zoo Keepers, Inc.
635 Southwest Gage Blvd.
Topeka, KS 66606-2066

American Zoo and Aquarium Association
7970-D Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814-2493