Job Description

A Zookeeper is responsible for delivering high standards of animal care, supporting breeding programs, conducting animal training and management practices for all animals in conservation. They are responsible for the daily care and feeding of the animals, and the maintenance of their enclosures.

Careers Ladder


Zoo keepers generally work eight-hours-per-day, somewhere between the hours of 6:00am and 6:00pm. They work on a rotating roster.


Becoming a Zookeeper is a popular choice of career. To give yourself the upper hand experience either volunteering or paid will be highly advantageous.

Qualifications you may like to consider are;

  • Complete a Certificate II in Animal Studies
  • Certificate III in Captive Animals
  • Bachelor of Zoology
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Biodiversity and Conservation

If you intend to undertake study, you’ll require completion of year 10 for certificate courses, and year 12 or alternative entry requirements for a tertiary degree.


  • Adaptability
  • Calm
  • Communication
  • Devoted
  • Enthusiastic
  • Empathy
  • Friendly
  • Interpersonal
  • Patient
  • Reliable
  • Specialised
  • Team Player

Key Skills

  • Understanding animal behaviour
  • Knowledge of animal handling and care techniques
  • Grooming
  • Physically Fit

Future Prospects

In larger zoos, wildlife parks or aquariums, you could progress from keeper to team leader or head keeper.

You might need to be willing to relocate to another part of the country to work your way up into higher positions, as competition for senior jobs can be tough.

With experience and a degree, you could become a curator. You could also move into education or conservation research.