Frequently asked questions
Q: How do I become a Zookeeper?
A: Keep writing to Zoos and if possible work voluntarily at weekends to show you are willing, it is also possible to get a job doing something else in the Zoo so that when a vacancy occurs you are known to the organisation.
Q: How do I find out about work experience/voluntary work in Zoos?
A: You need to write to individual Zoos, see below for how to obtain their addresses.
Q: How do I find out about vacancies?
A: Many Zoos put vacancies on their websites, in “Cage and Aviary Birds” a weekly publication available from good newsagents and also from more general websites as outlined below.
Q: What qualifications do I need?
A: It is still possible to get a job as a Keeper without qualifications but these days it is less likely. Whether you have qualifications or not you must show that you are enthusiastic about animals and prepared to work hard.
Q: What courses are available?
A: Land-based Colleges (there are around 35 of them in the country) run courses in Animal Management to Level 3 (National Diploma) some also run HND courses. A few colleges run degree courses in Animal Management, among these are Sparsholt, Reaseheath and Rodbaston. There is also an Advanced National Certificate in Management of Zoo Animals run at Sparsholt. If you have a Degree in Biology or a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine it will help.
Q: How do I find the addresses of these colleges?
A: The addresses may be found on the website of the Association of Land-based Colleges www.landex.org.uk.
Q: How do I find the addresses of Zoos?
A: Zoo addresses are available on the websites of the following organisations, British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA), European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA),and the World Association of Zoos and Aquaria (WAZA).
Q: When is the next ABWAK symposium?
A: For forthcoming events run by ABWAK and other organisations see our events page
Q: How do I find out what talks will be in the next ABWAK symposium?
A: Very often the Programme is not finalised until very close to the event but the information should be on the ABWAK website at the end of January in the year of the event.