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Work at the Zoo

Zoo People  

Hamilton Zoo employs 45 full and part-time employees and around 50 volunteers. 

The roles here at Hamilton Zoo are varied and diverse – from Zoo Keepers and administrators, through to veterinarians and educators!

All Zoo vacancies can be found by clicking here.

One of our most common enquiries is from people wanting to find out how to become a zookeeper.  If you are interested in zoo keeping as a career, the information below is a good starting point. 

How do I become a Zoo Keeper?

It pays to have as much experience as possible in either working with animals (in places other than zoos), or other conservation related work.  Ideally you should have a passion for animals, and be dedicated and physically fit. 

You’ll be working outside in all kinds of weather, so it also is important to be practical, observant and have good communication skills.  An ability to relate to people as well as animals is also beneficial. 

What qualifications do I need to become a Keeper?

There are very few zoos in New Zealand, and it is an increasingly popular profession, so the more education and experience you have with animals the better. 

To work at Hamilton Zoo you must have completed the National Certificate in Captive Wild Animals.  This is a zoo-based qualification and directly relevant to zoo work.  Other qualifications, or parts of them, may be recognized as equivalent to some parts of the course.  Places are limited, and more information is available from Unitec NZ.

I’m still in school, what subjects should I be taking?

Preferably include a science subject such as biology, but if you intend to sit the bursary examination, it is important that you choose subjects that will give you the highest aggregate marks. 

For more information on becoming a Zoo Keeper click here.