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Zookeeper Requirements

Zookeepers are very dedicated to their animals and their work. Despite generally low pay, zoo keeping is a very competitive field. When we have openings, typically we have numerous applicants for each position. As a zookeeper you have to love what you do and be willing to do it every single day. But, zoo keeping isn't just about taking care of animals — there is a high level of customer service that has come to be expected of zookeepers. You not only have to love animals but it helps to love working and communicating with people. Often times the zookeeper is the voice of the animals. Are you up for the challenge?

The minimum requirement for zookeeper positions at Sedgwick County Zoo is two years of college. There is no experience requirement. However, the reality is that most of our applicants have at least a four year college degree with some experience working in a zoo, either paid or as volunteers. Also, in order to advance to senior zookeeper, curator, or other positions of greater responsibility, a four-year degree and several years’ zoo experience are required.

One way to get experience is to be a volunteer. If this interests you, you may contact our Volunteer Department.

Friends University in Wichita, KS, offers a four-year degree program in Zoo Science. A number of the classes in that program are taught at Sedgwick County Zoo by Zoo staff and there is a practicum portion of the program that provides hands-on experience at the Zoo.

Occasionally, we have openings for part-time positions in the animal department. Although there is no formal education or experience requirement for these positions, they are also very competitive.

People interested in applying for zookeeper positions at Sedgwick County Zoo must apply online at Application can only be made when a position is available and listed on that web site.

We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. Please understand Sedgwick County Zoo can only accept applications when there is a position open.

5555 Zoo Boulevard
Wichita, Kansas 67212
t: (316) 660-9453
f: (316) 942-3781
Hours of Operation
Summer8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(March – October)
Winter10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(November – February)
*The Zoo will be closed one day only, September 8, 2018 to facilitate the preparation of the annual Zoo fundraiser, Zoobilee.