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How to Become a Zookeeper - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

How to Become a Zookeeper - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

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/ How to Become a Zookeeper - Career Salaries, Job Stats & Education

Looking at a Zookeeping Career?

Become empowered and motivated by building on your current knowledge, or step into a certificate course that gives you the confidence to take your career to the next level. Open Colleges has a range of courses to give you the specific skills you are hoping to gain, whether in finance, HR, marketing, animal care, events or retail.

Job Outlook Average Salary Work Hours Age Groups
Education Level Courses Interview with a Pro

 

Zookeeping Job Outlook

The graph shows historical and projected (to 2019) employment levels (thousands) for this occupation.

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, DEEWR trend data to November 2014 and DEEWR projections to 2019. Estimates have been rounded.

Over the five years to November 2019, the number of job openings for Zookeepers is expected to be below average (between 5,001 and 10,000). Job openings count both employment growth and turnover (defined as workers leaving their occupation for other employment or leaving the workforce).

Employment for Zookeepers to November 2019 is expected to remain relatively stable. Employment in this moderate sized occupation (12,000 in November 2014) rose slightly in the past five years and in the long-term (ten years).

Zookeepers Salaries

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS EEBTUM survey August 2014 cat. no. 6310.0. Estimates have been rounded and consequently some discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.

Note: These figures are indicative and cannot be used to determine a particular wage rate.

Payscale.com lists the wage for a Zookeepers (in Sydney with 5 years’ experience) as being between an average of $62 000 per annum and $73 000 at the highest end of the market.

Please note: For roles in animal care, rates of pay will vary depending on the type of business and the type of environment.

Business Weekly Work Hours

The graph shows the average weekly hours (by gender and full-time and part-time) worked for this occupation, compared with all occupations. 

Zookeepers have a comparatively low proportion of full-time jobs (55.9 per cent). For Zookeepers working full-time, average weekly hours are 43.7 (compared to 40.9 for all occupations) and earnings are high - in the third decile. Unemployment for Zookeepers is above average.

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.

 

Zookeepers Age Profile

 

As expected, the Zookeeping industry has a strong appeal to young to middle-aged people, making it a dynamic and vibrant work environment.

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.

 

Zookeepers Education Levels

Source: *Job Outlook Government website. ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2014.

What Zookeeping Qualification Do You Need?

Certificate III in Captive Animals

Open the door to a wide range of job opportunities working with exotic, rare, unusual, water-based and native captive animals. You will learn about the daily care of captive animals, including how to interact, monitor and observe them, as well as how to ensure their safety.

Certificate IV in Captive Animals

Take the next career step and get the skills you need to advance your career with the Certificate IV in Captive Animals from Open Colleges. This Certificate provides you with advanced skills in interacting, monitoring and observing captive animals. You will also learn how to manage enclosures and exhibits, develop animal diets, review behavioral management strategies, and how to prepare and present information to the public.

Certificate II in Animal Studies

Study this as a pathway to vet nursing. Animal carers may undertake administration and clinic duties such as giving medications to animals; feeding, watering and examining animals. This course is designed to provide students wit the skills and knowledge needed to work successfully in the animal care sector. This course is an entry level course which will act as a solid foundation for your learning.

Why Study Animal Care through Open Colleges?

Our Zookeeping courses are delivered online, giving you the flexibility of organizing your study around your life. You can enroll anytime of the year and study at your own pace.

Our animal care courses provide you with advanced skills in interacting, monitoring and observing captive animals. You will also learn how to manage enclosures and exhibits, develop animal diets, review behavioural management strategies, and how to prepare and present information to the public.

Your course includes comprehensive student support to help you throughout your study. Some of the diplomas and certificates allow you to graduate with a government-accredited, nationally recognized qualification that can boost your chances of employment.

Interview with a professional from the Zookeeping Industry

 

Paul Whitehorn

Operations Manager of Mogo Zoo

New South Wales

 

What does a Zookeepers do on a day to day basis?

“I’m usually here from six o’clock in the morning until about six o’clock at night,” he says. “That’s in a managerial role, though, so the keepers will generally get in before seven o’clock in the morning. It really is quite an evolved job these days,” he says. “It’s no longer just picking up poo and throwing chunks of meat on animals. These days, there’s far more emphasis on enrichments and encouraging natural behaviours. So we do a lot of training to help animals display natural behaviours and we also do keeper talks and animal interactions so that we can actually teach people about what’s going on.” 

What are the best parts of the job?

“I love the fact that no day is ever the same,” says Paul. “It’s been 27 years and I still can’t tell you exactly what my day is going to be like. It’s always challenging, but seeing the difference you can make in each animal’s individual life and also being able to help the species in some way is very rewarding. We all have our preferences when it comes to the animals we work with, but I enjoy working with all of them and they each come with a different set of challenges. At the moment my favourite animal is our female tiger Seraya. She’s a true carnivore so she only eats meat. We feed her a combination of chicken, beef, deer, horse and rabbit meat.”

What are some of the most challenging aspects of Zookeeping?

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s 42 degrees or minus five and pouring with rain. You still have toget in there and get it done, so it can be very physically challenging,” says Paul. “You have to be very driven and passionate about it as it’s not a highly paid profession. We do it because of our love of the animals and enjoyment of the job. You have to be flexible and accept that it’s not a nine-to-five job; you’re going get to work early and leave late, but you’ll also enjoy every minute of it.”

Thanks, Paul, for sharing your story with Open Colleges.

 

 

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