Jobs at Wild Animal Parks: Options and Requirements
Those working in wild animal parks across the United States perform a variety of duties to keep the animals happy and healthy, and the visitors satisfied. The requirements and job duties are different for each position, and job titles vary from concessions stand worker and veterinarian to animal curator.
Job Options at Wild Animal Parks
Wild animal parks are located across the United States and employ a large number of people to keep operations running smoothly. Many of the jobs within wild animal parks require no contact with the actual animals and can be obtained with few prerequisites.
Most parks have positions for ticket agents, concessions workers, customer service agents, vendors, tour guides and janitors. There are also many upper level management jobs that make the business and policy decisions for the parks. Many zoos and wild animal parks hire animal curators to purchase the animals, public relations agents and marketing teams to advertise, accounting teams to crunch numbers, and directors to manage and oversee employees.
Within the parks, there is a large staff employed to keep the animals happy and healthy. These employees are required to clean, feed and entertain the animals. Veterinarians and a staff of helpers work in every park to care for sick animals, give vaccinations, and help with breeding or feeding patterns. Many parks have biologists, conservationists, aquarists or zoologists to provide scientific information and optimal care for each animal.
While there are many jobs to be found at wild animal parks that have very few qualifications, many of the upper level positions require formal education and work experience. Most of the jobs with no animal contact only require an applicant to have a high school diploma, a clean background and experience. Upper level positions in management, human resources and business divisions usually require an employee to have earned a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as communications, marketing, business administration, or travel and tourism.
The care workers for animals frequently receive on-the-job training to ensure that they know the proper ways to feed, clean up after and groom the animals. After earning a bachelor's degree in biology, wildlife veterinarians must go to veterinarian school and earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree. Many of their staff must receive formal education, and veterinary technicians must complete an associate degree program. The path to becoming an animal trainer varies depending on the type of animal and the goals of the trainer, but for most trainers certification is mandatory.
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