Zookeepers feed, provide water for and monitor the health of animals in zoos, aquaria and wildlife parks, clean, fix and maintain animal cages, and inform visitors about animals.

Specialisations: Aquarist.

You can work as a Zookeeper without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Zookeepers.

Tasks

  • Prepares, cleans, disinfects and maintains comfortable cages and enclosures.
  • Transports food, fills water troughs and feeds animals according to their individual needs.
  • Maintains animal health records, treats minor injuries and reports serious conditions to veterinarians.
  • Exercises and plays with animals, answers visitor questions and transfers animals between enclosures by leading or carrying them.
  • Dusts and sprays insecticides on animals and immerses them in insecticide baths to control insect pests.

All Animal Attendants and Trainers

  • $986 Weekly Pay
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Zookeepers

  • 1,200 workers Employment Size
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • 69% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 42 hours Average full-time
  • 31 years Average age
  • 63% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Zookeepers (in their main job) grew very strongly over 5 years:
from 1,000 in 2011 to 1,200 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Zookeepers work in many parts of Australia. Queensland has a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in Arts and Recreation Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Other Services.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (69%, similar to the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 42 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 31 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 63% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Arts and Recreation Services87.9
Public Administration and Safety2.9
Other Services1.7
Education and Training1.6
Other Industries5.9

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateZookeepersAll Jobs Average
NSW31.731.6
VIC21.625.6
QLD26.320.0
SA7.67.0
WA5.910.8
TAS3.32.0
NT2.31.0
ACT1.41.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketZookeepersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-193.8-5.05.0
20-2417.7-9.39.3
25-3440.7-22.922.9
35-4421.7-22.022.0
45-5410.5-21.621.6
55-593.4-9.09.0
60-641.7-6.06.0
65 and Over0.5-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationZookeepersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate5.9-10.110.1
Bachelor degree35.7-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma8.9-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV26.8-21.121.1
Year 1215.7-18.118.1
Year 111.1-4.84.8
Year 10 and below5.9-12.512.5

You can work as a Zookeeper without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Zookeepers.

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Animal Care and Management VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Animal Attendants and Trainers who are reliable, work well in a team and have a strong work ethic.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Customer and personal service

    52% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. English language

    38% Skill level

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  3. Mechanical

    35% Skill level

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  4. Education and training

    34% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  5. Biology

    33% Skill level

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 39-2021.00 - Nonfarm Animal Caretakers.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Face-to-face discussions

    91% Important

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  2. Telephone

    89% Important

    Talk on the telephone.

  3. Contact with people

    88% Important

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  4. Unstructured work

    86% Important

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  5. Loud or uncomfortable sounds

    85% Important

    Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 39-2021.00 - Nonfarm Animal Caretakers.

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