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Oakland Zoo

Oakland Zoo

Paid Apprentice Animal Keeper

The apprentice will learn about the physical health and psychological well being of the animals under his/her care.  Work ranges from the heavy physical tasks associated with feeding and maintenance of living areas to more analytical tasks.  The apprentice animal keeper is expected to develop a comprehensive knowledge of the natural history of the species under his/her care, to conduct ongoing assessment of species physical and psycho-social needs, and to design and implement steps to address these needs (including enrichment and training). S/he must possess sound judgment in the care of wild animals, work cooperatively and communicate well with co-workers, volunteers, and supervisors, and demonstrate good public relations skills with zoo guests.

Position Requirements:


  • High school diploma or GED; Bachelor’s degree in zoology, biology, or a related field is preferred


  • Knowledge of the habits and hazards of working with zoo animals; willingness to work with some physical risk while observing proper safety precautions
  • Ability to act with professionalism, tact and diplomacy


  • Good written and verbal communications skills
  • Good physical condition and willingness to work in adverse weather conditions
  • Must be able to lift 50lbs. and move 120lbs
  • Valid driver’s license required

Experience Required

Minimum of six months (1040 hours) working with wildlife and/ or livestock, carnivore experience preferred

Further Comments

Length of Apprenticeship: One year from date of hire.In order to expedite the hiring process, qualified applicants who apply early may be contacted before the closing date to schedule interviews. We apologize, but due to the competitive nature of this posting, minimum requirements may be raised and only those applicants who are selected for an interview will be contacted. Please note that this job description intends to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by those assigned to this job. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and/or skills required of the personnel for this position. Resumes accepted until October 27th, 2021.


Benefits package including medical, dental


$15.52 per hour

How to Apply

Send cover letter, resume, and list of 3 references to: Angela Gibson

  • References should be professional references.  References from supervisors are greatly preferred. 
  • All attachments must be submitted as pdf or MS Word (.doc or .docx) files with your name in the file name (Smith,John Cover Letter.pdf)
  • Please do not include any application material in the body of the email.  Your cover letter, resume, and list of references must be submitted as attachments.

Oakland Zoo
9777 Golf Links Rd, PO BOX 5238,
Oakland, CA 94505
Phone: 5106329525
Fax: Oakland Zoo

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