Professional Development Program

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Professionals get hands-on experience at AZA professional training courses.

AZA's Professional Development Program is overseen and administered by the AZA Conservation and Education Department staff and the AZA Professional Development Committee. We maintain the highest standards for our Professional Development Program with the goal of training the next generation of leaders in the zoo and aquarium field.

Training Courses

AZA's Professional Training Courses are designed for zoo and aquarium employees wishing to grow professionally. Week-long intensive courses are team-taught by experts from within the zoo and aquarium community to provide thorough and balanced coverage of the subject matter. Students learn the latest techniques, information, and tools available in the industry and are afforded an unequalled opportunity to network with the industry's leaders.

Become a Course Instructor!

Instructors from within the AZA community are vital to our goal of training the next generation of leaders in the zoo and aquarium field. A "Call for Service" is issued each spring, but applications are accepted on a rolling basis year round. Learn more about the application process and what it means to be an AZA course instructor.


AZA is pleased to provide a variety of merit-based Scholarship Awards that cover the cost of course tuition, lodging, travel, and meals. Scholarships are awarded annually. Applications are made available in mid-May and are due back in mid-June.

Professional Development Beyond AZA

In addition to the AZA Professional Training courses, there are a variety of workshops and seminars offered throughout the year by AZA Animal Programs and other organizations. You can also look to AZA Learning Partners for high-quality professional training in areas of interest to zoo and aquarium professionals.


Contact the AZA Professional Development Program Manager or call 301-562-0777 ext 251