Careers Working With Wild Life

So You Think You Want To Walk On The Wild Side?
Want TRUE In the field experience working on behalf of *wild* animals from wolves to whales then go here and become an eco volunteer


Growing up I was crazy about every kind of animal there was, and it was not limited to the furry cute kind. If it lived on this amazing planet I wanted to learn about it and interact with it.  I wanted to either be a zoo-keeper (to which my father told me in no uncertain terms that my job would mostly consist of shoveling animal poo, than cuddling with the bears!) or a veterinarian, which consisted of quite a few years of extra schooling after I graduated from grade 12.  which turned into being a Conservation Officer to which I sadly found out was more about managing wildlife over top of being right out in the field saving all the animals and habitat, to which becoming a wildlife biologist came into play.
 No matter what path I chose though I KNEW it would involve animals. I also came to find becoming an animal caretaker/zoo keeper involved a lot more than shoveling poo. It involves understanding animal ethology, compassion, having people skills, writing skills, mathemetical skills, organizational skills, problem solving skills and more! So if you wish to work with wolves or any other wild animal for that matter make sure you get the following:

1) Sciences! be sure to take physics, biology and chemistry in high school. If your high school offers any electives in the sciences TAKE THEM!

2)  Math...I cannot stress how important math will be to you, when it comes to achieving any animal related goals like becoming a biologist or veterinarian.  Take your alegebra, your geometry, calculus and trig (trigonometry) If math is not your greatest skill get after school help dont allow it to be a hindrance to what you really want to be.

3) Volunteer and get involved with environmental/animal based /nature centers /organizations in your area. Some of these faciities offer fun internships to teens. You can add such experiences to your portfolio when applying for any future jobs. Most would be more than  happy to be a future reference.  So check around at your local zoo/nature center and get involved!

4) Become aware of the environmental/animal issues happening around the world read books, watch t.v programs, cut out articles in newspapers, write school /book reports.

5) Do your research on what colleges and schools offer the best environmental /animal sciences programs.



Luckily now there are even more resources than ever before for people who are interested in having paid careers in working with animals. Some of the following below are but a few available career options, and for the following I list, and many more not listed please go to this great site

Animal-Related Careers 

  • Game Warden
  • Animal Behaviorist
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • zoologist
  • Animal Control Worker
  • Animal Trainer (this can involve training exotic animals for the movie industry or working at zoos, or becoming a pet trainer for peoples dogs)
  • Veterinarian (or Vet Assistant/Technician)
  • Conservation Officer
  • pet sitter (offering pet sitting services in the persons home or for farm animals)
  • Offer a horse program offering horse care/ethology/training/riding  courses to the public
  • become a farmer
  • Work at a pet store/grooming facility 
  • Work at a pet store and become their animal care expert to counsel to be owners of various species of animals
  • WildLife/Animal photographer
  • Ecologist
  • Zoo exhibit designer
  • Conservation Biologist
  • Animal Researcher
  • Wildlife Filmmaker


Whatever a young person chooses to do however I encourage them to finish high school and if possible continue on with secondary schooling to achieve a certificate/diploma/degree this will go a long way towards being whatever it is one wishes to be in  their life. Researching the field you are interested in will help to prepare you ahead of time mentally, physically, financially to achieve your goals.  The following org's can answer a lot of your questions  American Assoc. Of ZooKeepers   Canadian Assoc.of Zoos and Aquariums  Canadian Zoo Animal Technology Program

The following for parents, teachers and those looking to get involved with or find careers working on behalf of wild animals.

Zoo Action Canada

Wild Educators Resource Guide

Careers in Conservation!

Teens 4 Planet Earth working on the wild side


Zoo Animal Technology Program
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Continuing Education
11762-106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5G 2R1

Zookeeping is a hands-on profession. The Zoo Animal Technology Program is designed to guide both entry-level and practicing zookeepers to awareness of the competencies, skills and attitudes expected of animal care professionals. The courses are designed to identify specific competencies the zookeeper should be able to identify, assess or perform. The theoretical and factual material obtained by reading and study is intended to be supplemented with practicum courses.

Quality zookeeping is the foundation of every successful live collection. Awareness of various aspects of animal care, animal health and nutrition are critical. The ability to work as part of a team in a congenial atmosphere helps prevent or deflect stress and leads to job satisfaction. The aim of this program is to identify and support practices that improve the quality of the zoos from animals’, workers’ and visitors’ point of view.

In 1999, representatives of CAZA member zoos from across Canada met at NAIT to participate in a competency profile development workshop to identify the skills required of a zookeeper.  The workshop was a result of the recognition that the zookeeping profession needed to standardize its training methods and practices.

 The Zoo Technology Program is a competency-based learning program which is made possible through a partnership between CAZA, ABES and NAIT. They have developed curricula customized to meet the varied needs of the zoo industry. The programs include:

  • Workplace Skills – Communication, Problem Solving and Conflict Management
  • Sanitation and Safety - Safe Zoo Management Practices and Safety Awareness
  • Basic Biology for Zookeepers
  • Animal Care, Watering, Feeding and Medicating
  • Animal Health and Veterinary Support
  • Physical Plant and Equipment Maintenance
  • Professional Practices and Visitor Relations
  • Horticultural Support
The training program, by providing additional knowledge and developing skills, will serve as an aid to advance zookeepers in their discipline. The training program encourages participation and leadership by zookeepers in both zookeeping and related professions at both the national and international levels.     More Information

In order for the program to be accessible to persons presently employed as zookeepers, the courses are designed to be distance-delivered using the internet and course manuals for home study. CAZA and NAIT are working together to ensure the cooperation of zoos across the country for students to complete the practicum sections of the program.

The Zoo Animal Technology program will objectively measure the level of achievement in the program by participating personnel. Trainees who successfully challenge respective modules will receive advanced credit toward course completion.

This national zookeeper training program is designed to service the needs and interests of both the trainees and trainers as well as the zoos of North America. For additional information, or to receive an application form, please contact Lorraine Zwicker, Program Assistant, ABES 2000 Ltd at 403-232-8758, fax at 403-265-9368, or e-mail  Assoc. Of Zoos and Aquariums

Taking a Walk On The Wild Side and learning A Wild Wisdom!

 Opportunities Animal Pet Care

And Here


Recommended Reading Material

1) Working with Wildlife: A Guide to Careers in the Animal World (Science, College and Career Guidance), by Thane Maynard and Jane Goodall (ISBN: 0531164152).  “Although many young people are intrigued by careers involving animals, they often think only of veterinary work with pets. Using a conversational tone, Maynard presents a much wider sampling of wildlife-related options – from training wild animals and working with insects to directing a conservation program.”

2) Outdoor Careers: Exploring Occupations in Outdoor Fields, by Ellen Shenk (ISBN: 0811728730).  “Job descriptions and up-to-date information about salaries, employment outlook, and educational requirements for everything from farming to forestry to oceanography, as well as interviews with professionals that offer a personal look at specific jobs and insight on day-to-day responsibilities.  An indispensable resource for anyone – of any age – who wants to choose or change careers.”

3) Opportunities in Zoo Careers, by Blythe Camenson (ISBN: 0844223131).  “You’ll find current educational and professional requirements for diverse careers with animals; discussion of related jobs in wildlife rehabilitation, public relations, and education; interviews with practicing professionals; salary and employment figures for a wide range of positions in diverse settings; valuable information on professional associations and publications related to zoos and aquariums.”

4) Cool Careers for Girls With Animals (Cool Careers for Girls Series), by Ceel Pasternak and Linda Thornburg (ISBN: 1570231052).  “Features such jobs as horse farm owner, veterinarian, exotic animal trainer, and bird handler/interpreter.”

5) Careers for Animal Lovers & Other Zoological Types (Paperback) by Louise Miller

6) Working With Wildlife: A Guide to Careers in the Animal World (Single Title: Social Studies: College and Career Guidance) (Library Binding) by Thane Maynard

7) Careers With Animals: Exploring Occupations Involving Dogs, Horses, Cats, Birds, Wildlife, And Exotics (Paperback)
Ellen Shenk

8) How Do I Become A...? - Veterinarian (How Do I Become A...?) (Board book)

9) I Want to Be a Veterinarian (I Want To Be) (Paperback)
Stephanie Maze

10) Careers for Nature Lovers & Other Outdoor Types (Paperback)
Louise Miller



For even more ideas, please visit the following site!

Animal Arks Site

Unusual Animal Career Series Animal Careers/Animal Jobs

Want to find a Job working with animals then go here

Animal Jobs

Resources/Credit (Animal-Related Careers)

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Copyrightę  A Wolf Adventure, A Wild Encounter.  All rights reserved, unless stated otherwise via credit to another. Questions about usage of our written work, or photos?  Please contact us. We are always happy to help out others.  please contact  1 (306) 922-4510

Please Note: We are not provincially, or federally funded. We work to support the outreach work, any programs, and the wolves out of our own pockets, NOT the other way around Through your sponsorship and buying wolf gifts from us, you are not supporting US the human caretakers, any funds ALWAYS 100% go towards future educational programs, & expansion/enrichment for the wolves only, we work jobs like everyone else to support ourselves. The wolves are not bred for profit, nor do we make a living off their lives. We believe if wild has to be in captivity, that they should have jobs to help their wild brethren via educating with their wild messages. We believe in keeping wild; wild and thus actively participate via partaking ourselves in, and financially supporting other worthy wildlife rehab organizations, & wildlife/habitat conservation organizations.