Careers at the Zoo FAQs

How old do you have to be to work at the zoo?
Applicants must be at least 15 years old. Some positions require that you be at least 18 years of age.
Do you offer internships/practicums?
Some departments may have paid or unpaid opportunities that would fall under the guidelines of an internship or practicum. Please see our current openings for available opportunities.
Can I send in my resume for you to keep on file?
Unfortunately we are unable to accept general applications. We do ask that you apply for the specific position you are interested in when it is posted.
Can I shadow an Animal Care team member?
Due to limited resources and the high volume of requests we regularly receive, we are unable to offer a shadowing program. However, there are volunteer opportunities in Animal Care. These volunteer positions do not involve handling the animals but will give you a behind-the-scenes understanding of “a day in the life of an Animal Care team member” is like. Please note that the requirements for these positions are very strict, including a weekly commitment for several months. Please check our Volunteering page to learn how to apply to be a volunteer.
How do I become an Animal Care team member?
Many of our Animal Care team members have a university degree with courses in biology, zoology, anatomy, animal behaviour or animal husbandry. They also have animal handling experience gained through volunteering at a zoo, veterinary clinic, farm, humane society, wildlife rehabilitation center, animal shelter or another animal-related organization. Turnover is extremely low in this field, so it’s quite competitive. We receive hundreds of applicants when Animal Care positions are posted. As such, many new graduates begin working at the zoo in another department to gain valuable experience, along with an understanding of the zoo’s policies and procedures.
I’ve never had a job before, is there a spot for me at the zoo?
Yes, we run the ZooYouth Employment Program which provides opportunities for youth who have never had employment before. Learn more here. In addition, the zoo also offers entry level positions across many service departments. Click here to view our current employment opportunities. We are also happy to welcome you as a youth or adult volunteer - learn more about volunteer opportunities here.
I received a job offer from the Calgary Zoo but did not apply for a job. Is this legitimate?
This is not a legitimate offer from the Calgary Zoo. Sadly, there is a growing trend of scams which involves sending fraudulent offer letters. The Calgary Zoo will only provide offer letters after an interview has been conducted.
I have missed the deadline for a position. Can I still apply?
We are unable to accept applications after the position has been closed.
What if I need an accommodation for the interview?
Not a problem! We are happy to provide reasonable accommodation as required for any interview. Please communicate your requirements to your recruiter who will work with you to ensure you have a successful interview.
What should I wear to an interview?
We want you to be comfortable and feel confident coming in to your interview. Our dress code is Business Causal, so if you follow that, you will fit right in!

Volunteering FAQs

Do I get to work with the animals?
Our volunteers do not handle animals at any time when volunteering. Animals are only handled on an as-needed basis by Calgary Zoo staff.
How old do I have to be to volunteer at the zoo?
You must be 18 or older to volunteer at the zoo. If you are ages 14 to 17, we do offer a Junior Zoo Guide volunteer program that allows youth these ages to volunteer for specific opportunities at the zoo. Unfortunately we are unable to have those 13 and younger volunteer at the zoo.
Do I have to pay for parking while I’m volunteering?
No. The zoo provides free parking to volunteers during their shift.
Is there a minimum commitment?
We ask that you commit to volunteering a minimum of 50 hours per year. This can be spread out across the year or you can volunteer extra during our large events such as Zoolights. Some opportunities do require a minimum time commitment.
What do I need to become a volunteer?
You need to submit an application and follow our on-boarding process. (See: Become a Volunteer) There are some opportunities that require a vulnerable sector check and/or police check. Additionally, there are some opportunities that require a second interview with the relevant department. (ex. Animal care roles)
What is Better Impact?
Better Impact is a user-friendly online system designed to make volunteering for shifts and learning about new volunteer opportunities quick and easy. Better Impact allows you to apply to be a volunteer and then is your one-stop shop for information once you are accepted as a volunteer. You can look for opportunities, sign up for shifts, see your schedule, complete training, and much more!
How do I sign up for shifts and see what is available?
Once you are accepted as a volunteer, sign in to My Impact to find volunteer opportunities. We also send out a weekly e-mail, Volunteer Voice, which lists special opportunities.
Do you provide a uniform?
Yes! We ask that you provide closed toe shoes and black pants. We will provide a red polo shirt to you to wear for your uniform. We also have a shared pool of vests that can be worn over a jacket or sweater.
What training is provided to volunteers?
We provide a significant amount of training for our volunteers including:
  • New volunteer orientation which includes health and safety training.
  • Mandatory online training including WHMIS, Customer Service Training, and more.
  • Familiarization – this is where you meet in person with one of the Volunteer Resources staff to learn more specifics about where to go and what to expect when volunteering. This is approximately 30 minutes and is a great opportunity to ask questions.
  • Additional training both online and in person for different volunteer opportunities. Depending on what area you are interested in you may or may not require this training.
  • Volunteers are often invited to webinars, lectures, workshops, and other training opportunities that are available for zoo staff.
  • Shadowing - this is required for certain opportunities and allows you to shadow a shift with a more experienced volunteer before signing up to work independently.
Can I volunteer with a group of friends or co-workers?
Unfortunately at this time we do not offer any group volunteer opportunities. If a group opportunity is available, we will post it on this site.
Can I volunteer and work at the zoo?
Yes! Many of our staff also contribute volunteer hours. Conversely, many of our volunteers become staff of the zoo thanks to their existing knowledge of the zoo.