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  Dr Jan Steiner
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Occupation Details

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Zoo Keeper

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a bank teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€16k >  
Zoo Keeper
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€16 -  
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
FAS

Last Updated: March, 2011

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Ensures the provision of food, healthcare, and shelter to the animals in a zoo.


The Work header image

Zoo keepers care for animals in zoos, safari parks and similar places. Much of the work involves practical duties. Animal houses, pens and cages are cleaned on a daily basis. Food has to be prepared and presented in such a way that encourages natural behaviour. Keepers also provide fresh water and bedding.  
 
Keepers observe the animals' condition carefully, noting changes that may indicate ill health, fitness, interests, injury or pregnancy. They keep records of health, diet and so on. When animals need treatment, keepers assist vets. Most jobs involve some contact with the public. Keepers answer visitors' questions and may give talks. They are also responsible for the safety of both visitors and animals.  
 
In safari parks, where animals are free to roam, the keeper's work includes extra tasks, such as patrolling by vehicle to make sure that the public is safe. 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Feed and water animals according to schedules and feeding instructions.

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Mix food, liquid formulas, medications, or food supplements according to instructions, prescriptions, and knowledge of animal species.

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Examine and observe animals to detect signs of illness, disease, or injury.

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Provide treatment to sick or injured animals, or contact veterinarians to secure treatment.

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Do facility laundry and clean, organize, maintain, and disinfect animal quarters, such as pens and stables, and equipment, such as saddles and bridles.

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Perform animal grooming duties such as washing, brushing, clipping, and trimming coats, cutting nails, and cleaning ears.

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Answer telephones and schedule appointments.

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Respond to questions from patrons, and provide information about animals, such as behavior, habitat, breeding habits, or facility activities.

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Order, unload, and store feed and supplies.

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Collect and record animal information such as weight, size, physical condition, treatments received, medications given, and food intake.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Assisting and Caring for Others:  Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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Performing General Physical Activities:  Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Biology:  Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

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Education and Training:  Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

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Mechanical:  Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Service Orientation:   Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

A liking and respect for animals is essential. You must be prepared to do hard physical work, both indoors and outside, in all weather conditions. Some tasks, such as mucking out, can be dirty and unpleasant.  
 
A pleasant manner and good communication skills are required for dealing with the public. Many of the animals in zoos and safari parks may be dangerous and a responsible attitude towards safety is essential. You must also be observant to note changes in the animal's behaviour under your care.  
 
A driving licence is usually required for work in safari parks.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Animal breeder - from:  GradIreland
Go..Animal Collection Keeper - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Animal Collection Keeper - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Animal Keeper - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Jelly Fish Wrangler - from:  YouTube Video
Go..Zoo Keeper - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Zoo Keeper - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Zookeeper - from:  GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA)
  Address: Regents Park, London NW1 4RY, UK
  Tel: + 44 20 7449 6599
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Dublin Zoo
  Address: Dublin Zoo, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8
  Tel: (01) 677 1425
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA)
  Address: Regents Park, London NW1 4RY, UK
  Tel: + 44 20 7449 6599
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain And Ireland
  Address: Zoological Gardens, Regents Park, London NW1 4RY
  Tel: +44 (0)20 7586 0230
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Career Articles

A Day in the life of a Dublin Zookeeper

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Animals & Veterinary Science

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