What does an Animal Keeper do?

Learn all about Animal Keeper duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become an Animal Keeper.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 2 min read

An animal keeper is responsible for the care of animals in zoos, aquariums, and other facilities. They clean enclosures, prepare food, and provide enrichment for the animals. Animal keepers also monitor the health of their charges and record any changes in behavior.

Animal Keeper job duties include:

  • Cleaning and maintaining animal enclosures
  • Preparing food and feedings for the animals
  • Monitoring the health of the animals
  • Exercising the animals
  • Training the animals
  • Grooming the animals
  • Transporting the animals
  • Providing enrichment for the animals
  • Assisting with veterinary care

Animal Keeper Job Requirements

Animal keepers typically need at least a high school diploma, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, and must complete on-the-job training. Keepers typically work with a specific type of animal, such as primates, large cats, or reptiles, and learn to care for them properly. They must be able to lift heavy objects, such as feed bags or hay bales, and must be comfortable working with animals that may be dangerous.

Animal Keeper Skills

  • Patience
  • Observation
  • Communication
  • Physical Strength
  • Stamina
  • Agility
  • Dexterity
  • Keen senses
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity

Related: Top Animal Keeper Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become an Animal Keeper

Animal keepers are responsible for the care of animals in zoos, aquariums, and wildlife sanctuaries. They typically have a bachelor's degree in zoology, biology, or a related field, and many have previous experience working with animals.

To become an animal keeper, you will need to complete a four-year degree at an accredited university. Many animal keeper positions also require certification from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Once you have your degree and certification, you can apply for jobs at zoos, aquariums, and wildlife sanctuaries.

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