- Exciting work managing and conserving collections of animals in zoos and wildlife parks
- You'll need excellent scientific knowledge along with good people and organising skills
- Hours can be long and varied as animals need care 365 days a year
An exciting role for someone with a passion for animals and conservation, being a zoo curator enables you to spend time with animals in zoo collections and to work on their conservation and care.
- Plan and manage the numbers and variety of animals in the collection
- Plan breeding programmes and exchanges with other zoos and collections
- Develop conservation programmes
- Oversee teams of staff and budgets
- Ensure that animal health and welfare standards are met
- Oversee health and safety for visitors and staff
- Develop visitor experience and public education programmes
- Manage budgets
You may need to work unusual hours and shifts to ensure all animals are cared for 24/7, and you may have opportunities to travel to visit other collections or conservation projects.
Most zoo curators will have a degree in zoology or another relevant subject like biological science, but there may also be opportunities to work your way up or study while you work in a more junior role within zookeeping.
Many curators will start out in animal care roles within a zoo or wildlife park and work their way up into curator positions. Starting out by volunteering at a zoo, wildlife park, or for an animal or conservation charity is a good way to gain some experience, build your CV, and find out if this role is for you.
Zoo curators might work with a specialist group of animals like mammals, reptiles, or birds, within a zoo collection or they might have a management role overseeing the whole collection.