Employment Opportunities

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Join our fun and professional team in our mission of preservation, conservation, and enhancement of the natural world and its living treasures through education, research, and recreation!

Part-Time positions generally are up to a max. of 25 hours per work week, with some exceptions for seasonal programs.

Job Title: Director of Animal Care (Full-Time)

DescriptionFantastic opportunity to lead a great team in this challenging, rewarding and fulfilling opportunity as Director of Animal Care.

We are seeking a progressive, strategic, and dedicated team player who thrives on being part of a dynamic collaborative team, following “Good to Great” (Jim Collins) principles. Under general direction of the Zoo Director, the Director of Animal Care is responsible for all aspects of animal collection management and facilitating the day-to-day operational needs of the Animal Care Department.

Essential duties include, but are not limited to animal collection management, animal care and welfare, animal care documentation, lead in emergency situations, guest and community relations, staff development, operation and business, as well as interacting constructively with all department heads of the management team.

RequirementsThe ideal candidate will bring a proven track record of successful leadership, applicable experience, and skills. A bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences; five years of experience in animal management in an AZA-accredited zoo, aquarium, or closely related facility; and successful prior experience in supervision, management, and leadership are required. Must have extensive knowledge of animal husbandry and health, including an understanding of species- and individual-specific behavior to assess behavioral and medical situations. Must enjoy multitasking and have the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.

For a detailed job description, please email hr@sbzoo.org.

Compensation: DOE

Job Title: Security Guard, weekend swing shift (Part-time, regular)

DescriptionImmediate opportunity for an individual interested in working evenings on weekends!

All-weather foot patrol opportunity for a “night owl” who enjoys working outdoors and with minimal supervision. Under general direction of the Director of Safety and Security, the Security Guard patrols the Zoo grounds on a regular basis throughout the shift. Responds in a timely and professional manner to a wide variety of routine and emergency situations.

RequirementsHigh school graduate, or any equivalent occupational experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities for this position. Satisfactory completion of a DOJ criminal background check is required. Current CA Guard Card preferred. Valid California driver’s license with good driving record is desirable. First Aid and CPR certification preferred. Ability to use independent judgment in handling routine as well as emergency situations. Capacity to perform under stress when confronted with an emergency, unusual, or dangerous situation. Ability to oversee and monitor conditions and to promote and exercise safety precautions. Ability to interact and communicate with the general public in a courteous and friendly manner. Effective verbal and written communication skills. Must be able to walk and remain on your feet for a full shift (up to 8 hours), and potentially up to 16 hours at a time. Must be able to exert a minimum of 25 pounds of force and able to lift, push, pull, or otherwise move objects that may exceed 25 lbs. Ability to negotiate all areas of the Zoo in all weather conditions.

Schedule: Saturday and Sunday, 4:30 p.m. to midnight

Compensation: $12/hour

Job Title: Retail Shift Lead (Part-Time)

DescriptionDo you feel comfortable and excited engaging in conversations with guests and team members? Do you like problem-solving and mentoring others? Are you self-motivated and effective at multi-tasking?

Under direct supervision of Retail Associate, Retail Shift Lead (RSL) assists in supervising the daily Retail operations throughout the Zoo.  RSL encourages, supports, and exemplifies the highest standards to ensure the professionalism of the staff, the quality of the guest experience and the continued development on the institution’s retail processes.

RequirementsApplicants must be minimum 18 years of age. Outgoing personality with positive attitude and a hands-on approach are required. Prior customer service, cash handling, inventory control, as well as some supervisory and coordination experience a must, preferably in a retail environment. Applicant must be computer literate and be able to stand/walk for up to two continuous hours and access all areas of the facility. Must be able to work weekends, some weekdays, holidays, school breaks, and some evenings when events or trainings are scheduled.

Schedule: Weekends and weekdays, any time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., up to 25 hours/week. Some holidays, school breaks, and evenings for scheduled events.

Compensation: $11/hour

Job Title: Private Event Host (Part-Time)

DescriptionDo you enjoy providing hands-on help for events and celebrations? Do you thrive on providing excellent customer service?

In conjunction with a team of Event Hosts, the Private Event Host is responsible for overseeing day time and/or evening events. Must ensure Zoo events are an enjoyable, wonderful, and safe experience for guests by providing support services.

RequirementsWe are seeking outgoing, motivated, and detail-oriented individuals interested in getting experience in the events industry. Must have excellent verbal and written communication and time management skills. Must have the ability to work well in a team in a fast-paced environment, while multi-tasking under time constraints. At least one year of paid customer service experience is required. Must have the ability to access all areas of the facility and the ability to negotiate the Zoo work environment, standing up to four hours in a row (x2) on your feet, occasionally lifting objects weighing up to 50 pounds.

ScheduleWeekends, daytime, and evenings when events are scheduled.

Compensation: $10/hour

Job Title: Food Prep Technician (Part-Time)

Description: Do you enjoy cooking and interacting with guests, without having to work a night shift? The Food Preparation Technician facilitates a positive guest experience by providing fast, quality service and enjoyable food to guests and employees of the Santa Barbara Zoo. Prepares various food items for cooking or serving, by cleaning, cutting and/or peeling.

Requirements: Applicants must be minimum 18 years of age. Must be a team player with excellent oral and written communication skills, with knowledge of health department food preparation regulations. Prior experience preferred. Ability to exercise safe work habits and to handle rush times with poise and efficiency. Must be able to access all areas of the facility, lift cases in excess of 50 pounds waist-high, and to stand/walk during entire shift. Food Handler certification preferred, or ability to certify within 30 days.

Schedule: Weekends, including some holidays, occasional evenings for scheduled events, and occasional weekdays, up to a maximum of 25 hours per week.

Compensation: $10/hour

Job Title: Cook (Part-Time)

Description: Do you enjoy cooking and interacting with guests, without having to work a night shift? The cook facilitates a positive guest experience by providing fast, quality service and enjoyable food to guests and employees of the Santa Barbara Zoo. Also responsible for the preparation and replenishment of all items needed for the restaurant.

Requirements: Applicants must be minimum 18 years of age and have cooking experience. Must be a team player with excellent oral and written communication skills, with knowledge of health department food preparation regulations. Ability to exercise safe work habits and to handle rush times with poise and efficiency. Must be able to access all areas of the facility, lift cases in excess of 50 pounds waist-high, and stand/walk during entire shift. Food Handler certification preferred, or ability to certify within 30 days.

Schedule: Weekends, including some holidays, occasional evenings for scheduled events, and occasional weekdays, up to a maximum of 25 hours per week.

Compensation: $10+/hour, DOE

Job Title: Dino and Grizzly Character Performer (Part-Time Seasonal and/or Regular)

Schedule: Must be available weekends and weekdays, any time between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Some holidays, school breaks, and some evenings for scheduled events.

Description: Can you bring a roaring, chomping, blinking, running, growling dinosaur to life? How about unveiling California Tales with native California animals? Be a part of the team that performs for over 50,000 people this summer at the Santa Barbara Zoo in our one-of-a-kind stage shows. California Tales is a puppet show in the style of Disney’s Finding Nemo stage show, a Bunraku/Muppets style of puppetry where the audience can see the performers along with the puppets.  California Tales teaches kids about animals using folk tales from California and around the world.  “How to Train Your Dinosaurs” features state-of-the-art dinosaur puppets and explores what zoo keepers do behind-the-scenes at the zoo to care for rare and exotic creatures.

The Character Performer will perform on stage as part of the cast of our Dino show, “How to Train your Dinosaurs,” and as a Grizzly Bear in “California Tales.” The stage show is family-friendly, 15-minute lively presentation with human hosts and character performers. The character performer will perform inside an amazing, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art Dinosaur costume and/or Grizzly Bear costume designed by a world-class Hollywood special effects studio. Will represent the Santa Barbara Zoo’s wholesome, family-friendly brand on stage before large numbers of people and on occasional appearances in the community. Must be comfortable approaching guests and initiating conversations.

Requirements: Must be at least 18 years old. T-Rex costume requires applicant to be at least 5’10” and able to carry a 75-pound backpack device for at least 20 minutes at a time. Applicant must be comfortable with tight spaces and wearing such a costume. Stage, dance, gymnastic and/or athletic experience a plus! Outgoing personality with positive attitude and excellent interpersonal and communication skills required. Must be willing to undergo acting training and rehearsal, and follow instructions from Director. Must be able to climb stairs and ladders, and manipulate basic tools.

Compensation: $10/hour, DOE

Job Title: Show Actor (Part-Time)

Schedule: Must be available weekends and weekdays, any time between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Some holidays, school breaks, and some evenings for scheduled events.

Description: Under the general direction of the Director of Marketing, Show Actor will perform on stage as part of the cast of our shows “How to Train your Dinosaurs” and “California Tales.”

Be a part of the team that performs for over 50,000 people this summer at the Santa Barbara Zoo in our one-of-a-kind stage shows.  “California Tales” is an Avenue Q type puppet show that teaches kids about animals using folks tales from California and around the world.  “How to Train Your Dinosaurs” features state-of-the-art dinosaur puppets and explores what zoo keepers do behind-the-scenes at the zoo to care for rare and exotic creatures.”

The stage shows are a family-friendly, 15-minute lively presentation with human hosts and character performers. The shows run twice daily on the Zoo’s Rolling Hill Stage.

Show Actor accompanies Character Performers during show and meet and greet, ensuring safety and show quality, assisting guests with requests, answering guest questions, and other guest service-related jobs as needed.

Requirements: Must be at least 16 years of age. Outgoing personality with positive attitude required. Will represent the Santa Barbara Zoo’s wholesome, family-friendly brand on stage before large numbers of people and on occasional appearances in the community. Must be comfortable approaching guests and initiating conversations. Applicant must be willing to undergo acting training and rehearsal, and follow instructions from Director. Must be able to stand/walk for up to two continuous hours and access all areas of the facility. Previous stage experience through theater, music, or dance is a plus!

Compensation: $10/hour

Job Title: Train Engineer (Part-Time)

Schedule: Weekdays, weekends, holidays, and some evenings, up to 25 hours/week, usually between hours of 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Description: Are you a train enthusiast who enjoys working outdoors? Are you a storyteller who enjoys educating and interacting with the public? Consider joining the Railroad Engineer Team! Provide a “tour around the world” in under 10 minutes by educating guests about exotic animals from around the world, talking about local wildlife and sharing a bit of the Zoo’s history! The Train Engineer facilitates a positive, educational  and safe guest experience, connecting guests with our animals.

Requirements: Must be at least 18 years of age, self-motivated, and have a positive attitude. Must complete a satisfactory DOJ background check, have valid current CA Driving License and a clean driving record. Basic knowledge of hand tools and mechanical maintenance are necessary, as well as an outgoing and friendly personality, great communication skills and capability to multi-task. Must be able to lift up to 50 lbs. occasionally, climb stairs or ladders, and manipulate basic tools of the job.  Must be comfortable approaching guests and initiating conversation. Must be available to work some weekdays, weekends, holidays, evenings, and during the Santa Barbara Zoo’s busy seasons.

Compensation: $10/ hour

Job Title: Membership Clerk (Part-Time)

Schedule: 20-25 hours/week. Must include Sunday shift. May include some evenings for events.

Description: The Membership Clerk is a positive, organized, detail-oriented individual who has strong communication skills, and enjoys engaging with people of all ages. Under general direction of the Director of Membership, and the Director of Guest Services, the Membership Clerk is responsible for supporting the Membership Team by processing Membership mail, entering Membership data, putting together Membership card packages to mail out, answering Membership questions via phone, email, and in person, and performing various tasks as assigned. The Membership Clerk is also responsible for supporting the Guest Services team by assisting with phones.

Requirements: Must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma. Must have a positive attitude and be willing to represent the Santa Barbara Zoo’s wholesome, family-friendly brand, and support the Zoo’s mission. Must be proficient in Microsoft Office, have strong communication skills, written comprehension, speech clarity, speech recognition, inductive reasoning, and strong customer service skills. Experience with Raiser’s Edge or other database software, a plus. Must have at least one year of experience working in an office setting, preferably in the customer service field.

Compensation: $10.50-11/hour, DOE

Zoo Applications

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Employment Application

Educator Application

Adult Volunteer Application

FAQ

We accept résumés online, but they must be accompanied by a Zoo Employment Application. Additional materials such as photos, portfolios, writing samples, etc. are not accepted.

Fill out a Zoo Employment Application, and send it to the Zoo along with your résumé. Applications are accepted via email, fax, regular mail, or can be dropped off at the Front Gate during business hours. See General Employment Info for more information.

All incoming completed applications referring to a specific, open position receive a confirmation response. Employment applications are directed to the hiring team who will then contact the best-qualified candidates for the open position. You will be informed when the position you applied for is filled.

At the Zoo, we value time management which allows our staff to do an outstanding job throughout the day on a tight schedule. Please call to make an appointment and/or submit your application and résumé via email, fax or mail; this is the best way to make sure someone gets back to you promptly.

Please check our Employment Listings or call the Zoo at (805) 962-5339.

Applicants must be at least 14 years old. Some positions require that an applicant be at least 16 or 18. Please check the requirement information indicated in the job posting.

Most of our job opportunities are open to applicants 14 years and older. We will consider your application for our entry level positions, especially the Guest Experience Specialist positions.

Our animal positions are geared toward skilled individuals with a background in a related life science field. Please check the requirement information indicated on the job posting.

Yes. Please send an application and/or résumé for each job opening you wish to apply for ad reference the specific job title. You may want to make a different cover letter for each position and photocopy your application.

Once you submit your application and résumé, they are forwarded to the hiring manager for that position. Selected candidates will be interviewed by a department manager and/or a team. This process can take anywhere from a couple of days or months, depending on the position.

We do not have internships at this time, but please contact the volunteer office by email or phone: (805) 962-5339, ext. 153 to be put on an interest list.

Our online job postings are updated regularly, so please check the Employment Listings page. If the job is no longer posted, it is closed or we are not currently hiring for it at this time.

Once your application is sent to the hiring department, you will receive an acknowledgement that we received your application (via email or regular mail). We will contact you directly only if you are selected for an interview. If you are not contacted for an interview, there will be no further notification except to let you know the position has been filled.

No. Applications are accepted for current job openings only. Please remember to indicate the position you are interested in on your application or cover letter.

Yes. We generally have openings in customer service, education/Zoo Camp, show actor, and private event host positions. Apply early! Please check our Employment Listings page for open positions.

Yes. Please check our Volunteer Opportunities page.