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: Train Engineer (Part-Time)

Schedule: Weekdays, weekends, holidays, and some evenings, usually between hours of 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

Description: Do you like trains and working outdoors? Are you a storyteller who enjoys educating and interacting with the public? Under general direction of the Director of Guest Services, the Train Engineer facilitates a positive, safe, and excellent guest experience. Train Engineer must also carry out the Zoo’s mission by helping connect guests with animals through education and guest interactions.

Requirements: Must be at least 18 years of age, self-motivated, and have a positive attitude. 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: $9-10/hour, DOE

Job Title: Show Actor (Part-Time)

Schedule: School breaks, weekends, holidays and 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 show “Chomp! Chomp!” The stage show is a family-friendly, 15-minute lively presentation with human hosts and three dinosaurs, including Duncan the T. Rex, Lily the parasaurolophus, and Tulip the baby triceratops. The show runs 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: Dino Actor (Part-Time)

Schedule: Every weekend and holidays, special events, any time between 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Description: Can you bring a roaring, chomping, blinking, running, growling dinosaur to life? Do you want to delight over 200,000 people in a terrific stage show this year? The Dino Actor will perform on stage as part of the cast of our dino show, “Chomp! Chomp!” The stage show is family-friendly, 15-minute lively presentation with human hosts and three dinosaurs, including Duncan the T. Rex, Lily the parasaurolophus, and Tulip the baby triceratops. The show runs twice daily on the Zoo’s Rolling Hill Stage. The actor will perform inside an amazing, one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art dinosaur costume designed by a world-class Hollywood special effects studio.

Requirements: Must be at least 17 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: Private Event Host (Part-Time)

Schedule: Weekends, daytime, and evenings when events are scheduled.

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

Requirements: We are seeking outgoing, motivated, and detail-oriented individuals interested in getting experience in the events industry. Must have excellent verbal & 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.

Compensation: $10/hour

Job Title: Educator ( Part-Time)

Schedule: Flexible schedule up to 25 hours a week, including some weekdays, nights and weekends

Description: Do you enjoy creating memorable experiences for others? Would you enjoy sharing your passion for animals with the general public? Are you looking for a unique and fulfilling part-time job? If so, we want you as part of our education team! Programs Instructors facilitate a variety of educational experiences within the Zoo, including the Zoo Safari overnight program, the giraffe feeding deck, school programs, and more. Responsibilities include leading a wide variety of program activities while ensuring the safety of our guests and animals.

Requirements: Applicants must be minimum 18 years of age and available all weekends, holiday, and at least 1 weekday per week. Successful applicants will be responsible, outgoing, fun-loving team players with a positive attitude and experience working with children. Some college coursework in education, science, or related fields is preferred. Must have the ability to work outdoors, access all areas of the facility and negotiate the zoo work environment. Applicants must complete a DOJ background check and be First Aid and CPR certified prior to beginning work.

Compensation: $10/hour

Job Title: Guest Experience Specialist, a.k.a. GES (Part-Time)

Schedule:  Weekends and weekdays, any time between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Some holidays, school breaks, and some evenings for scheduled events.

Description: Are you interested in helping our conservation efforts? Does helping others make your day? Do you like the outdoors and working with children and their families? Do you feel comfortable and excited in engaging in conversations with guests? Under general direction of the Director of Guest Services, Director of Retail Operations or Director of Food Services, Guest Experience Specialist facilitates a positive guest experience by providing excellent service to all visiting the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Requirements: Applicants must be minimum 14 years of age (Work permit required for 17 and under, unless graduated from high school). Outgoing personality with positive attitude required. Customer Service and Cash Handling experience a must! Applicant must be able to stand/walk for up to two continuous hours and access all areas of the facility. Must be able to work weekdays, some weekends, holidays, school breaks, and some evenings when events are scheduled.

Compensation: $9/hour  

Job Title: Maintenance Technician: Horticulture (Full-time)

Schedule: Wednesday-Sunday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Description: Are you a team player with a green thumb and light construction experience? Do you like to work outdoors?
Under general direction of the Director of Facilities & Horticulture, and Assistant Director of Facilities & Horticulture, Maintenance Technician: Horticulture performs direct maintenance and light construction for zoo facilities, and ensures that the Zoo gardens and grounds meet the Zoo’s presentation standards for cleanliness and maintenance.

Requirements: Must have a High school diploma or GED and two years paid experience in horticulture or general maintenance position, or equivalent. A forklift certification,and valid California driver’s license with good driving record are desirable. Must work well in a team, have effective oral and written communication skills, ability to interact with the public, and be competent in the use of all common hand and power tools Must have the ability to access all areas of the facility and be physically able to operate a variety of machines and equipment including electric cart, forklift, and two-way radio. Must be able to lift 50 pounds occasionally and 20 or fewer pounds frequently. This position involves working out-of-doors in all weather conditions.

Compensation: $10-12/hour, DOE

Flash News!

If you are a positive team player who is passionate about animals, conservation, educating guests, providing excellent customer service, and who would reflect our core values of integrity, respect and quality: come join us! Open “auditions” at the Zoo for Guest Experience Specialists, Train Engineers, Show Actors, Private Events Hosts,  and Climbing Wall Monitor.

Upcoming Auditions

 Thursday, Nov. 13, 4–6 p.m.

 Saturday, Nov. 15,  10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Zoo Applications

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Employment Application

Zoo Camp 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 have an internship program. Please see our Volunteer/Internships page for details.

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 Internship information page.

Yes. Please check our Volunteer Opportunities page.