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: Private Event Host (Seasonal, Part-Time)

Schedule: Seasonal –  through October, weekends, daytime, and some evenings.

Description: In conjunction with a team of Event Hosts, the Private Event Host is responsible for overseeing daytime 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: $9/hour

Job Title: Security Guard, Swing Shift 

Schedule: Part-time. Generally Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, & every other Thursday, 4:30 PM to 12:30 AM.

Description: All-weather foot patrol opportunity for a “night owl” who enjoys working outdoors 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.

Requirements: High school graduate or any equivalent occupation, 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 to 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 feet 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 or pull, or otherwise move objects that may exceed 25 lbs. Ability to negotiate all areas of the Zoo in all weather conditions.

Compensation: $11/hour

Job Title: Animal Feeding Experience Lead (Part-time)

Schedule: Up to 25 hours a week,  including weekends, school breaks and holidays. Flexible during the weekdays.

Description: Are you looking for a unique and fulfilling part-time job? Do you enjoy creating memorable experiences for others? How about  sharing your passion for animals with the general public?  If so, we want you as part of our Guest Services Team!

Our Animal Feeding Experience Leads facilitate a unique, fun, easy, and educational guest experience both at the Giraffe Feeding Deck and the Barn Yard. Responsibilities also include assisting Animal Care as a Keeper Aide, training and supervising staff who support both locations, and connecting people to animals.

Requirements: The ideal candidate is customer service oriented, self-motivated, outgoing, has excellent communications skills and knows how to engage people in positive interactions and conversations. Must have active listening skills and sound judgment and decision-making skills, as well as some basic supervisory experience. Must enjoy working with animals and interpreting for the public, working outdoors, speaking during entire shift and be able to perform Keeper Aide duties successfully.

Compensation: $11/hour

Job Title: Train Engineer (Part-Time)

Schedule: Weekdays, weekends, holidays, and some evenings, usually between hours of 10 AM – 5 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 complete a satisfactory DOJ background check, have current CA Driving License and clean driving record. 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: Climbing Wall Monitor (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:  Would you enjoy educating guests about conservation efforts?  Are you outgoing, adventurous, enthusiastic, and like being around people? Do you have a passion for rock climbing and working outdoors? Under general direction of the Director of Guest Services, the Climbing Wall Monitor facilitates a safe, fun, easy, and  educational climbing experience. The Climbing Wall Monitor will use the “Climbing for Condors” climbing wall to help educate our guests on what it takes to save California condors in the wild. Tell the condors’ great adventure over the last 30 years, and inspire guests to help!

Requirements: Applicants must be a minimum of 18 years of age, and have an outgoing personality with a professional and positive attitude. Rock climbing, cash handling, and customer service experience a must! Applicants must have the ability to climb the rock wall as needed throughout the shifts. 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, weekends, holidays, school breaks, and some evening when events are scheduled.

Compensation: $10/ hour

Job Title: Climbing Wall Lead (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:  Would you enjoy educating guests about conservation efforts?  Are you outgoing, adventurous, enthusiastic, and enjoy being around people? Do you have a passion for rock climbing and working outdoors? Do you enjoy leading and training teams? Under general direction of the Director of Guest Services, the Climbing Wall Lead facilitates a safe, fun, easy, and educational rock climbing experience. The Climbing Wall Lead will use the “Climbing for Condors” climbing wall to help educate our guests on what it takes to save California condors in the wild. Tell the condors’ great adventure over the last 30 years, and inspire guests to help!

Requirements: Applicants must be a minimum of 18 years of age, and have an outgoing personality with a professional and positive attitude. Rock climbing, cash handling, and customer service experience a must! Applicants must have the ability to climb the rock wall as needed throughout the shifts. Must be able to stand/walk for up to two continuous hours and access all areas of the facility. Must have the capability to lead teams, and conduct training as needed for Climbing Wall Monitors. Must be able to work weekdays, weekends, holidays, school breaks, and some evening when events are scheduled.

Compensation: $11/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 Dinosaur” 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 Dinosaur’ 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: 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 an Avenue Q-type puppet show that teaches kids about animals using folks tales from California and around the world.  “How to Train Your Dinosaur” 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 Dinosaur,” 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

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.