The Santa Barbara Zoo team includes up to 220 employees and nearly 500 volunteers. Main job classifications include guest services entry level, animal care, skilled worker, educational, and general business positions.
Most positions require some related experience and/or an educational background in a related field. If offered employment at the Zoo, you must be able to present proof of citizenship or legal right to work in the United States.
The busiest recruitment period occurs a month before the spring and summer school breaks; most positions available at this time are seasonal, entry-level positions and seasonal Zoo Camp positions.
Working at the Zoo
Our values are at the heart of what we do daily as a team.
We commit to a culture of inclusion, accessibility, and equity for everyone. We welcome people from diverse backgrounds, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes us stronger.
We consider the impact of our decisions on future generations. The impact of our efforts includes a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people and the environment.
We conduct ourselves and our organization with integrity; we are honest, accountable, and work in the best interest of the Zoo’s mission at all times.
We commit to quality by providing the finest animal care and facilities; a safe, fun, easy, and educational experience for our guests; progressive and relevant programs; and a clear vision for our future.
We treat others with respect; we are compassionate and considerate in our actions.
We make better decisions when we work together as a team, including with our outside partners. We are more productive and satisfied when we know each other, and there is great energy when we are all working together to achieve our goals.
Having fun at work decreases burnout and most importantly, makes our workday enjoyable. This positively impacts our own experiences, as well as the experiences of our guests.
Santa Barbara Zoo’s DEAI Statement
We advance diversity, equity, access, and inclusion practices and integrate these values into our Zoo culture. We commit to a system of accountability; programs are evaluated at least annually for effectiveness and content, and refinements made as needed.
You Belong at the Zoo! Why?
It’s a great place to work!
We strive to:
- Provide a learning environment with great benefits and advancement opportunities.
- Work as a team.
- Enjoy our work and have fun!
We are guest-oriented.
We strive to:
- Be professional, engaged, warm, friendly, informed, and resourceful because we care about our guests’ experience.
- Ensure safe, clean, and injury-free facilities.
- Be a place of choice to visit in town.
We are goal-oriented.
We strive to:
- Set competitive goals that involve our entire staff.
- Focus on our mission and the best ways to deliver our care and services to our animals, our staff, and our guests.
- Be the best place to visit in Santa Barbara!
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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 and some Show positions.
Our Animal Care & Health positions are geared toward skilled individuals with a background in a related life science field. Please check the requirement information indicated on current Animal Care & Health job postings.