Join the Team


Do you love animals and working with people?
Join the fun, caring, friendly, and energetic team at the Santa Barbara Zoo!

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.

How to Apply

Apply online for current job openings listed on the Employment Listings page. Applicants must be eligible to work in the USA.

Working at the Zoo

Our values of Integrity, Quality, Respect, Collaboration, and Having Fun are at the heart of what we do daily as a team.

We believe in doing a great job for our guests, employees, volunteers, and our community. Our values are put into practice daily and allow us to provide a unique work environment and guest experience.


We conduct ourselves and our organization with integrity; we are honest, accountable, and loyal at all times.


We commit to quality. We provide 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!

We enjoy and value the people we work with and the environment we work in. Having fun at work decreases burnout, increases collaboration, and improves employee retention, and most importantly, makes our workday enjoyable. This positively impacts our own experiences, as well as the experiences of our guests.

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

What is the best way to apply for a job?

Visit our Employment Listings page, and fill out an application online. You may submit a resume online with your application.

What is the status of my application? I have not been contacted.

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.

How old do you have to be to apply?

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.

I am a student with no prior work experience. Would you consider my application?

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.

I love animals and have lots of pets at home. Can I get a job at the Zoo working with animals?

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.