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What is the best method for getting a job in a zoo or wildlife rehabilitation center?

I have always been interested in wildlife and plan on being open to either option once I receive a degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Sciences at Washington State University. So far this is just a plan but I will be applying for their spring semester which begins this January. I guess I just want to know if this is a good idea or if there is another method such as volunteering or internships that I should also keep in mind.
#zookeeper #wildlife-rehabilitation #zoology #wildlife-biology #wildlife-conservation

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Nicholas’s Answer

Hello Sydney,

Volunteering and internships will definitely help you in your objectives. When it comes to getting a good job experience is key. Getting the credentials is easy and many people will, but if you make the effort to get some experience before you finish college you'll be ahead of your peers.

Also remember that there are a lot of resources you can lean on. Definitely talk with your professors and get their personal advice. They'll usually be more than happy to help and most likely will have contacts to connect you with to get your started with obtaining more experience.

Hope this helps,
Nick
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your time. Sydney
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Courtney’s Answer

A Bachelor's Degree in zoology, animal science, etc. is great, but you'll need hands on experience in order to get your foot int he door at a zoo. The way to do this is by doing internships at shelters, zoos, rehab centers, vet clinics, etc. It also looks even better if one of the places you interned at hires you, because this shows that not only are you willing to work for free in order to learn, but also that you're good enough at it to hire. When we're looking at resumes at my zoo, a red flag goes up if someone has done 8 internships, and isn't offered a paying job at any of them.

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