Fort Wayne Children's Zoo Home

Zoo Careers

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is northeast Indiana’s largest tourist attraction, hosting more than 600,000 guests annually. The Zoo is consistently named one of the nation’s “Top Ten Zoos for Kids” by national media outlets and is a conservation leader, contributing more than $250,000 annually to local, regional and international efforts to protect wild animals and habitats. The Zoo cares for more than 1,200 animals and participates in 63 cooperative species survival plans.

As a member of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo team, you’ll be a vital part of our mission to connect kids and animals, strengthen families, and inspire people to care.

Employment Opportunities

Externships and Internships

Lawrence A. Ackerman Scholarships

Employment Opportunities

Join the zoo team! Every employee is an important part of the mission and success of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. As a member of our team, you’ll be a vital part of our mission to connect kids and animals, strengthen families, and inspire people to care.

Apply now! Click on the available opportunities below to find out more about the position, requirements, and application process.

Year-Round Opportunities

Human Resources People & Culture Leader (Full-Time)

The Human Resources People & Culture Leader serves as a strategic partner with senior leadership and as a resource to all zoo employees. This position develops and nurtures this partnership to build morale, improve workplace relationships, and boost productivity and retention and is responsible for delivering a high level of human resource expertise on employee relations, staffing, performance, and other critical issues to the institution.

A Bachelor’s degree in business administration, human resources management, or a related field; three years of experience as a human resources generalist or associate; and three years of experience in performance management, recruitment, selection, training, compensation, and benefits are required. HRCI or SHRM Certification is preferred. This is a full-time, exempt position requiring availability for at least a 40-hour work week year-round. Click here for a full job description.

Click Here To Apply

Application Deadline:  December 10, 2021

Zoo Keeper: African Journey (Part-Time)

The Zoo Keeper performs work necessary to provide basic daily animal care for zoo animals, ensures appropriate animal welfare, and performs husbandry practices such as operant conditioning, enrichment strategy, and assisting with husbandry and enclosure furnishing design. This position is responsible for daily husbandry of, including but not limited to, zebra, wildebeest, sitatunga, storks, cranes, parrots, and pelicans.

A Bachelor’s Degree in an animal-related field and one year of experience in a zoological setting are preferred. This is a part-time position requiring availability for up to a 29-hour work week year-round. Click here for a full job description.

Click Here To Apply

Application Deadline: December 10, 2021

Temporary Opportunities

Santa’s Workshop Elf (Part-Time, Temporary)

Applications are being accepted for Elves to help in Santa’s Workshop.

Elves help with guest service during the zoo’s special holiday event. They are a sidekick to Santa while kids get photos taken, help with Story Time, assist with the cookie decorating station, and are an overall be a part of the Christmas experience for guests

Previous guest service, hospitality, or retail experience is preferred. This is a part-time, temporary position. Event times are 10am–4pm on Dec 4–5, 11–12, and 16–23. Click here for a full job description and application.

To apply: Submit application by email (employment@kidszoo.org); by mail (Zoo, Attn: Employment, 3411 Sherman Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46808); or in person at the zoo’s Guest Services Building (8am-5pm, Monday-Friday).

Employee Perks

Employee Perks Edit

Employee Perks

In addition to working at northeast Indiana’s largest tourist attraction, zoo employees also receive the following perks:

  • Unlimited free FWCZ admission for you + one accompanying guest
  • Twice annual “Friends & Family” admission and ride pass for you + 5 accompanying guests
  • 50% employee discount on zoo concessions during your workdays
  • 20% employee discount on zoo gift shop purchases
  • 50% employee discount on Kids for Nature campers in your immediate family
  • Annual employee picnic
  • Bi-weekly employee newsletter
  • Zoo uniforms + jacket provided
  • Recognition and appreciation events and programs
  • Guest service and job-specific training
  • Select passes for Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation facilities

Additional Perks for Year-Round FWCZ Employees

  • Complimentary Zoo Membership
  • Annual employee holiday party
  • Development and training opportunities
  • Benefits package for qualifying employees

Externships

Students pursuing degrees in animal health can meet externship requirements at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. The zoo accepts college students throughout the year for externship positions in:

Veterinary Technician Externship

Description:
The purpose of the veterinary technician externship is to introduce veterinary technician students to the specialty of zoo veterinary technology. The extern will assist the veterinarian and technician daily with procedures, treatments, hospital maintenance, etc.

Duties:

  • Assist veterinary staff with routine procedures (immobilizations, physical exams, treatments, etc) as well as emergency procedures.
  • Assist veterinary technician with lab work (parasitology, urinalysis, in-house blood work, preparing samples for outside laboratories).
  • Assist with hospital maintenance (equipment cleaning, sterilization, inventory, etc).
  • Care for animals (cleaning and feeding) in hospital holding/quarantine when needed.
  • Enter data into MedArks program and file records.
  • Dispense medications under supervision of the veterinary technician.
  • Assist with necropsies.
  • Responsibilities will be dependent on the applicant’s experience and skills.

Requirements:

  • Students should be enrolled in an accredited veterinary technology program with a long-term interest in zoo/wildlife medicine.  Experience with exotic species is preferred but not required.
  • Students should be willing to learn, eager to create and complete projects and have a respect for wild animals. Students should also work well with others. It is preferred that the student have some previous animal experience.
  • Applicants must be available to work at least 30 hrs/week (40 hrs/week preferred) and must be able to work a flexible schedule.
  • A negative tuberculin test within the past year is required. Current rabies, hepatitis B, and tetanus vaccinations are recommended.

Availability:
Externships are available all year.  The largest volume and diversity of clinical procedures occur in the winter months.  Externships will last a minimum of 4-6 weeks, depending on the student’s requirements for school.

Compensation:
Externships at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo are unpaid positions. There is no housing or stipend offered by the zoo. Externs will work as volunteers for the duration of their externship.  A paid position is not guaranteed at the completion of an internship.

Credit:
The zoo staff is happy to provide the necessary documentation for the student’s college credit.

To Apply:
Complete an application online. If you have questions, contact the Volunteer Manager at 260-427-6828 or volunteer@kidszoo.org

Veterinary Medicine Externship

Description:
Support the zoo’s veterinary department by assisting with animal care, procedures, and hospital maintenance. The externship is designed to introduce the student to the field of zoo/exotic veterinary medicine. The extern will report directly to the zoo’s veterinarian.

Duties:

  • Assist veterinary staff with routine procedures (immobilizations, physical exams, treatments, etc) as well as emergency procedures, with emphasis on duties performed by the veterinarian.
  • Assist veterinary technicians with hospital and equipment cleaning and maintenance as needed.
  • Assist keeper staff with daily care of animals housed at the veterinary hospital or in quarantine as needed.
  • Work on other tasks or special projects as needed.
  • Responsibilities will be dependent on the applicant’s experience and skills.

Requirements:

  • Applicants must be enrolled in Veterinary School.
  • Applicants should have a long-term interest in exotic animals, and be experienced and comfortable with dealing with domestic species. Experience with exotic species is preferred, but not required.
  • Applicants must be available to work at least 30 hrs/wk (40 hrs/wk preferred) and must be able to work a flexible schedule.
  • A negative tuberculin skin test must be performed within one year of the start date.
  • Current rabies, hepatitis B, and tetanus vaccinations are recommended.

Availability:
Externships are available all year.  The largest volume and diversity of clinical procedures occur in the winter months. Externships will last a minimum of 4-6 weeks, depending on the student’s requirements for school.

Compensation:
Externships at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo are unpaid positions. There is no housing or stipend offered by the zoo. Externs will work as volunteers for the duration of their externship.  A paid position is not guaranteed at the completion of an internship.

Credit:
The zoo staff is happy to provide necessary documentation for the student’s school/college credit.

To Apply:
Complete an application online. If you have questions, contact the Volunteer Manager at 260-427-6828 or volunteer@kidszoo.org

Veterinary Medicine Externship

Description:
Support the zoo’s veterinary department by assisting with animal care, procedures, and hospital maintenance. The externship is designed to introduce the student to the field of zoo/exotic veterinary medicine. The extern will report directly to the zoo’s veterinarian.

Duties:

  • Assist veterinary staff with routine procedures (immobilizations, physical exams, treatments, etc) as well as emergency procedures, with emphasis on duties performed by the veterinarian.
  • Assist veterinary technicians with hospital and equipment cleaning and maintenance as needed.
  • Assist keeper staff with daily care of animals housed at the veterinary hospital or in quarantine as needed.
  • Work on other tasks or special projects as needed.
  • Responsibilities will be dependent on the applicant’s experience and skills.

Requirements:

  • Applicants must be enrolled in Veterinary School.
  • Applicants should have a long-term interest in exotic animals, and be experienced and comfortable with dealing with domestic species. Experience with exotic species is preferred, but not required.
  • Applicants must be available to work at least 30 hrs/wk (40 hrs/wk preferred) and must be able to work a flexible schedule.
  • A negative tuberculin skin test must be performed within one year of the start date.
  • Current rabies, hepatitis B, and tetanus vaccinations are recommended.

Availability:
Externships are available all year.  The largest volume and diversity of clinical procedures occur in the winter months. Externships will last a minimum of 4-6 weeks, depending on the student’s requirements for school.  It is imperative that you check the availability calendar prior to applying.  By limiting overlap of extern schedules, we can help you acquire the most from your experience at the zoo.

Compensation:
Externships at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo are unpaid positions. There is no housing or stipend offered by the zoo. Externs will work as volunteers for the duration of their externship.  A paid position is not guaranteed at the completion of an internship.

Credit:
The zoo staff is happy to provide necessary documentation for the student’s school/college credit.

To Apply:
Complete an application online. If you have questions, contact the Volunteer Manager at 260-427-6828 or volunteer@kidszoo.org

Internships

Students can gain meaningful experience while meeting school requirements. The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo accepts college students and high school seniors for positions available throughout the year:

Communication Internship

Description:
Assist Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo Communication Department with public relations, web site, and social media projects.

Duties:
Assist with various tasks in the Zoo Communication Department, which may include:

  • Review, update and assist in website development increasing user interactions.
  • Assist Communication department with preparing content for zoo’s social media channels and blog.
  • Assist zoo with social media research.
  • Complete special projects to support zoo’s communications program.
  • Assist with writing media releases and articles for zoo publications.
  • Perform other duties as needed.

Requirements:

  • College student pursuing a degree in communication, marketing or related fields.
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office, internet applications and content management systems.
  • Knowledge in website management and development.
  • Proficient with social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, & Instagram.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Available to work a flexible schedule.

Availability:
Communication interns will work 20 to 40 hours per week; weekend, holiday, or irregular hours may be required. May through August is preferred; shorter internships will be considered for October through April. Duration of the internship is flexible to meet the student’s school requirements.

Compensation:
Internships at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo are unpaid positions. There is no housing or stipend offered by the zoo. Interns will work as volunteers for the duration of their internship. A paid position is not guaranteed at the completion of an internship.

Credit:
The zoo staff is happy to provide necessary documentation for the student’s college credit.

To Apply:
Complete an application online. If you have questions, contact the Volunteer Manager at 260-427-6828 or volunteer@kidszoo.org

Media Internship

Description:
Assist Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo Communications Department with all aspects of video and photographic communications and contribute to planning and executing communication projects.

Duties:
Assist with various tasks in the Zoo Communication Department, which may include:

  • Film video and shoot photographs throughout the zoo including animals and guests that can be used for print and social media.
  • Assist in the end-to-end process from storyboarding to logistics to shooting to editing and publishing.
  • Catalog videos and photos on Zoo Graphic Drive.
  • Visually document special events during zoo season.
  • Assist Communication, Education and Development staff with programs and events as needed.

Requirements:

  • College student pursuing a degree in visual arts, communication, or related fields.
  • Proficient in the use of Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Proficient with social media such as Facebook live, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, & Instagram.
  • Must be outgoing, adaptable, and able to plan and carry out a variety of activities with minimal supervision.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Available to work a flexible schedule.

Availability:
Communication interns will work 20 to 40 hours per week; weekend, holiday, or irregular hours may be required. May through August is preferred; shorter internships will be considered for October through April. Duration of the internship is flexible to meet the student’s school requirements.

Compensation:
Internships at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo are unpaid positions. There is no housing or stipend offered by the zoo. Interns will work as volunteers for the duration of their internship. A paid position is not guaranteed at the completion of an internship.

Credit:
The zoo staff is happy to provide necessary documentation for the student’s college credit.

To Apply:
Complete an application online. If you have questions, contact the Volunteer Manager at 260-427-6828 or volunteer@kidszoo.org.

Public Relations / Event Planning Internship

Description:
Support the zoo’s communications, education, and development staff by assisting with public relations and event planning.

Duties:

  • Assist with creation, promotion, and delivery of special events.
  • Assist with development and set up of fundraising activities.
  • Assist with writing media releases and articles for zoo publications.
  • Assist with various design projects as needed.
  • Assist members of the education department with programs as needed.

Requirements:

  • College student pursuing a degree in public relations,event planning, tourism, communications, or other related field.
  • Experience planning large or small events for schools or community groups.
  • Must be outgoing, adaptable, and able to plan and carry out a variety of activities with minimal supervision.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Available to work a flexible schedule.

Availability:
Public Relations/Event Planning interns will work 20 to 40 hours per week; weekend, holiday or irregular hours may be required. May through August is preferred; shorter internships will be considered for October through April. Duration of the internship is flexible to meet the student’s school requirements.

Compensation:
Internships at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo are unpaid positions. There is no housing or stipend offered by the zoo. Interns will work as volunteers for the duration of their internship. A paid position is not guaranteed at the completion of an internship.

Credit:
The zoo staff is happy to provide necessary documentation for the student’s college credit.

To Apply:
Complete an application online. If you have questions, contact the Volunteer Manager at 260-427-6828 or volunteer@kidszoo.org

Zoo Keeping Internship

Description:
The purpose of the zoo keeping internship is to introduce students to the daily care of exotic animals. For more information on zoo keeping as a career, click here.

Duties:

  • Daily care and maintenance of animals in the area to which you are assigned; including feeding, cleaning, and all other duties necessary to maintain animal health.
  • General maintenance of zoo grounds, which may include exhibit maintenance, weeding, mowing, trash cleanup, restroom maintenance, and other duties necessary to maintain cleanliness and safety within the zoo.
  • Interact with zoo visitors as needed to answer their questions.
  • Collect data through animal observation and interpret data as needed.
  • Learn about the zoo’s animals through books, magazines, journals, discussions with keepers, and personal observation.

Requirements:

  • Minimally, applicants must be high school seniors or college students with an interest in wildlife.
  • Applicants must have the ability to work with minimal supervision but be able to work well with others on the animal care crew.
  • Applicants should be willing to learn, eager to create and complete projects and have a respect for wild animals. It is preferred that the student have some previous animal experience.
  • Applicant must possess ability to participate in physically demanding work, including the ability to lift 50 pounds.
  • Applicants must able to work a flexible schedule, which may include weekends and holidays.
  • Applicant must possess a valid driver’s license.
  • A negative tuberculin test is required if working with primates; testing is provided by the zoo. A current tetanus vaccination is recommended for all interns.

Availability:
Zoo keeping interns will work 20 to 40 hours per week; weekend, holiday or irregular hours may be required. Internships last six to twelve weeks. Duration of the internship is flexible to meet the student’s school requirements.

Compensation:
Internships at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo are unpaid positions. There is no housing or stipend offered by the zoo. Interns will work as volunteers for the duration of their internship. A paid position is not guaranteed at the completion of an internship.

Credit:
The zoo staff is happy to provide necessary documentation for the student’s college credit.

To Apply:
Complete an application online. If you have questions, contact the Volunteer Manager at 260-427-6828 or volunteer@kidszoo.org

Zoo Finance Internship

Assist Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo Finance Department with financial analysis.

Duties:

Assist with various tasks in the Zoo Finance Department, which may include:

  • Assist with financial modeling
  • Provide general accounting support
  • Help with accounts receivable analysis
  • Provide support for annual budgeting process
  • Assist with statistical analysis and other special projects
  • Present data-driven recommendations to the finance team

 

Requirements:

  • College student pursuing a degree in finance, economics, or related fields.
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Highly motivated with a desire to learn
  • Proficient in Microsoft Excel
  • Available to work a flexible schedule.

Availability:

Finance interns will work about 20 hours per week.  Hours of the internship are flexible to meet the student’s school requirements.

Compensation:

Internships at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo are unpaid positions. There is no housing or stipend offered by the zoo. Interns will work as volunteers for the duration of their internship. A paid position is not guaranteed at the completion of an internship.

To Apply:
Complete an application online. If you have questions, contact the Volunteer Manager at 260-427-6828 or volunteer@kidszoo.org

Lawrence A. Ackerman Scholarship

The Fort Wayne Zoological Society awards a one-time $2,000 scholarship to a high school senior pursuing a career in the stewardship of animals. Graduating high school seniors in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley counties in Indiana are eligible to apply.

Interested students should contact the zoo at 260-427-6809 or download an application. The annual application deadline is February 1.

The Scholarship was established in 1992 to honor the late Dr. Larry Ackerman, who served as the zoo’s veterinarian for 25 years. Contributions to the fund are always welcome and may be mailed to Ackerman Scholarship Fund, 3411 Sherman Blvd., Fort Wayne, In 46808. Contributions are tax deductible.

Statement of Equal Opportunity

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is operated by the Fort Wayne Zoological Society through a cooperative agreement with the City of Fort Wayne’s Department of Parks and Recreation. All employees and volunteers work for the Fort Wayne Zoological Society. The Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer and treats all applicants, employees, and volunteers without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital or veteran status, mental or physical disability that does not preclude performance of essential job duties, or any other status protected by law. The Society will offer all reasonable accommodations required by law to employees and volunteers with known disabilities. The Society supports and promotes diversity in its workforce and on its Board of Directors and strives to foster a work environment of respect and inclusiveness where the diversity and contributions of all applicants, employees, volunteers, and visitors are valued and recognized.

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