13922046939_2d9de1bd28_b (1)Thank you for your interest in Zoo employment opportunities! By checking this site often, you can learn more about the Zoo and what we have to offer.

See below for job and internship listings.
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What Inspires You?

Cincinnati Zoo employees share a passion for wildlife and wild places.  Learn more about what inspires members of our animal staff.

Helping to build the personal connections that visitors have with our animal ambassadors, as well as our staff, is what makes my job so much fun and meaningful. “Helping to build the personal connections that visitors have with our animal ambassadors, as well as our staff, is what makes my job so much fun and meaningful.” – Maura M.

About working at the Zoo

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is an equal opportunity employer and accepts employment applications and/or resumes for current open positions only. Internship opportunities are also available. Requests for accommodation for disability should be directed to the Human Resources Office.

More Info

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden supports a drug-free and tobacco/nicotine-free workplace. Employment in all Zoo positions is contingent upon the successful completion and passing of a post-offer, pre-employment drug and tobacco/nicotine test.

Employees hired after 7/1/2010 may not smoke or use any form of tobacco products at any time, whether on or off duty, as a condition of employment. This means that you must be nicotine-free by the time of your pre-employment drug screen, which follows an offer of employment and is a condition of hire. The drug test will include a screen for cotinine (a nicotine metabolite). If you currently use any tobacco product, or if you are engaged in a tobacco cessation program, you must be completely free of the use of any nicotine-containing products by the time of your drug screen forward.

Due to the volume of applications we are receiving, we currently do not accept inquiries about applications. Thank you for your understanding.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Core Values

What We Believe / How We Act

Achieving our mission requires great people who actively demonstrate the following values & behaviors:

Collaborative Relationships

  • Promotes pro-active, open communication across all levels/departments
  • Actively listens to and values others’ questions, concerns, and ideas
  • Meets face-to-face and fosters open discussions
Our Mission:
Creating Adventure, Conveying Knowledge, Conserving Nature, Serving Community

Strategic Objective:

Inspire Every Visitor With Wildlife Everyday!

Positivity & Energy

  • Displays a positive attitude under all circumstances
  • Is passionate and energetic
  • Makes time to celebrate success

Accountability, Mutual Trust & Respect

  • Ensures expectations are well understood and holds self and others accountable
  • Holds self to high standards and always tries to do the right thing
  • Treats others with respect
  • Practices DWYSYWD (Do what you say you will do)
  • Acknowledges mistakes and learns from them
  • Takes ownership of problems/projects and shepherds the process to resolution

Progressive Thinking

  • Challenges the status quo in respectful and productive ways
  • Is a self-directed learner and strives to continuously further own knowledge
  • Demonstrates relentless pursuit for improvement
  • Thinks creatively; is willing to look for new and innovative ways to do things
  • Learns from others, both internally and externally

Pride, Passion & a Sense of Ownership

  • Demonstrates respect and care for the living collection
  • Goes the extra mile to ensure the visitor has a great experience every visit
  • Is always an advocate for the Zoo with all audiences
  • Shows strong personal ownership of the Zoo and careful stewardship of its resources.

If you share our core values, perhaps you belong in a Zoo (our Zoo)!  Check out the career opportunities below.



Concession Stand Workers

Service Systems Associates at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is now hiring for concession stand and other food service employees for the Festival of Lights season.

Candidates MUST be available to work any day of the week/weekends between the times of 9am to 9pm.  Ideal candidates will also enjoy working in a fast-paced environment, have at least two years of customer service experience, be responsible, committed to cleanliness and have a positive attitude.

To apply for this position: Respond by email to caitlindavis@kmssa.com and please be sure to attach your resume.

Base Camp Café Customer Service Reps

We are looking for someone who is friendly, hardworking, and thrives in a fast-paced environment. Your day to day duties will consist of welcoming customers, taking orders, passing food, helping with drinks, running a cash register or helping out where it is needed. This position is customer service focused.

Excellent communication skills
A warm, approachable manner
At least two years experience in a customer service position
Minimal kitchen experience is preferable.

To apply for this position: Respond by email to caitlindavis@kmssa.com and please be sure to attach your resume.

Dish Washer

Service Systems Associates is now hiring a dishwasher for the Festival of Lights Season.

The dish position is responsible for maintaining cleanliness and sanitation standards for china, glassware, tableware, cooking utensils, etc., using machine and manual cleaning methods. This position also ensures the dishwashing area is maintained as a clean, safe and sanitary facility.  You will be expected to work various hours depending on catering events and the parks hours of operation.

This position consist of:

  • Walking/standing for the entire shift.
  • Lifting and Carrying dishes up and down the stairs, weighing up to approximately 30 pounds.
  • Lift and empty trash cans.
  • Frequent bending, stooping, reaching, pushing and lifting.

To apply for this position: Respond by email to caitlindavis@kmssa.com and please be sure to attach your resume.


Service Systems Associates, the food and beverage contract-holder for the Cincinnati Zoo, is on the lookout for individuals to be hired for the Catering department.

more info

This hands-on position requires leadership responsibilities and an intensive customer focus. If hired, you will start out part-time on an “on-call” basis with a varied schedule. There is potential for growth for individuals that demonstrate superior performance.Qualified candidates will have: a broad food and beverage background and specific catering experience (preferably with off-premise catering); the ability to maintain professional composure and a positive attitude while managing multiple priorities in a challenging, fast-paced, and physically demanding environment; willingness to work at a variety of job tasks and to cross-train into various areas of the operation as needed; team orientation and the ability to motivate others to perform their best; strong organization and communication skills; a desire to “raise the bar” for themselves, our operation, our customers, and our client. Interested applicants must submit a resume by email to the address below to set up an interview.



Gift Shop Seasonal Part Time Sales Associate

Description: If you’ve ever been to the zoo then you know that the last thing you do before going home is visit the gift shop; this means that the last memories a guest makes at the zoo are from the gift shop.

more info

To ensure these guests leave the zoo with an overall positive experience it is our responsibility to provide every guest with Extraordinary service, which includes helping them find souvenirs that represent their fondest zoo memories, favorite animals and great experiences.

To do this you must:

– be able to work 20-25 hours per week, including weekends and some evenings

– be at least 17 years old

– be able to work outside during the summer and winter

– be able to effectively work as part of a team and independently

– be friendly, outgoing and have the ability to start and carry-on conversations with guests

– be willing to have fun and be silly daily and when necessary

Job Duties (including but not limited to):

– #1 priority is assissting guests

– adding-on items at the register

– straightening and stocking the store

– daily housekeeping of the store

Prior retail experience isn’t necessary, but you must possess the combined skills and knowledge needed to understand and execute outstanding customer service with every guest in a fast paced and ever changing environment.

Please send resume to cnzhr@kmssa.com


Gift Shop Seasonal Part Time Floor Supervisor

Floor Supervisor Expectations are:

more info

– have a solid leadership presence on the sales floor

– consistently lead by example, which includes displaying exceptional customer service skills and being amongst the top sales performers

– be contagiously energetic and enthusiastic

– give clear, concise, constructive feedback and coaching in the moment to sales associates concerning their job performance

– be able to effectively work as part of a team and independently

– have a high sense of urgency, ability to prioritize and confidence to take the initiative

To do this you must:

– have prior retail experience

– have prior supervisory experience

– have experience supervising a team of at least 10+ associates at one time

– be able to work 25-32 hours per week, including weekends and some evenings and be available all of June

– be at least 17 years old

– have a high school diploma or equivalent

Job duties (including but not limited to):

– monitoring break schedules to stay on track

– checkout guests on register only when necessary

– give one minute meeting to every associate at the start of their shift

– manage sales floor by consistently walking and monitoring are areas and people

– supervise associates on sales floor to ensure that all policies are being upheld and guest service is the focus

If you possess these qualities and believe that you can contribute to our leadership team, please send your resume to: cnzhr@kmssa.com


Kaman’s Art Shoppes Opportunities

Kaman’s Art Shoppes is America’s largest amusement and theme park concessionaires. We offer a variety of art, photo, candy and specialty services.

Current opportunities with Kaman’s Art Shoppes at the Cincinnati Zoo are:
Face Painters

Apply here – http://www.kamansart.com

We also have a terrific Intern program for college students or recent college graduates. We offer sessions in winter, summer, and fall. An internship at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is a great asset to include on a resume.

Animal Care (Unpaid) – Available during the summer session only

Interns working in the Animal Care departments have the opportunity to work under the supervision of experienced animal keepers.

more info

Interns help to maintain the animal collection by preparing diets, cleaning exhibits, shifting animals, and monitoring the health of the collection.Working with the keeper staff, interns gain experience in providing for the needs of exotic animals in captivity and acquire better understanding of the requirements of these animals. Interns are assigned to a morning and afternoon animal area and are working from the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., generally Monday-Friday but some weekends may be required . This internship will only be available during the summer session. Animal care experience is available in the following areas:

  • Manatee Springs (Manatees and other Floridian wildlife)
  • African Veldt/ Rhino Reserve (Indian and black rhinoceros and various hoof stock)
  • Amphibian Collection
  • Night Hunters
  • Children’s Zoo (rare barnyard livestock and small eastern woodland animals)
  • Commissary
  • Vanishing Giants (elephants, giraffe and okapi)
  • Insectarium
  • Jungle Trails (primates and small nocturnal animals)
  • Primate Center (lowland gorillas, colobus monkeys and guenons)
  • Reptile House
  • Wildlife Canyon (Sumatran rhinoceros and various hoof stock)
  • Wings of the World (birds)

Business (Unpaid)

The intern assists the business manager with operations, purchasing, and maintaining supply inventory, as well as coordinating maintenance and construction/renovation projects, development and implementation of safety programs, plus scheduling and overseeing seasonal personnel.


Development Fundraising Internship (Unpaid)

This is a great opportunity for students seeking to work in the Development field as a fundraising professional.

more info

Intern will gain first-hand experience with written and phone solicitation and donor cultivation and stewardship. Intern will have the opportunity to work alongside the Chief Development Officer, Director of Development, Director of Planned and Major Gifts, Grants Manager and Sponsorship and Marketing Manager as he/she is introduced to a multi-faceted development department.

Under the direction of the Development team, intern will assist with the editing and writing end-year solicitation letters, grant research and development, sponsorship solicitation, donor cultivation events and visits, development research, and various other tasks.
Intern should have schedule flexibility, be able to commit to three 8-hour shifts per week in the office, and be available to assist with some evening/weekend events.

• Strong interpersonal, verbal (including phone work) and written communication skills. Due to the nature of this position, we recommend submitting two writing samples with your application.
• Positive attitude
• Basic computer processing skills including Microsoft Office and Internet
• Interest in a career in fundraising/development for a non-profit organization – it is preferable but not necessary that you have successfully completed one internship (in any field) upon application.
• Highly organized with attention to detail
• Ability to work as part of a team
• Extremely professional in manner and dress
• Completion of Sophomore year of college


Environmental Education (Unpaid)

Working in the Education Department provides interns with an opportunity to convey an appreciation and understanding of the natural world to others.

more info

Professional educators offer support, training, and guidance in presenting live animal demonstrations, along with assisting you in the coordination and instruction of various educational programs.

Intern should have a flexible schedule, be able to commit to three 8-hour shifts per week in the office, be able to lift 25 pounds, and be available to assist with evening/weekend events outside of regularly scheduled office hours.

Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer Internships available.


  • A sincere love of wildlife and nature, and desire to share that interest with others.
  • Knowledge of/ education in wildlife ecology, environmental science, biology, zoology or a related natural science.
  • Knowledge of/ education in/ experience in formal education, or environmental education, conservation education, or a related non-formal education field.
  • Experience handling birds, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates, or a willingness to learn.
  • Desire and interest in working with young children; demonstrated patience, rapport with, and understanding of young children and their parents.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office suite and other basic computer applications.


  • To teach and facilitate programs to any of the following participant groups: 18 month olds-14 year olds, Families, Adults, and others.
  • Prepare crafts, rosters, animal schedules and other program operational needs.
  • Assist in Spring Break and Summer Camp planning efforts.
  • Present live animal demonstration to the public on and off Zoo grounds, employing the highest care and presentations standards as defined in the CZBG animal handling guidelines.
  • Provide high quality customer service to zoo visitors specifically building visitors and program participants.
  • Assist Program Coordinators as needed.

Group Sales (Unpaid)

Job Description: The Group Sales Department at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden plans over 400 corporate and social events each year, bringing more than 25,000 people through the Zoo.

more info

The Group Sales intern will assist the with the planning, execution and evaluation of these events. As the Group Sales Intern, he/she will work under the supervision of the Group Sales Director and Catering Sales Managers to organize and detail a variety of events- picnics, meetings, after-hours, etc. The candidate must be able to work independently, as well as part of team. You will need to complete a wide range of activities requiring clear, effective communication, critical thinking, excellent organizational skills and attention to detail. You must be able to work well under pressure, make decisions and ensure the smooth and efficient running of an event. Additional responsibilities will include, but are not limited to communication with clients, vendors, catering and zoo staff, administrative support, and other duties as assigned.


  • Assist the catering sales managers in the detailing and implementation of events
  • Day of event management
  • Post event evaluation
  • Communicate and coordinate details with clients, zoo staff, and vendors
  • Serve as the lead on busy days, and be able to give direction to others assisting with the events
  • Provide administrative support with database entry, mass mailings, and a variety of other tasks
  • Assist in managing and editing the website
  • Help the sales team with various projects


  • Needs to be organized and a hard worker with attention to detail
  • Needs to have excellent communication skills- verbal and written
  • A background in customer service would be a plus
  • Must be able to work weekends and evenings- minimum of 15 hours/week
  • Extremely professional in manner and dress

Horticulture/Botany (Unpaid)

Interns gain first-hand experience in the maintenance and expansion of the Zoo’s botanical collection. Work includes planting, pruning, watering, and weeding along with labeling, tracking new acquisitions, and transferring and maintaining computer records. Listed in the AABGA, Internship Opportunities.

more info

Internship opportunities available only during the summer session.

  • Botanical Interpretor Internship- working with the Horticulture Volunteers’ visitor engagement activities. Enhancing strong interactive program highlighting plant and animal relationships. Also working with Horticulture VolunTeens, aka The Buzz Troop, monitoring plants and insect pollination throughout the Zoo’s Garden.
  • Plant Trials Internship – responsibilities include propagation, nursery work, installation of plants and maintenance, record keeping, labeling
  • Ecohio Wetland Native Plant Internship – Planting, propagation by seed, cuttings and division, irrigation, nursery work, maintenance of container material, record keeping , land management, invasive species removal, seed collection, species monitoring – this position is located of Zoo Grounds.
  • Landscape Maintenance – A variety of responsibilities covering all aspects of landscape and exhibit installation and maintenance. In addition to installation and maintenance, intern may also be involved in record keeping of plant material and labeling.

Interns gain first-hand experience in the maintenance and expansion of the Zoo’s Native Plant Program. Interns will also help with growing native federally endangered species, such as Short’s goldenrod, Cumberland sandwort, northern monkshood, running buffalo clover,Virginia spirea and other endangered species. Work also includes propagation, such as divisions, cuttings, and seed collecting and germinating. Intern will also set up and run small research comparisons on native plants and growing conditions.

Interns get to work with native flora; work includes planting, pruning, watering, mulching, and weeding along with labeling established native gardens. Intern will also help evaluate flora on which species make good gardening plants.

Intern will also learn identification, cultural requirements, and various propagation techniques for native flora.

Internship opportunities are available beginning in March.


Lindner Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) (Unpaid)

CREW interns will experience high tech research at one of the most sophisticated centers for plant and animal research in the world. Only advanced graduate and veterinary students with strong research interests will be considered. Interns will assist professionals using research techniques on the cutting edge of science, including cryopreservation, embryo transfer and plant cloning. Interns also help with routine laboratory work and plant/animal care. This position is only available during the summer session.


Security Department (Unpaid)

Security interns will assist security management with scheduling (both for general and special events), first aid response, surveillance, access control, and safety assurance. Interns will also be given special academic research/proposal projects.


Veterinary Technology (Unpaid)

Internships are available to veterinary technician students in their final year of training. Internships are 6-10 weeks in length. The intern assists hospital staff with animal procedures, immobilizations, laboratory work, dispensing medication, maintaining supplies, and behavioral conditioning of the animals. Internship opportunities available only during the summer and fall sessions. This internship is only available during the summer session.


Wild Encounters Internship (Unpaid)

Working with the Education Department, you will have the unique opportunity to have hands-on experience in several different visitor engagement areas.

more info

Wild Encounters Includes:

  • Animal Encounters; bring education animal ambassadors out and around zoo grounds to meet visitors.
  • Interpretive visitor feeding stations; engage with the guests and convey specific conservation messages and information about the animal as well as facilitate the feeding experience.
  • Wild Research Discover Zones; interact with the public at multiple exhibits asking them questions, facilitating investigations and engaging in conservation stories.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Conduct on-grounds exhibit interpretation.
  • Complete animal handling training and present live animal demonstrations.
  • Complete interpretive training aligned with the National Association of Interpretation guidelines.


Experience and/or strong interest in working with people, strong communication skills, willingness to learn to work with variety of animals, strong conservation values, successful completion of a background check.

Past animal handling, and/or interpretation experience is a plus.

We have shifts available 7 days a week from 9:30 a.m. 4:00 p.m. and you must be available for shifts that make up 40 hours each week

Internship available: spring, summer and fall.

Application Process

College students or recent graduates who wish to apply should send a cover letter, resume, and letter of recommendation, with the application form.

The cover letter should include the following:

  • Why you are interested in an internship at the Cincinnati Zoo
  • Where you heard about the intern program
  • What intern opportunities interest you – if interested in animal care, please specify two areas of preference
  • What you would like to gain from an internship

All components of the application should be sent in one packet, including the recommendation letter. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please send complete application packet to:

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Volunteer Services/Intern Program
3400 Vine St.
Cincinnati, OH 45220
Phone 513-559-7736

Internship OpportunitiesApplication due dates
Spring Internships Application packets due by January 15.
Placement will be completed by February 15.
Summer Internships Application packets due by March 1.
Placement will be completed by April 30.
Summer internship usually begins the last week of May.
Fall InternshipsApplication packets due by July 1.
Placement will be completed by August 1.
Internship Dates for 2014:

Spring Monday, March 10 – Friday, May 30

Summer Monday, May 19 – Friday, August 8

Fall runs from Monday, August 18 – Thursday, November 7

For further questions call 513-559-7736 or email us at interns@cincinnatizoo.org