Go Wild…Volunteer At The Minnesota Zoo!

Volunteers make an impact at the Minnesota Zoo! Opportunities abound for teenagers through senior-agers looking for fun, unique and interesting volunteer positions.

Why become a Minnesota Zoo Volunteer?
People just like you volunteer at the Minnesota Zoo for many different reasons. Common responses to this question include:

  • love of animals and/or plants
  • concern for the environment
  • conservation focused
  • make new friends
  • expand knowledge
  • the need to share time & talents
  • gain experience in the field
  • the list could go on and on

Do I need training to volunteer?
This simple answer is yes, and we provide the training that you will need in order to be successful in your volunteer role at the Minnesota Zoo. Every position has different requirements. For example, training at the Conservation Carousel starts with a zoo orientation and then on-the-job training. Other positions, like our adult interpretive volunteer, require a longer training period. Training requirements are discussed again in the following pages and at the time of your interview.

How does my volunteer service to the Minnesota Zoo make a difference?
“Connecting people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife” is our mission and our vision is “to be a leader in saving wildlife through engagement, inspiration and action”.  We are the #1 environmental education center in the state of Minnesota.  Not only are volunteers instrumental in sharing information with our guests about the 4,300+ animals we exhibit,  they also are trained to tell our conservation stories that focus on our collection of animals here at the Zoo, and wild animals in Minnesota and those around the globe that are in danger of extinction.   Do volunteers make a difference at the Minnesota Zoo?  Absolutely!  More than 1,300 volunteers give 110,000 hours of service annually sharing our conservation messages.  We call that AMAZING!

Are there certain skills and abilities that all volunteers should possess?
Yes, there are common skills and abilities that we look for in all volunteers.

  • enjoy interacting with guests of all ages while sharing information about the Zoo, our mission, programming, animals and exhibits
  • provide excellent customer service to meet guest’s needs
  • engage with guests and monitor animals at all times while ensuring the safety of all
  • enjoy being outside in Minnesota’s spring, summer and fall seasons.  Winter is a possibility as well if you like our Minnesota cold.
  • be able to stand or walk for the majority of your shift.  The Zoo is accessibility for everyone
  • enjoy the opportunity to learn about the operation of a Zoo and all flora and fauna
  • attend all required information, interview and training sessions
  • be willing to make a commitment to volunteer and follow through with dedication to that commitment

Do I need a background check completed to volunteer?
All volunteers who interact with children, including volunteers as young as 13 years of age, must complete a Child Protection Background Check before they can volunteer at the Minnesota Zoo.  Cost is covered by the Minnesota Zoo.

What is my next step?
Click on a program link below to find information about available volunteer positions.  If the position is open for application, please fill out the online application. When we receive your completed application, we will email you a link to register for an Information and Interview Session where you will learn more about the volunteer role.  If the position opens in the future for application, please be sure to check back and complete the on-line application according to the date indicated.

Important to know
A selection process is used for all volunteer positions at the Minnesota Zoo.   Not everyone may be offered a volunteer position.

2018 Adult Interpretive Volunteer Program 18 years of age and older (Next class Sept/Oct 2018)
2018 Guest Experience Volunteer Program Ages 18 & up
2019 Summer Camp ZooTeen Volunteer Program Ages 13-18 years of age
2019 Family Farm Program Ages 17 & up
2019 Summer Seasonal Volunteer Program Ages 17 and up
2019 Guest Experience Volunteer Program Ages 17 & up.