The Minnesota Zoo employs about 220 full-time, part-time, and intermittent staff. That number grows to between 270 and 300 with the addition of temporary staff during the spring and summer months.

The Minnesota Zoo employs people from a wide variety of backgrounds. In addition to typical “zoo jobs” such as veterinary technicians, interpretive naturalists, zookeepers, zoologists, and veterinarians, the business end of the Zoo requires people with many different skills, from accountants and marketing staff, to carpenters and guest services staff.

The Minnesota Zoo is a state agency and its employees are public employees, with salary and benefits set by union contracts and compensation plans.

Over the course of a year, the Zoo receives over two thousand applications for employment. All of our positions are highly competitive with a majority of positions requiring related experience and education.

Although we have positions open from time to time during the year, our largest recruitment period begins in March and lasts through mid-May, when we begin filling our summer positions.

Our open positions are listed below and can change on a daily basis. Applying for our positions is easy. If you are interested in a position and feel you meet the qualifications listed, simply click on the link within the posting. That link will take you to the State of Minnesota’s resume database where applicants can submit resumes for positions open for all state agencies, including the Minnesota Zoo.

Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer

This information can be made available in alternative formats to individuals with disability by calling (651) 259-3637 or (651) 282-2699 (TTY). For more information please read the State of Minnesota Affirmative Action Plan.

How to Apply

Jobs Openings

None at this time


Summer Employment Opportunities

Student Worker Clerical – Guest Services Apply before 2/3/2020

Interpretive Naturalist 1 – Summer Exhibit & Horse Program Instructor  Apply by 02.03.2020

Minnesota Zoo Foundation Employment Opportunities


General Description

The Special Events Manager coordinates all events for the Minnesota Zoo Foundation, including fundraising events, donor cultivation events, corporate and foundation events, VIP openings for new exhibits, and potentially new events in collaboration with the Foundation team, Zoo team, and an active volunteer committee.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Work with Foundation team to coordinate and project manage a major fundraising gala (Beastly Bash) with a goal of $1 MM gross. This will include the following and other tasks:
    • overall coordination, planning and execution of the annual gala
    • assisting committee chair(s) and members with various tasks on a regular basis such as scheduling meetings, soliciting auction items, etc.
    • coordinating Foundation and Zoo team members as well as outside event consultants, volunteers and vendors (tent rental, entertainment, etc.)
    • communicating and coordinating with event participants, auctioneer, emcee, band, golf carts, valet, etc.
    • managing the design and editing of publications and promotional materials including an event website, invitations, event program and advertising
    • ensuring event wrap-up and reporting to committee, as well as auction item fulfillment and follow-up
  1. Work with Foundation team to coordinate and project manage ongoing donor cultivation and stewardship events such as Director’s Crawl, Friends Farm Babies, exhibit preview nights and more.
    • Oversee all event coordination details including coordination of volunteers, interns, and staff in event-related capacities
    • Generate mailing lists for events and develop event-related communications for both online and printed materials
    • Organize donor tours, making sure to follow protocol relating to requesting keeper time, placing catering orders, and completing space requests
  2. Develop and oversee event budget, tracking all revenue and expenses responsibly
  3. Serve as primary liaison with Lancer Catering, managing all Foundation catering requests and invoices
  4. Manage setup of all Foundation event online registrations and ticket sales in donor database (Tessitura and/or BidPal)
  5. Develop and steward relationships with donors, volunteers and trustees through events
  6. Other duties as assigned based on organizational priorities

Work Experience and Qualification Requirements

  • 3-5 years previous event planning experience with increasing responsibility. Preference given for experience in fundraising and nonprofits.
  • Strong project management skills organizing diverse aspects of events (registrations, entertainment, catering, staffing, communications, etc.), including the ability to prioritize and manage multiple deadlines
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule and the ability to “change course” quickly
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Collaborative style and the ability to work with a diverse group of individuals both inside the organization and out in the community
  • Ability to work independently and proactively while keeping supervisor apprised of issues, opportunities and progress
  • High degree of integrity, ethical decision making, and commitment to maintaining confidentiality
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office
  • Proficiency with donor and contact management databases, Tessitura software and BidPal preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to clearly represent and present the mission and vision of the Minnesota Zoo

Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent

Reports to: Director of Individual Giving

Supervises: interns

Type of Position: Full-time, exempt

Salary Range: $54,000 – $58,000 based on qualifications

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Linda Carlson at [email protected].