The Central Park Zoo encompasses a mere 6.5 acres of Central Park in New York City yet sees hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The Wildlife Conservation Society manages the zoo and hires over 4,000 temporary and full-time staff members to conduct park operations.
Facts About Working at Central Park Zoo
Minimum Age to Work at Central Park Zoo: 18 years old (How old do you have to be to work at Central Park Zoo?)
Central Park Zoo Hours of Operation: Open every day: 10:00am-5:30pm
Available Positions at Central Park Zoo: Customer Service Representative, Administrative Assistant, Sales Associate, Maintenance Technician, 4D Theatre Associate, Admissions Associate, Assistant Merchandise Manager, Parks and Grounds Manager, Chef, Comfort Station Attendant, Butterfly Garden Associate, Congo Basin Program Manager, Curatorial Science Fellow, District Worker, Federal Affairs Associate, Graphic Specialist, Parking Attendant, Group Sales Manager, Human Resources Coordinator, Kitchen Associate, Mechanic, Marketing Promoter, Public Programming Associate, Purchasing Agent, Restaurant Maintenance Associate, Ride Associate, Porter, Shuttle Driver, Animal Keeper, Animal Trainer, Veterinary Technician, Marine Director
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Central Park Zoo Employment Prospects
Founded in 1860, shortly after the creation of Central Park in Manhattan, Central Park Zoo calls home to many different species of animals. The attraction employs reliable, independent workers to help with daily tasks, such as park operations, food service, cleaning, grounds keeping, and animal care. Although the park remains open 365 days a year, most employees find jobs during the busy summer months between March and October. Associates interact with diverse zoo-goers and must retain outgoing attitudes while providing friendly service with a smile.
Employees come from various backgrounds, such as food services, animal handling, janitorial services, sales, and customer relations. Each new-hire brings valuable insight toward making the zoo as interesting, educational, and fun as possible for guests. Most jobs require individuals to work outside, which means performing job duties in all kinds of weather. Many permanent, full-time careers remain available as well, such as experienced conservationists, researchers, office support staff, field scientists, program managers, and administrators.
Central Park Zoo Work Opportunities and Salary Information
Qualified individuals may apply for part-time or full-time jobs, or even find entry-level beginnings to careers in the fields of animal care, customer service, or wildlife conservation. Openings exist for positions such as children’s zoo associates, horticulture laborers, and aviculture associates in addition to several other career fields.
Children’s Zoo Associate – The Tisch Children’s Zoo provides interactive exhibits for children to touch, pet, and play with tame animals, such as pigs, sheep, goats, and cows. Employees cultivate excellent guest experiences while monitoring play activities of children and maintaining the safety of guests and animals. Typical duties include preparing and feeding appropriate and nutritious meals to the animals, cleaning exhibits, maintaining adequate, clean, and accessible water supplies, participating in general upkeep of areas near exhibits, and assisting children and families in operating the animal photo booth. Pay rates range from $8.25 to $10.00 an hour, depending on level of education and experience. Preferred candidates hold previous experience working with domestic animals, demonstrate dedication to customer service, possess strong communication skills, and maintain the ability to stand during long work shifts and work non-standard business hours.
Horticulture Laborer – Horticulture laborers tend to earn salary packages anywhere from $9.00 to $15.00 per hour, depending on previous experience in the field. The seasonal workers hold the responsibilities of maintaining zoo grounds, gardens, landscaping, and trees. Following safety procedures also remains critical to job duties. Workers generally use hoses and pails to water green spaces by hand, or monitor irrigation systems in order to keep the zoo looking vibrant and attractive. Landscaping duties vary by season and tend to include planting, pruning, mulching, mowing, and leaf removal. Maintaining clean public areas means collecting trash from gardens and paths, shoveling snow, and removing icy patches. Qualified individuals possess previous landscaping experience, hold high regard for detail and order, demonstrate desires to work outside during all weather conditions, and lift up to 75 pounds.
Aviculture Associate – The seasonal role of aviculture associate operates based on the breeding patterns of birds. Employees focus on specialized bird husbandry efforts in order to research the breeding habits of certain bird species. Because employees work under the close supervision of experienced animal keepers, the job provides perfect entry-level opportunities for individuals hoping to begin careers studying birds. Daily tasks include providing enrichment for various zoo birds, maintaining clean exhibits, observing and recording bird behavior, and executing breeding programs, such as pairing, copulating, nesting, clutch management, incubation, hatching, and young bird care. Curators may also assign aviculture associates additional duties, such as participating in or observing veterinary procedures on specimens in park avian collections. Candidates must possess two-year college science degrees and demonstrate strong interests in wildlife conservation with a specialty in birds to submit applications. Typical hourly wages fall between $13.00 and $15.00.
Tips For Applying
When applying for seasonal part-time positions or permanent full-time jobs at Central Park Zoo, prospective workers should first bolster resumes with relevant job experiences and skills matching desired job duties. The park remains open year round; however, the best time to submit application forms for summer jobs remains early in the year around February or March. Online application forms exist on the zoo website, and applicants may submit resumes in person to the WCS headquarters in Bronx, NY, as well.
Checking up on application statuses proves to recruiters candidates possess motivation and dedication, and may enhance the chances of consideration for available jobs. In order to follow up on the statuses of applications, prospective workers may contact recruiters via email or phone. Determined applicants may pursue in-person visits to the WCS headquarters to discuss applications with hiring personnel.
Benefits of Working at Central Park Zoo
Central Park Zoo jobs provide workers with great ways to gain experience and knowledge useful in future careers. Employees also receive admission to the zoo on days off and chances to work behind the scenes at a famous attraction. Eligible full-time associates additionally receive paid time off, medical insurance, flexible healthcare spending accounts, 401(k) retirement plans, and tuition reimbursement.
Additional Details about Central Park Zoo
The established attraction became the subject of a frightening hoax in 1874, when a New York City newspaper published a fake story about animals escaping. Perpetrated by James Bennett Jr. in the New York Herald, the article incited a panic among New Yorkers who feared dangerous wild animals roamed the streets. One sentence in the article admitted the story as a false account; however, people took the article seriously. The hoax originally attempted to highlight the inadequate safety measures present at the zoo.