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Volunteer with us!

Volunteer programmes with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) play a huge role in helping us connect people with nature and save threatened species in Scotland and around the world. Whether you are helping us with visitor experience, education, events or gardens, our volunteers make an impact every day.

If you are looking for an incredibly rewarding opportunity, you have come to the right place!


What it takes to be a volunteer

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland volunteer programme requires interested individuals to:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Demonstrate commitment to the highest standards of customer service
  • Have enthusiasm for people, animals and conservation
  • Commit to the volunteer programme for a minimum of 70 hours per year (exceptions: student volunteers and events volunteers) and work either weekly or fortnightly.
  • Attend volunteer induction and complete all required online training
  • Have an up-to-date tetanus inoculation

Please note that volunteers are not involved in the direct care of animals or any hands-on animal care work.

Our volunteers are an important part of making the Edinburgh Zoo extra special when you come to visit! Check out available roles below to see if serving at the zoo is the right fit for you. If you have any other questions about the programme, you can email our volunteer coordinator at

Volunteer roles

Role description

Public engagement volunteer

Day to day sharing zoo stories and animal information with visitors

Gardens volunteer

Assisting the garden’s team with necessary maintenance

Events volunteer

Aiding with stewarding and engagement during special events

Education volunteer

Helping staff run formal learning sessions

Outdoor education volunteer

Engaging with youth in the wildlife garden during outdoor sessions

Administration volunteer

Assisting with data entry, planning, and logistical assignments

Student volunteer

Any role for a more condensed and intensive experience!

To apply for one of these roles please complete our online application form. We are not currently recruiting for volunteers at Highland Wildlife Park, but feel free to apply and we will contact you when opportunities arise! 

Steps to becoming one of our volunteers

  1. Attend an information session – Click here to RSVP for an information session
  2. Apply to be a volunteer!
  3. Attend a group interview
  4. If selected, attend a two-day induction and complete online induction trainings
  5. Mentor shadowing for one month
  6. Continue growing with new volunteer opportunities


Volunteer benefits

All of our volunteers are extraordinary individuals united by their passion for animals, conservation and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. As one of our volunteers, you will be providing an invaluable service to our zoo. In return, the zoo will provide you with benefits, including:

  • Opportunity to work with and learn from a professional staff
  • Share in RZSS’s conservation education efforts
  • Skills, training, and support materials needed for designated service area(s)
  • Meaningful opportunities to develop new skills, make new friends, and learn about endangered species and conservation issues
  • Invitations to special volunteer appreciation events
  • Discounts on RZSS events and animal experiences
  • Discounts on select food outlets
  • Discounts at RZSS gift shops
  • Active volunteers that maintain at least 70 hours yearly will be eligible for a free membership after one year
  • A chance to make a difference while having fun!

Volunteers will also be able to access the following:

  • Free uniform if relevant for role
  • Access to initial and continued training, relevant to role(s)
  • Opportunity to attend update or information meetings specifically for volunteers
  • Use of subsidised Edinburgh Zoo staff canteen
  • Free parking at RZSS facilities during volunteer shifts