The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is one of Scotland’s leading conservation charities and is dedicated to protecting endangered species through conservation, research and education – not only those native to Scotland, but all around the world. Through our two sites, Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park, we provide unique and memorable experiences and engage with nearly 750,000 visitors per year in the wonders of the natural world, taking care of over 1,000 rare and endangered animals in safe and stimulating surroundings. Our staff are one of our most important assets and everyone plays a part in ensuring that animals and visitors are well looked after. We have a talented and passionate staff and volunteer team which is essential to achieve our ambitious targets for growth over the coming years.
What kind of opportunities are available at RZSS?
Well you can’t become a rocket scientist, but we do have a HUGE variety of roles on offer - ranging from welcoming our customers as a Visitor Experience Assistant to working with our animals as a zoo keeper or a vet. We have great opportunities here at RZSS – the difficult part is choosing which one!
Below we’ve given you an overview of some of the roles we have at RZSS and a quick overview of what skills and qualifications you need to get into that field:
What does the role involve? There are many different types of keepers between Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park – keepers that work with carnivores, birds and Penguins, hoof stock, primates and Koalas! The role requires dedication and plenty of hard work!
What qualifications do you need? For experienced keeper, we are looking for a qualification that specifically demonstrates competence in the European Professional Zookeepers Qualification Framework: https://www.zookeepers.eu/.
However, this qualification is not required to apply for an entry level animal keeper role and training to qualify is provided to employed keepers.
Essential knowledge, skills and experience for entry level animal keeper would be a good level of education at standard grade or equivalent qualifications and to be competent in Microsoft Office. A first-class customer service, including interpersonal skills and the ability to engage with the public are also important. Of course, you must demonstrate an interest in animals backed up with some practical experience in a zoo or animal-related environment.
Any other extra-curricular activities? Build up your experience by working with animals, for example on farms, in kennels, riding stables or in a veterinary practice.
Visitor Experience Assistant
What does the role involve? As a first point of contact you will provide a first class customer service to all visitors at Edinburgh Zoo. This would cover any of the operational areas of the department from admissions, our members gate entrance, as well as offering assistance with our mobility services transporting visitors around the site.
What qualification do you need? A good understanding of how to deliver a first class customer service and strong communication skills. Individuals are expected to be educated to Standard Grade level, with competent levels in numeracy and English. Prior experience within the tourism sector and other visitor attractions would be advantageous, especially in an admissions environment.