zoo horizontal strip

Our Voluntary Worker training placement programme has resulted in a high percentage of participants finding employment within the zoological sector and it is our aim, along with your support, to provide you with the experience necessary to go on to be considered for a position within the zoo industry. 

Our Voluntary Worker roles are for those looking for valuable experience within the zoo industry. A training agreement will be completed and reviewed regularly with you throughout your training placement and you will take away a completed training record and certificate on the successful end of your placement. 

Voluntary Worker roles last for a period of 6 months (including a one-month evaluation period and the opportunity, when 5 months into your placement, to extend to a maximum of one year). They normally focus on one of our animal sections, where the main role of the placements is to support the husbandry requirements of the animal collection, as directed by the Senior Keeper in charge.  

Sometimes we also have other Voluntary Worker roles available, which do not have this husbandry focus, so please look at the individual role descriptions, when shown below on this page.  

Please note:

Paignton Zoo is open every day and Voluntary Workers are full time i.e., a five-day week, including some weekends. This will be discussed as part of your informal discussion, which you will be invited to attend if shortlisted from your Interest Form/CV/ covering letter.

Informal discussions will be carried out in person and not via telephone or video, as this allows you to see where you will be volunteering and the area you would be potentially living in (if necessary for you to move) whilst carrying out your placement.

All Voluntary Worker roles are purely voluntary, and as such, we do not provide any financial support or expenses to those wishing to register their interest and being accepted as a volunteer for these opportunities.


Red-tailed rat snake at Paignton Zoo

What do we look for in a Voluntary Worker?

  • Previous animal-related work experience or volunteering (desirable but not essential) 
  • Good communication skills 
  • Adaptable to different environments 
  • Able to volunteer in a team and independently 
  • Physically fit for the demands of the post (where applicable)
  • Must be reliable 
  • Able to follow strict instructions

How do I register my interest? 

To register your interest for a Voluntary Worker role please follow the instructions shown at the bottom of the Voluntary Worker role descriptions, which are only shown below when available.  

Our Voluntary Worker roles begin in March and September each year, with any that are available being advertised from mid-December and mid-June.  

We are unable to accept registrations of interest when we do not have opportunities available. 

Current available roles:
Roles will appear here when available.