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9 Countries With The Highest Zoo Keeper Salaries In The World

Countries With The Highest Zoo Keeper Salaries In The World

It’s an exciting job to be the zoo keeper. You get paid for taking care of animals and you’re also responsible for their safety as well as public relations. As a result, there is no wonder why people want to become a zoo keeper in these countries with highest zoo keeper salaries.

The average annual pay of a zoo keeper ranges from $35k – $79k depending on where they work. To get that amount of money, it takes years’ experience. Below we’ll take a look at some of the top ten countries with the highest zoo keeper salary.

We will cover general information about these places such as cost of living index, unemployment rate, etc., but the main focus here will be on how much a person can earn based on his or her qualifications and skills. Also, note that this list may differ slightly because data was gathered from different sources so keep everything in mind when comparing salaries.

1. Australia

Zoos have been around since 1853 when Henry Baker bought himself a pair of kangaroos and started keeping them in Sydney. Over time, zoos became popular among wealthy individuals who wanted exotic pets like lions and tigers.

This trend continued into the 20th century when Australian government decided to establish its own collection of native species. From 1910 until 1970, zoos were officially supported by the government and even had tax breaks. However, starting in 1972, the government began cutting funding for animal attractions and eventually shut down all 16 national parks in 1990s.

Nowadays, most zoos operate either independently (like San Diego Zoo) or through state-run facilities (such as Queensland Zoos). In addition, many private zoos exist too, e.g. Melbourne Zoo and Taronga Western Plains Zoo. On average, zoo workers receive $70k per year which makes it one of the best paying jobs abroad.

2. Switzerland

If you think being a zoo keeper sounds glamorous, then you should consider working in Zurich. It’s not easy getting hired by Swiss zoos because only five out of 60 employees hold professional degrees.

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Once you land a position, your wages depend greatly on your education level. For example, someone without any formal training receives CHF 48,000 ($50k), while someone holding PhD gets CHF 81,000 ($90k). If you don’t know what field you’d like to specialize in, try applying to several zoos before making your final choice.

Keep in mind though that most zoos in Switzerland offer very competitive benefits including free medical insurance coverage.

3. Luxembourg

A zoo worker in Luxembourg earns almost twice less than in other European Union countries despite having higher educational requirements. According to Eurostat report, the average hourly wage in 2022 was EUR 9.17 which translates to roughly $11.67/hour. Still, if you decide to pursue this career path, you need to make sure that you speak French fluently given that two thirds of employees do.

There are three types of zoo staff: biologists, curators, and tour guides. Tour guides are usually more educated, experienced, fluent in English and French, and often have additional responsibilities like leading tours, speaking with visitors, supervising exhibits, etc.

While the overall average income isn’t high, those working in zoos tend to enjoy better social status compared to other professions in Luxembourg.

4. United States

This country has thousands of zoos across the nation, each run by independent organizations. Most of these zoos hire full-time professionals who manage collections, exhibit maintenance, security, nutritionists, veterinary doctors, trainers, research specialists, media representatives, and more.

Average annual earnings vary according to region, size of zoo, and type of employment. Some cities like Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Orlando, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, St Louis, Birmingham, Portland, Seattle, Springfield, Louisville, Indianapolis, Nashville, Memphis, Omaha, Grand Rapids, Des Moines, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Norfolk, Columbus, Toledo, and Salt Lake City provide zoo workers with the largest compensation packages. Many large zoos offer overtime opportunities which can boost yearly income up to $75k.

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5. New Zealand

As far as I’m concerned, New Zealand ranks first in terms of quality of life. That said, zoo management positions aren’t always filled with highly skilled experts. Only four out of 70 employees have college degrees.

Despite this fact, zoo workers still enjoy great perks and plenty of vacation days. They typically start earning between NZ$42k-$45k after completing 3 months probation period.

One thing worth mentioning is that due to low population density, competition for positions is fierce. A lot of applicants apply every single day just to increase chances of landing a job. Another perk comes from long weekends off during summer holidays. Each employee receives 11 weeks paid leave over winter season plus another week off in July and August.

6. Germany

With 15 million tourists visiting German zoos annually, zoo managers must constantly maintain cleanliness standards, ensure visitor satisfaction, and deal with administrative tasks.

Since German citizens rank fourth worldwide regarding number of visits to zoos, zoo workers need to be knowledgeable about wildlife conservation issues, breed new specimens, monitor breeding cycles, develop exhibitions, perform health checks, assist veterinarians, organize feeding sessions, communicate directly with park visitors, participate in scientific studies, and handle emergency situations.

Overall, zoo manager salaries range from €32k –€49k per year. Although this might seem quite modest, bear in mind that Germans spend a small portion of GDP on cultural activities and zoos represent only 0.15% of total expenditures.

According to CIA World Factbook, the US ranks #25 in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Per Capita Income. So, if you compare it with our previous entry, the Netherlands, whose GDP per capita income is ranked #16, you’ll see that Americans actually come last!

Nevertheless, American zoo workers enjoy tremendous flexibility and variety of things to do thanks to wide array of duties ranging from exhibiting, teaching, researching, maintaining order and safety, providing customer service, conducting feedings, cleaning restrooms and cages, checking licenses, and more. Their base salary starts at $38k, however, this figure increases significantly once you reach supervisory levels.

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7. Canada

In 2011, Canadian Association of Zoological Parks estimated that there are approximately 2,300 zoo operators in the country. These folks manage various aspects of aquariums, botanical gardens, cottages, farms, historic sites, lakeside resorts, nature reserves, recreation areas, safari parks, theme parks, waterfalls, and zoos.

The average annual income varies considerably depending upon location, occupation, seniority, and hours worked. Workers with bachelor’s degree or equivalent generally bring home $60k–$80k per year whereas those with master’s degrees command higher incomes averaging upwards of $100k. Interestingly enough, zoo directors earn more than scientists working in similar fields.

8. Japan

Japanese zoos employ mostly Japanese nationals although foreigners are allowed to work within certain conditions. Like in Europe, zoo managers in Japan tend to enjoy greater prestige than others. Starting salary depends largely on your education level.

Those holding undergraduate degrees bring in ¥52k ($500) monthly. Higher grad students get ¥65k ($650) on average.

Due to recent changes in immigration policy, foreigners now require special visas to enter Japan and cannot obtain permanent residency unless they marry a Japanese citizen. Note that if you plan to stay permanently, you may qualify for JET program.

9. United Kingdom

British zoos attract millions of foreign tourists each year. Therefore, zoo workers play crucial role in ensuring smooth operation of the facility. Depending on their roles, zoo managers in UK get paid £24k–£34k ($31k – 45k) annually.

Employees with bachelor’s degrees or equivalent bring home £30k/$40k per year. Unfortunately, the situation doesn’t change dramatically if you go beyond supervisor level with the same educational background.

As expected, those with postgraduate degrees get substantially larger salary boosts. But remember that this is merely average annual income in Great Britain. In London, for instance, the going rate is up to £73k ($88k)!

So, there you have it – top 10 countries with the highest zoo keeper salaries. Hopefully, this guide helped you learn something interesting and save yourself some extra expenses. Just don’t forget that the key factor affecting your actual salary is your performance. Good luck!

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