February 1, 2020
By Erica Rymer, Events and Marketing Coordinator
We know it is still early in 2020, but the Akron Zoo is already beginning to look for seasonal staff to fill many positions across the park! Positions include seasonal custodial, groundskeeping and guest services staff, which includes openings in admissions, birthdays, guest experiences, food service, and gift shop!
Working at the Akron Zoo has many perks. For one thing, you know that every role at the zoo helps support our conservation mission to protect species locally and globally. Every position also has education value to our guests, who you will inform on topics from local plantlife to responsible recycling practices to animals! On top of that, employees earn a 10% discount at the Akron Zoo Gift Shop and 40% discount on food while working!
If you still aren't sure that the Akron Zoo is right for you, check out these job descriptions and firsthand accounts from Akron Zoo staff.
If you are looking for a seasonal job where you can provide service like no “otter,” our guest services department has many seasonal openings for employees with a wide variety of interests.
One option is our admissions team! Admissions team members greet and assist guests during their zoo visit. These friendly, welcoming staff attend to our ticket counter, sell memberships and special event tickets, and answer guest questions.
If you are more of a party animal, on the other hand, our birthday team may be a great fit for you! Birthday team members coordinate and host birthday parties for guests. This includes setting up and tearing down party spaces, hosting the party, completing all payment transactions for experiences and escorting guests to and from party locations. In addition, team members will be trained to operate two of our ride stations: the Conservation Carousel and the Boma, where guests can purchase crackers to feed our goats. Previous experience working with children in a controlled setting is preferred.
Our guest experiences team also has openings, for those interested in operating our attractions without planning or chaperoning guest parties. Our attractions include the Conservation Carousel, the Pride of Africa train, and the Boma. Staff are required to have a valid driver’s license for train operations and will be working a cash register for sale of carousel tokens, train tokens, or crackers. Staff will also be able to train on a gas-powered golf cart to provide guests who need mobility assistance access from the Carousel Plaza to Pride of Africa during the renovation of Wild Asia.
If a pizza your heart belongs to food service, our cafe is also hiring! Food service team members will be trained either in the back-of-house to efficiently prepare, cook, and serve food in a healthy, clean kitchen environment; or the front-of-house to operate the cash register, serve guests in a timely and friendly manner and maintain a clean and inviting dining space for our guests. Each day, team members will have the opportunity to work at different stations across the park, including Komodo Kingdom Café, Grasslands Café, multiple Dippin’ Dot stands, Panda Treats Food Truck, and more. Previous experience in food service is encouraged, but not required.
Finally, if retail and shopping is in your “jeans,” the Akron Zoo Gift Shop needs you! Gift shop team members make daily sales, restock gift shop items, engage in housekeeping and cleaning, and help guests select the perfect gift or souvenir. Providing great guest experience is the number one priority, though housekeeping and stocking the sales floor are also essential when things slow down. Staff may be scheduled inside the gift shop or at our outside location (Survival Cart). Previous sales experience a plus, but not required.
“Working at the Akron Zoo is a remarkable experience,” says Sarah Saddleton, a seasonal staff member in admissions. “It is a unique, collaborative opportunity in conservation and tourism, unlike any other in Akron. Staff is like family and we give our guests the same care and importance. I love my job because I help connect my community to wildlife with wildly wonderful co-workers.”
"Akron Zoo employees are phenomenal teammates who provide our guests with an exciting adventure,” says Kim Shuman, a seasonal staff member education and guest experiences. “I respect the Akron Zoo for being a leading example of conservation efforts in both research and education, and I have the pleasure to interact, educate, and provide guests with a memorable experience while they explore all that we have to offer."
Minimum three day availability with at least one weekend day required. Some shifts will occur during evening hours to staff evening or special events. If you think that a position on our guest services team might be right for you, join us for our job fair, or contact email@example.com to ask questions!
What did the Akron Zoo custodian say when he jumped out of the closet? Supplies!
A job as a seasonal custodian involves helping the zoo’s year-round custodial staff with regular park cleanup, event preparation and assisting with the management of our composting program. This is a great opportunity for anyone seeking an enjoyable entry-level position at an AZA-accredited zoo!
"As a part of our custodial team, you get to be out in the park and experience the joy and excitement of children as they see our animals for the first time,” says Amber Accord, our Park Services Supervisor.
Seasonal custodial staff are needed for the zoo’s busy season from April 1st to September 30th. Shifts are hourly and include at least one weekend day and some holidays. Note that custodial staff will be outside in all weather conditions doing physically intense work. If you think that a position on our custodial team might be right for you, join us for our job fair, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions!
Weed it and reap! Are you looking for good thymes in the garden this summer? The Akron Zoo is also looking for seasonal groundskeepers to assist our horticulture staff with maintaining the park’s gardens and landscaping. Groundskeepers will use basic lawn and gardening equipment to keep the Akron Zoo looking its best! Groundskeeping is an excellent choice for anyone who is interested in an entry-level job in horticulture or a related field. Plus, groundskeeping at the zoo is a unique experience that is hard to find elsewhere.
“I love the intersection of horticulture and animal care,” says Horticulturist Rob Maganja. “For example, when we prune back ornamental grasses for winter, we give them to the zookeepers. Then the bears or the storks can use them as bedding like they might in their native habitat. I think that’s so cool.”
Seasonal groundskeepers staff are needed for the Zoo’s busy season from April 1st to September 30th. Shifts are hourly, 7am-4pm, fixed weekly, and include at least one weekend day and some holidays. Seasonal Groundskeepers will work outside in all weather conditions and the work is very physical. If you think that a position on our horticulture team might be right for you, join us for our job fair, or contact email@example.com to ask questions!
This year’s job fair will be held Saturday, February 8 and Sunday, February 9 from 9:00 a.m. – noon in the Akron Zoo’s Welcome Center Atrium and second floor areas.
All Akron Zoo employees must pass a drug test and arrive on time for all shifts. Most positions also require lifting, standing for extended periods of time, interacting with lots of people and working both indoors and outdoors. For more information or an application, visit our employment page!