Zoo Map



Adult and Teen Volunteer Program

Volunteer Program Statement of Purpose: The purpose of the Akron Zoo volunteer program is to aid and assist the Akron Zoo in the areas of education and conservation through active participation in programs, special events, and public relations.

Volunteers play a key role in helping the zoo achieve its mission and strategic goals:

  • Attendance Growth – enhance guest experience and provide quality guest service, community ambassador
  • Mission Impact – education programs, roaming, conservation messages, citizen science volunteers
  • Sustainable Business – hours of service donated, encourage people to visit, donation of skills and talents
  • Facilities – participate in learn, feel, do activities, guest feedback, horticulture

Our group of dedicated individuals donates over 13,000 hours a year. That is a value of $279,000.00! 

Adult volunteer program  

The zoo’s adult volunteers participate in the following areas: 

  • Special Events 
  • Community Displays
  • Education
  • Horticulture

Adult Volunteer Job Requirements:

  • Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and must have completed high school.  
  • Must contribute a minimum of 25 hours annually in one of the areas of zoo functions. 
  • Ability to communicate effectively with the public is required.
  • Excellent customer service skills are a must.

No formal training or background in education is required.  Willingness to learn about animals and how to incorporate conservation education into the guest experience is required.   

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently not accepting volunteer applications. The Information Session on May 3 has been cancelled. We will update or website when we are ready to welcome new volunteers.

Helpful Links

Teen Volunteer Program

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2020 season. We will begin accepting applications for the 2021 season on Feb. 1, 2021.

Jr. Interpreters use public interaction to help zoo visitors learn about animals and global conservation efforts. A Jr. Interpreter is friendly, enthusiastic, dependable and genuinely interested in people, nature, animals and conservation. It is necessary that teens are outgoing enough to initiate conversations with our guests, as Jr. Interpreters assist with programs, birthday parties and on-grounds activities to educate others.

Teen Program Benefits:

  • Meet people with similar interests
  • Accumulate community service hours
  • Gain first-hand knowledge of various zoo careers
  • Free zoo entrance when not on-duty (excludes family/friends)
  • Discounts in zoo gift shop and Komodo Kingdom Café

Statement of Purpose:

To aid and support the Akron Zoo in the areas of education and conservation through active participation in on-grounds educational activities, programming, birthday parties and special events.


Teens must be between 14 and 18 years of age and entering 9th through 12th grade at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. No formal training or background in education or work experience is required. Willingness to learn about animals and conservation and how to relate this knowledge to the public is highly desirable. Ability to communicate easily and effectively with the public, as well as having excellent customer service skills, is essential for this position.

Application Requirements:

  • A completed Teen Volunteer Application, including typewritten essay.
  • Two sealed, typed reference letters; at least one being from a teacher/administrator. (Home school students may use letters from someone other than a family member, such as clergy, coach, extra-curricular instructor, etc.).
  • Two completed, sealed recommendation forms (give to adults providing reference letters).
  • Please make sure that reference letters and recommendation forms are from an unrelated adult. Reference letter and recommendation form may be sent in together in a sealed envelope. 

Applications, essay, reference letters and recommendation forms are due by 3:30 on March 16, 2020. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

All candidates that complete the application process will be invited to attend the REQUIRED Information Session with a parent or guardian. There will be one session on March 24 from 6- 9 p.m. The information session will consist of program expectations and requirements and group and individual interviews. 

Teens that are offered a position will need to attend 5 MANDATORY training sessions in April and May.

Jr. Interpreter Standards:

Once accepted, teens must follow uniform guidelines: wear a provided Jr. Interpreter uniform shirt, khaki or black pants or walking-length shorts, with close-toed shoes. Jr. Interpreters are required to contribute a total of three days per week with one day being a weekend day. This weekly total can be achieved by assisting in the following areas: 

  • ZooCamp
  • Birthday Parties
  • On-Grounds Activities
  • Off-Grounds Activities
  • Special Events
  • Animal Show Operations

Each Jr. Interpreter will be responsible for seeing that the above is carried out efficiently and in such a way as to be a credit to the Jr. Interpreter Teen Program and to assure the Akron Zoological Park’s continued growth as a viable community service.

Jr. Interpreter Program Fees:

There is no charge for training; however, successful candidates must pay dues of $50 to join the program. This fee helps defray the cost of Jr. Interpreter uniform shirt, name tag, water bottle, training manual, off-site field trip and various program supplies.

Contact the Education Department with additional questions.