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.   

We are now accepting applications for our Spring 2022 Class. All applicants will receive an invitation to our Information Session on May 1.

Apply Now

Helpful Links

Teen Volunteer Program

Teen volunteer applications are now closed for 2022. 


Jr. Interpreters are teen volunteers who use public interaction to help zoo visitors learn about animals and our local, national 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 this enhances the overall guest experience.

Teen Program Benefits:

  • Meet people with similar interests
  • Accumulate community service hours
  • Gain first-hand knowledge of various zoo careers
  • Free zoo admission 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 2021-2022 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 letters of recommendation; 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.).

Applications are now closed for 2022.

All candidates who completed the application process will be invited to attend the REQUIRED Information Session with a parent or guardian. There will be one session on March 27, 2022 from 3 - 6 p.m. The information session will consist of program expectations and requirements, biofacts and group interviews. Applicants will be dismissed after their interview.

Teens that are offered a position will need to attend training sessions in April. There will also be one session held at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in April. Details will be given to those accepted into the program.

Jr. Interpreter Standards:

Once accepted, teens must follow all zoo policies, including proper uniform. Uniforms consist of a zoo-provided Jr. Interpreter uniform shirt, khaki or black pants or walking-length shorts, and close-toed shoes. Jr. Interpreters are required to contribute a total of three days per week with one day being a weekend day.

Jr. Interpreter Program Fees:

Selected candidates must pay a program fee of $75.* This fee helps defray the cost of Jr. Interpreter uniform shirt, name tag, water bottle, training manual, off-site field trips and various program supplies.

*Scholarships are available. Please email the Education Department for details.  

Contact the Education Department with additional questions.