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College & Alumni Internships
San Antonio Zoo’s internship program is designed to allow college students and graduates an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field. Internships are unpaid and housing is not provided. However, credit hours may be earned depending on the intern’s school policy regarding internships. Interns are required to work for a minimum of 200 hours.
Internships are available throughout the year, but positions are limited and occasionally may not be available. Applications are accepted throughout the year for our Spring, Summer and Fall internship sessions. Please expect a 2-3 week application processing time after the deadline date. We will contact you for an interview using the email address on your application.
Applications will not be reviewed without a transcript. Unofficial transcripts are accepted but they will be verified with the school. We accept applications from alumni with a final transcript or degree certificate. Applicants must complete their application online. After completing the college internship application, applicants should email their transcripts to Elizabeth Johanek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Incomplete internship applications will not be considered. Please note: there will be a $35 processing fee due upon acceptance into the program. Financial assistance for the processing fee may be available.
Unpaid Internship Opportunities
Animal Care Internships
These internships may include experiencing the daily operations of animal care, exhibit maintenance, animal behavior, and record keeping. When possible, interns will be placed in areas that match their goals and interest. Due to the competitive nature of these types of internships, it is best to be flexible with your selections. Animal Care internships are not research-based positions.
- Nutrition – Animal diet preparation
- Herpetology – Reptiles and Amphibians
- Aquarium – Fish, aquatic, invertebrates and turtles
- Birds Section 1 – Variety of bird species and brooder
- Birds Section 2 – Variety of bird species and multiple walk-through aviaries
- Mammals Section 1- Primates, cat grotto, hippo, ambassador animals
- Mammals Section 3 – Hoofstock, tigers, and lions
- Training and Enrichment – Development enrichment items and learn training techniques
- Entomology – Terrestrial invertebrate care and monarch butterfly parasitology
- Horticulture – Plant care and horticulture design
These internships are long-term and require a minimum of 6 months – 1-year dedication to the program. Applicants who are driven to work with endangered species specifically amphibians, and assist and learn about their care in a zoological setting, are welcome to apply.
Conservation Biology and Research
This internship involves experiencing the daily operations of our conservation biology team in a zoological setting.
Non-Animal Care Internships
These internships may include experiencing the daily operations of the Marketing, Graphics, Education, and Revenue departments at the zoo. These internships are not animal care related.
- Marketing – Gain experience in digital marketing, public relations, event planning, and in-park marketing.
- Development – Work with our Development Team on donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. Also, gain experience in event planning, grant writing, and fundraising campaigns.
- Revenue– Work with our largest department at the zoo that includes our culinary, warehouse and gift shops and gains experience in a fun work setting.
- Education Evaluation and Guest Research Internships – Research guest behavior and perform program evaluation studies.
- Playleader – Gain Experience in nature play activities focused on ages 0-5 in an informal education setting.
- Citizen Science – Work with the Monarch Larval Monitoring System, collect data and input data using iNaturalist and the Journey North.
- Human Resources – They will assist with engaging new hired Zoo Crew. Will also learn other modules of H.R. functions including recruiting, training, benefits, rewards and more.
- Will Smith Zoo School – Learn the benefits of connecting children with nature through hands-on experiences with children and guidance from teachers. They will develop and implement developmentally appropriate activities for students while creating and administering evaluations to document experiences in outdoor learning environments.
Externships are only for 3rd and 4th year veterinarian students. Externships occur year-round as space is available for selected candidates. Externs are expected to work 5 days a week for a 4-6 week period.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering at San Antonio Zoo. The Externship Program is currently on hiatus due to Covid-19 guidelines. We will continue to monitor and make decisions as needed, including assessment on when to resume extern recruitment.
Paid Internship Opportunities
This is an education internship that works with our youth volunteers as well as zoo guests. These internships are paid by a stipend.
As a Summer Naturalist intern, you will be working with San Antonio Zoo’s education department mentoring teen volunteers age 14-18 throughout the zoo. This position is challenged with inspiring guests to love, engage with, act for and protect animals and the places they live through sharing the zoo’s passion for animal care, education and conservation. (Only available during the summer.)