Join Our Herd
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.
- Credit hours may be earned depending on the university policy regarding internships.
- Interns will be required to log no fewer than 200 service hours per session.
Internships are available quarterly (positions are limited). Please refer to the schedule below for important dates, including application deadlines: expect a 2-3 week application processing time after the deadline date. You will be contacted for an interview using the email address provided on your application.
Applications must be completed online and will be processed along with the following documents:
- School Transcript (Unofficial transcripts are accepted)
- Academic or professional letter of recommendation
Applications will not be reviewed without a transcript. We accept applications from alumni with a final transcript or degree certificate.
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. A negative TB test and proof of COVID-19 vaccination may be required at your expense.
- 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, and hippo
- Mammals Section 3 – Hoofstock, tigers, and lions
- Animal Ambassador Team – Learn training techniques with a variety of animals
- Horticulture – Plant care and horticulture design
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.
- 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.
Non-Animal Care Internships
- Programs: assist with informal education for zoo programs including camps, overnights, and schools
- Guest Encounters gain experience with exhibit encounter area, how to engage with guests delivering conservation messaging and inspiring them to secure a future for wildlife.
- Butterfly Intern – assist the Butterfly Attendants and Interpretive staff with butterfly feeding, husbandry, and care. Butterfly interns would also assist with monarch surveys.
- Volunteers – interns will help execute volunteer activities and learn what it’s like to coordinate volunteer opportunities at the zoo.
- 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.
- Veterinary School Students: Available to 3rd and 4th year veterinary students from accredited institutions. Externships occur year-round as space is available for selected candidates. Students are expected to commit to work 5 days a week for a 4-6 week period.
- Veterinary Technician Interns: Available to 2nd year or end-of-program veterinary technician students from an AVMA accredited institution. Internships occur year-round as space is available for selected candidates. Students are expected to commit to work 5 days a week for a minimum of 4weeks.
- Animal Hospital Animal Care Specialists: Available to sophomore, junior or senior college/university students from an accredited institution. Internship opportunities will follow the yearly schedule set by the intern coordinator. Students are expected to commit to 3-5 days a week for the 200 hours, including weekends.