2019-2020 ZooTeen applications are now closed. 

ZooTeens are a select group of teens, ages 14-17, who explore their interest of animals, nature and conservation through volunteer service at the Phoenix Zoo. ZooTeens share their interests with our Zoo guests at a variety of interpretive stations throughout the Zoo, provide mentoring and educational opportunities to Camp Zoo participants and are eligible to work with and learn from our world-class animal keepers.

What are the requirements to be a ZooTeen?

Becoming a ZooTeen is a special commitment to the Phoenix Zoo.

  • Applicants must be age 14 as of September 1 of the application year. We accept applications from students ages 14 – 17.
  • Applicants that are unable to meet a minimum of 40 hours as a Trail Teen or 64 hours as a Farm Teen within an eight month period are discouraged from applying.
  • Applicants are required to undergo yearly TB testing and attend all required orientations and meetings to retain their ZooTeen status.
  • Applicants should demonstrate an interest in animals, nature, or conservation and be comfortable working outside for 4 – 5 hours.

What does a ZooTeen do?

First year ZooTeens volunteer as either a Trail Teen or a Farm Teen. Trail Teens help enhance our guest experience through presenting games, artifacts and activities along our four themed trails (Arizona, Africa, Tropics, and Children’s Trail). Farm Teens work alongside our keepers to help with the daily husbandry of our farm collection.  Occasionally, ZooTeens may present small animals to Zoo guests to demonstrate caregiving or natural history concepts. Each year, ZooTeens are equipped with special training and exclusive education opportunities focusing on conservation. As ZooTeens progress through their years in the program, there are opportunities for further career exploration through staff interaction, hands on learning, and advanced ZooTeen positions.

What are the benefits of being a ZooTeen?

ZooTeens help us meet our mission of inspiring people to care for the natural world. ZooTeens and parents have shared that time spent volunteering in our program allowed them to gain a sense of responsibility, self-confidence, public speaking abilities and career preparation for working in education, science, or animal care. In addition to gaining valuable professional skills, ZooTeens receive the same Zoo benefits as our adult volunteer group.

Who is eligible to be a ZooTeen?

Any teenager, between the ages of 14 and 17, with an interest in the Zoo, the natural world or helping their community is welcome to apply.

How to Apply

We receive hundreds of applications with only a limited amount of ZooTeen openings.

Please follow the application steps outlined below.

Step One: Teens must complete the online ZooTeen application to be considered.

Step Two: A minimum of two recommendation forms are required as part of the application process.  We suggest that recommendation forms be completed by teachers, school staff or community leaders. We will not accept recommendation forms from family members.

Important: We accept mailed and emailed recommendation forms. References can send completed forms via email to volunteer@phoenixzoo.org. Printed recommendation forms can be mailed directly to Phoenix Zoo:

Attn: ZooTeen Volunteer Program
455 N Galvin Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85008

Step Three: All application materials must be received by May 31. Completed applications and recommendations will be reviewed by the Volunteer Management Team at the Phoenix Zoo.

Application Review

Applications are accepted during the months of March, April and May (any application or recommendation form received outside of this time period is not eligible for consideration). During the month of June, all applications are reviewed. A limited number of candidates will be selected for a brief in-person interview. Interviews are conducted in the month of July. Interviewed ZooTeen candidates will be notified by the beginning of August and only those selected will be invited to attend program orientation.

The application period for the 2019-20 year has closed.

Timeline for ZooTeen Program

The ZooTeen program is an eight-month program that officially operates from September through May. Limited positions are available for established ZooTeens each summer. Prospective ZooTeen applications are accepted during the months of March, April and May. 

  •  September – Start of ZooTeen season and Fall Semester
  •  December – Fall Semester ends
  •  January – Spring Semester begins
  •  March – New applications now accepted
  •  May – New application period ends/ end of Spring Semester
  •  July – Interviews by invitation only
  •  August – Orientation for new and returning ZooTeens

ZooTeens Photo Gallery
Check out the amazing times our ZooTeens have at the Zoo!