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Our volunteers are a diverse group of individuals who are passionate about the conservation of animals and their habitats.
They provide experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world and educate the public about the importance of conservation.
Everything you need to know about our volunteer program
Our Volunteer Program is open to all current U.S. citizens, 18 years of age and older, with the ability to pass a background check. Individuals must commit to volunteering for a minimum of one year, with at least 50 hours of service per year. Potential volunteers must be comfortable approaching, engaging with, and educating Zoo guests of all ages.
Our Events Only volunteer program is open to all current U.S. citizens, 18 years of age and older. This program does not require a yearly hour commitment, giving volunteers the opportunity to serve as their schedule allows. One-time volunteers are accepted, and you can remove yourself from the program at any time. Regular volunteer benefits do not apply to Events Only volunteers, though Event Only volunteers are welcome to apply to our regular program if they so wish. Volunteer duties include assisting with various events, with positions including set-up, mascots, activity assistance, clean-up, and more. Shifts are typically 2-4 hours in length, with volunteer opportunities occurring 1-2 times per month. To apply to join us as an Event Only volunteer, click here.
Through their interactions with Zoo guests, our volunteers represent the ACNC with their words and actions. As such, volunteers are expected to follow all ACNC guidelines and policies. These include but are not limited to uniform and communications guidelines, our Proprietary Information and Social Media Policy, and our WILD Factor Guest Service initiative. Volunteers must be committed to staying up to date on Zoo news and are required to attend pre-shift meetings and read all newsletters and other communications. Continuing education opportunities are also provided and highly recommended for all volunteers to complete each year.
In addition, our volunteers are expected to:
- Encourage a spirit of cooperation and teamwork by working together
- Demonstrate compassion and service for each other and our guests
- Demonstrate integrity, fairness, and professional standards
- Assess situations independently and look for solutions with a willingness to take appropriate action
- Be engaged in their work, bringing energy, enthusiasm, and a desire to create enjoyable experiences for all
In addition to receiving inside knowledge of Zoo and conservation activities, access to fun social events and professional development opportunities, and regular recognition of service, all active volunteers receive a free zoo membership, which allows entry to the zoo with the addition of three guests. This membership also allows free or discounted admission to more than 150 zoos and aquariums, 50% off Phoenix Zoo Admission Tickets, and discounts on Special Events and Programs, just to name a few perks. Volunteers are also added to an exclusive Facebook group comprised of other Phoenix Zoo volunteers.
At this time, our ZooTeens program is on hiatus.
No, we do not accept individuals seeking court-ordered service hours.
Volunteer positions working with animals are highly competitive, demanding, and require at least 200 hours of service with the ACNC before becoming eligible to apply. In addition, openings are only available as needed, and an internal application and interview process are required to be considered for any positions.
As a conservation and education-focused institution, most of our volunteers concentrate on guest experiences.
Additional positions become available with the accrual of volunteer hours.
Engagement Volunteers facilitate engaging experiences with our guests, ensure adherence to Zoo safety procedures, assist in maintaining a clean and pleasant park, and provide accurate directions and event information. You’ll have the opportunity to walk the trails of the entire Zoo engaging and directing guests, positioning yourself in high traffic areas to offer assistance.
Candidates for this position are comfortable and confident with approaching and engaging with zoo guests. They are knowledgeable of the trail inventory, event locations, general zoo knowledge and wayfinding.
Petting Zoo Volunteer
Petting Zoo Volunteers facilitate engaging experiences with our guests, maintain a clean and pleasant exhibit, and ensure safe interactions between animals and people. You’ll have the opportunity to educate guests about natural history as well as encouraging them to appropriately interact with Petting Zoo animals.
Candidates for this position are energetic and personable individuals with strong communications skills. They are eager to share their knowledge and passion of the natural world with our guests.
Monkey Village Volunteer
Monkey Village Volunteers facilitate the exhibit by interacting with and educating guests about our squirrel monkeys. You’ll assist with crowd control and flow through the exhibit while maintaining a safe exhibit for both the animals and the visitors.
Candidates for this position are independent workers who can provide excellent communication with guests of all ages. They exhibit a willingness to learn and share information about science, nature, animals, and conservation issues.
Stingray Bay Volunteer
Stingray Bay Volunteers facilitate engaging experiences with our guests and assist in maintaining a clean and pleasant exhibit. You’ll have the opportunity to educate guests about natural history as well as encouraging them to appropriately touch and feed our rays.
Candidates for this position are individual with a talent for multitasking and delivering excellent customer service. Stingray Bay volunteers must be able to engage and monitor both guests and animals simultaneously and the ability so split their attention between multiple focal points is essential.
Grounds Quality Volunteer
Grounds Quality Volunteers assist our Grounds Quality Staff in maintaining a clean park. Your efforts are the first and last impression guests have when visiting the Zoo and are essential in creating an exceptional experience. You will walk the grounds removing trash, cleaning benches and signs, cleaning windows and sweeping walkways, as well as assist guests with way-finding and be knowledgeable of zoo events and animal information.
Candidates for this position are enthusiastic hard workers who aren’t afraid of a little dirty work. They are committed to keeping our park pristine and are comfortable interacting with guests and answering questions.
Our Application Process
While we would love nothing more than to accept every individual that applies to our program, we are limited on the number of new volunteers we can accept each intake cycle. Acceptance into the program is competitive, and we encourage all prospective volunteers to thoroughly answer each question in the application to be considered for admission. Ready to get started? Follow the steps below!
Our volunteer program onboards new volunteers twice per year in winter and summer sessions. The application for current volunteer opportunities will be available from January 2 to January 31. Please submit your application before the deadline to be considered for the Winter 2023 Session.