Taking care of the animals at the zoo involves more than most visitors imagine. In addition to animal caretakers, workers at zoos and aquariums include animal curators, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and research scientists.
Median annual earnings among the different occupations at zoos and aquariums ranged in 1998 from a low of $17,120 for animal caretakers, who feed, monitor, and sometimes train animals, to a high of $60,940 for engineering, mathematical, and science managers. Animal curators, the professional workers who design care guidelines, make breeding decisions, and supervise keepers, had median earnings of $28,080 per year.
Earnings data are not available specifically for veterinarians and veterinary technicians employed by zoos and aquariums. However, in 1998, the median annual earnings of veterinary technicians in all settings were $19,870 and those for veterinarians were $50,950.
These data are a product of the Occupational Employment Statistics program. For additional information, see "Wild jobs with wildlife: Jobs in zoos and aquariums," by Olivia Crosby in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Spring 2001 edition.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Wild jobs: working in zoos and aquariums at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2001/mar/wk1/art01.htm (visited November 28, 2023).