There are very few career opportunities which give a person the freedom of doing what he likes. If you have a liking for animals, the best career for you is that of a zookeeper. However, only a liking for working with animals will not do; you will also need to take some other important considerations in mind.
People try to get into this field not because of earning a higher pay, but only because they love to take care of animals. They need to work in harsh conditions so as to take proper care of the animals at the zoo. They necessarily need to be physically fit in order to sustain work for long hours at the zoo.
Salary depends on factors such as level of expertise, and most importantly the location of providing services of animal care. The average pay is approximately $35,000 per annum. If a zookeeper attends additional relevant training, he can possibly earn about $40,000 to $50,000 yearly. Generally, the compensation package for full-time zookeepers includes health insurance, retirement benefits, and paid vacations.
Amount of Experience
With one to four years of experience, the salary can range from $15,000 to $30,000. Those with five to ten years of experience can earn a per annum pay of about $25,000 to $40,000. The salary rises along with an increase in the level of expertise of the professional.
State of Employment
If you are providing services in Colorado, you can earn a median pay of $37,000. Both Tennessee and Florida have an average pay of around $34,000. The states of Pennsylvania and Illinois offer a median per annum salary of about $33,000. In North Carolina and Ohio, the average pay is recorded to be around $31,000. Arizona, Georgia, and Texas offer a median per year remuneration of approximately $29,000, $34,000, and $30,000.
City of Employment
The salary may also differ according to the city of employment. Denver is observed to be the highest paid city, with an average salary of around $40,000. In Atlanta or Orlando, you may get a yearly pay of about $37,000. Cincinnati and Indianapolis have a median pay of $35,000 and $36,000. Phoenix has the least pay at around $29,000 per annum. Chicago and Dallas also offer a similar average salary at $32,000. Houston and Charlotte are at around $31,000 and $32,500 respectively.
A trainee would receive a lesser salary than a senior zookeeper and one in other advanced positions. A zookeeper is more likely to receive a better pay if he is working in a facility where there are not many other zookeepers. He may even get paid on an hourly basis, with the average being around $15.00 per hour.
Though a career as a zookeeper is not that highly paid, this job is most suitable for those who like to take care of animals. The salary will rise with promotions and experience to a head keeper or an assistant curator.