Adult Volunteer Programs
This is a year-round program in which individuals work in key areas of the Zoo side-by-side with staff members. Information sessions for prospective adult volunteers are held two times a year -- Spring and Fall. After completing an interview and passing a strict background check, newly accepted volunteers attend an orientation training program. Training for specific positions is accomplished by working alongside an experienced volunteer or staff member. You should note that becoming a Docent requires specialized classroom training.
Apply: To receive an invitation to our next information session, contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 305-255-5551.
online request form
All volunteers must...
Be a minimum of 18 years of age and a high school graduate.
Complete an interview and agree to a criminal background check and drug test.
Be willing to commit a minimum of one year to the program and 60 hours of service per year (five hours per month). Successfully complete the required training.
Be members of the Zoological Society of Florida (ZSF).
Purchase a uniform shirt, khaki shorts, slacks or skirts, white socks, close-toed shoes - an official name badge completes the uniform.
Animal Handling Requirements:
For most volunteer positions, animal contact is minimal. For those positions which require the handling of animals, a negative TB test within the last year must be provided by the volunteer.
*The only animals handled by volunteers are small mammals, birds and reptiles found in the Children's Zoo.
An opportunity to become a part of wildlife conservation and education in your community
The chance to meet people and share the excitement of Zoo Miami
Free ZSF membership after one year of volunteer service with the minimum 60-hour requirement. To maintain free membership, a volunteer must complete a minimum of 60 hours each year
Gift shop and food concession discounts
Recognition and incentive awards
An opportunity to make new friends and spend time in one of the top ten zoos in the United States
Free or discounted cart tours, determined by the number of volunteer hours from previous year
Volunteers provide technical support to various departments in the Zoo and ZSF offices.
American Bankers Family Aviary - Wings of Asia Volunteers
Volunteers interact with visitors in the Aviary plaza, as well as inside the Aviary's educational observation center. Docents point out birds and interpret behavior inside the Aviary's free-flight area.
Children's Zoo Volunteers
Volunteers interact with children and adults in the petting zoo and provide opportunities for close-up encounters in the small animal exhibit called Toadstool. Volunteers who are certified perform live animal presentations for Zoo patrons. (Levels I and II)
Docents are interpretive volunteers who educate the public about animals and the natural world and promote positive attitudes towards conservation. After a special training course, Docents may work in any of the following areas:
Animal Close-Ups: Docents provide impromptu educational presentations to visitors using biofacts or live animals in the Children's Zoo and throughout the Zoo. (Levels I, II, and III)
Station Interpreter: Docents chat with visitors and conduct informal educational programs at various stations and exhibits throughout the Zoo.
Walking Tours: Docents provide walking tours for the general public, special groups and school groups within the Zoo.
Cart Tours: Docents conduct specially scheduled cart tours through ZSF.
Volunteer/Specialists serve as exhibit interpreters for visitors in Dr. Wilde's World, the Zoo's indoor gallery, which features seasonal and traveling exhibits. Specialists are also found in the Children's Zoo's Toadstool and in the petting yard. Additionally, they volunteer as walkway ambassadors and in the information booth.
Volunteers assist with the care of the plant collection on Zoo grounds and in the Zoo nursery. Tasks include watering, pruning, mulching, weeding and planting seedlings and new plants.
Special Projects and Events
Volunteers participate in a variety of short-term projects or events that may include assisting with fundraising activities and special events, such as Feast with the Beasts, Zoo Boo and the Great Zoo Miami Egg Safari. They also conduct visitor surveys; staff booths at community relations events and fairs and work on membership drives and phone banks.
Animal Science Volunteers assist the Zoo Miami Keepers with daily animal husbandry, including exhibit maintenance, diet preparation, animal observations and recordkeeping. They are expected to maintain a journal and/or complete a project. Written proof of a negative TB test must be provided before working in any animal holding area. Must be a college junior, senior or graduate student in Zoology, Biology, or related field.
This is not an internship position.
To apply, please send your current resume, field of interest, and desired dates to:
12400 SW 152 Street
Miami, FL 33177