Internships, zoo-based conservation

Gain hands-on experience at a zoo-based conservation organization!

The Houston Zoo is offering opportunities to participate in unpaid internships in these departments from May-August 2019:  Birds, Carnivores, Children’s Zoo, Ambassador Animals, Elephants, Herpetology, Houston Toads, Hoof Stock, Natural Encounters, Primates, and Sea Lions. Non-animal focused internships include:  Marketing, Special Events, Naturalist, Development, and Water Quality.

Learn more about internships in each of these departments on our website:

This is a unique opportunity for students to be immersed in our culture of conservation and to work alongside professionals, developing important professional relationships and gaining valuable hands-on experience.

Extensive training plans will be provided specific to each department (you will select which departments interest you upon applying) to ensure internships remain valuable to students and developing professionals. Networking and continuing education opportunities will be available in addition to learning more about Houston Zoo Take Action initiatives, central to everything we do.


- Ability to multi-task and excel in a fast-paced environment

- Ability to work independently while being an important part of a team

- Exhibit strong professionalism and communication skills

- Possess a desire to gain experience and knowledge working with animals or the conservation field


This position may involve a lot of walking and lifting. Time outdoors can be expected, in all different weather conditions including heat, humidity, rain, cold, or dust. It may also involve considerable physical exertion such as climbing, reaching, assuming awkward positions, repetitive motions, and lifting and/or moving of heavy objects (up to 25 pounds) on a regular basis. Due to the nature of this environment, interns will have public contact requiring considerable communication skills.


- Interns are required to complete a minimum 200-400 hour commitment (varies by internship area)

- Compose and deliver an educational presentation at the end of internship

- May be required to obtain a current negative TB test result prior to starting date

- Candidates must be currently enrolled in a college institution or be a recent graduate (within 1 year post-college graduation of application due date)

- Coursework in biology or zoology-related field is preferred but not required

- The Houston Zoo is open 363 days a year. Interns can expect to have a regular set schedule but may be scheduled to participate on some weekends, holidays, etc.

Please review details about each internship by animal section as posted on our website before applying (this announcement may exclude critical information about specific sections).

To submit an application, visit the Houston Zoo website Applicants must also submit a resume, cover letter, and letter of recommendation as part of their application. Materials are due by March 1, 2019.

For further information and inquiries, please contact the Volunteer Office: