Working with animals

Zoologische Gärten Berlin is an association of Zoo, Tierpark and Aquarium Berlin – and one of the largest zoological organisations in the world. With a total of around 30,000 animals at the three facilities, Berlin is home to more species than any other city in the world. And with several million visitors each year, the Zoo, Tierpark and Aquarium are among the most popular recreational facilities in Europe.

Of course, a zoo operation of this scale requires a large team of dedicated members who carry out the widest variety of tasks every day – from animal keeping to veterinary medicine, from architecture to garden maintenance, and from accounting to marketing. We are regularly on the lookout for more passionate and motivated people to join our team.

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We look forward to hearing from you!


    Every year, Zoo, Tierpark and Aquarium Berlin train animal keepers in the field of zoo animal care (IHK-approved course). At the Aquarium, there is a special focus on the keeping of fish, amphibians and reptiles.

    Practical and theory-based training

    During the three-year training period, trainees spend time working in all the divisions of the respective facility (Zoo, Tierpark or Aquarium Berlin). First-year Aquarium trainees also learn about animal care at the Zoo.

    Alongside the practical training, each year includes a period of classroom teaching at the Peter-Lenné-Schule (Hartmannsweilerweg 29, 14163 Berlin Zehlendorf). Here, students acquire basic knowledge of animal husbandry, animal biology, feed management, etc. in the subject areas technical knowledge, applied mathematics, and social studies. Trainees also gain an understanding of the most important legislation concerning the protection of animals and nature, as well as company regulations and occupational health and safety regulations.


    After 18 months, an intermediate examination tests the technical and practical knowledge that trainees have acquired. At the end of the third year, all trainees take a multi-part final examination that consists of a written test held at the Industrie und Handelskammer zu Berlin (Berlin Chamber of Industry and Commerce, IHK) and a practical test in all the divisions they have worked in. Those who do not pass the exam have the option to retake it after six months. A decision as to whether or not the trainee will be offered subsequent employment is made in the final stages of the training period.

    Good to know!
    The Zoological Gardens of Berlin have also been honored by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) for their training offers.

    IHK certificate (PDF)

    Application process

    What should the application include?

    • Cover letter
    • Tabular CV with photo
    • Copy of last two school reports or a school-leaving certificate
    • Optional: Copy of internship certificates

    In addition:

    • Applicants under 18: A doctor’s certificate from the youth health authority
    • Applicants over 18: A doctor’s certificate from a general practitioner
    • Medical certificate of vocational aptitude
    • Proof of up-to-date tetanus & hepatitis (A and B) vaccinations


    In your cover letter, you should state why you want to become an animal keeper and what you expect from the profession. Any relevant additional qualifications, such as experience gained through internships, should also be mentioned.


    • Intermediate secondary school diploma (the equivalent of the Realschule school leaving certificate in Germany)
    • Good grades in science subjects
    • An internship of at least 14 days in a related field is desirable
    • advanced German language skills that corresponds to the fourth level (B2)

    Voluntary Ecological Year (FÖJ)

    Zoo, Tierpark und Aquarium Berlin offer FÖJ places every year.


    Animal management, Aquarium, garden maintenance, Tierpark School


    Every year from 1 September to 31 August of the following year (minimum duration: six months)


    Between leaving school and starting vocational training or higher education


    Monthly grant from the respective FÖJ institution, full payment of social security contributions (health, pension, unemployment insurance), entitlement to continued child benefit payments


    • Applicant has finished full-time compulsory education
    • Able to carry out hard physical labour
    • High level of responsibility and reliability
    • advanced German language skills that corresponds to the fourth level (B2)

    Application process

    Please send your application documents (cover letter, CV, copies of certificates) directly to the following institutions by the end of April:

    Zoo: Stiftung Naturschutz

    Aquarium & Tierpark: Vereinigung Junger Freiwilliger

    German Federal Volunteers Service (BFD)

    Zoo, Tierpark and Aquarium Berlin regularly offer BFD and ecological BFD (ÖBFD) places.


    Animal management, garden maintenance


    min. six months; max. 24 months


    No salary; volunteers receive an allowance


    • Applicant has finished full-time compulsory education
    • May not be part of vocational training (no job seekers)
    • Volunteers must be prepared to contribute at least 20 hours per week
    • advanced German language skills that corresponds to the fourth level (B2)

    Application process

    Please send your application documents (cover letter incl. preferred time period, CV) via e-mail with “BFD” as the subject to:

    Zoo & Aquarium:


Opening hours

Today, 27. May
9:00 - 18:00
Last admission: 17:00
All opening hours

Feedings & Trainings

  • Crocodile talk 11:00
  • Arapaimas & pacus 13:30
All feedings


Zoo map