Zoos hire more animal keepers than any other classification. But this is still a very small field. For this reason, employment should grow at a slower rate than other occupations through 2018. According to the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, of the more than 32,000 full-time professionals working in zoos and aquariums, fewer than 5,000 are zookeepers. Each year, there are many more applicants than positions available. Competition for jobs is stiff in the 221 professionally operated zoological parks, aquariums, and wildlife parks in North America.

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