Our Internship Program is no longer accepting applications at this time. Please check back for updates!

Program participants will gain meaningful experience and basic knowledge in their primary area of study by gaining a broader view of a modern zoological park via practical hands-on experience, assisting the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium’s professional staff with daily operations, and completing an optional research project. In addition, the Zoo will benefit from the effort, infusion of new ideas, and vitality of the program participants. This program offers an excellent opportunity for students and graduates to develop their basic abilities, further refine advanced skills and enhance their career goals.

All interns must pass a criminal background check. Pennsylvania residents can process their own intern/volunteer background check for free online. Cost varies for residents of other states. All Zoo internships are unpaid.


An internship in animal husbandry is meant to expose the intern to the many aspects of working as an animal keeper. The internship will serve as both a means to gain experience and as a way of making a career decision.

Animal keeper interns may be required to work in inclement weather, lift heavy loads, and must be dependable. The duties of the intern reflect the duties of the area animal keeper. Those duties include the following: Observation of animals for disease, injuries, unusual behavior, pregnancy, etc. and reporting observations to the appropriate parties and/or noting on Daily Report Sheet; prepare and distribute food and water; grooming of domestic animals; may be involved in training programs; assist in veterinary procedures; collect biological specimens; assist in animal restraint procedures; maintain proper environmental conditions for the animals; clean and disinfect animal enclosures; exercise or handle the Education Department’s animals and domestic animals; secure locks; answer visitor questions, narrate animal demonstrations, and other duties as assigned.

Program participants will experience hands-on and/or project work in one or more of the following animal departments: PPG Aquarium, Ungulate/Giraffe, Tropical Forest (primates), Worlds of Discovery (reptiles & red pandas), Asian Forest (leopards, tiger, waterfowl), African Savanna (lions, rhinos), Kids’ Kingdom (deer, sea lion, domestic animals).


Internship areas include:

  • Conservation Education
  • Horticulture
  • Veterinary
  • Marketing