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Zoo and Aquarium Curators and Directors

Overview
Zoo Curator—Career Q&A: Professional Advice and Insight

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Zoos are wild kingdoms, and aquariums are underwater worlds. The word zoo comes from the Greek for living being and is a shortened term for zoological garden or zoological park. This may imply that zoos are created just for beauty and recreation but the main functions of modern zoos are education, conservation, and the study of animals. The term aquarium comes from the Latin for source of water; in such places, living aquatic plants and animals are studied and exhibited. These land and water gardens are tended by people with an affinity for animals.

Zoo and aquarium directors, or chief executive officers, are administrators who coordinate the business affairs of these centers. Directors execute the institution's policies, usually under the direction of a governing authority. They are responsible for the institution's operations and plans for future development and for such tasks as fund-raising and public relations. They also serve as representatives of, and advocates for, their institutions and their entire industry. Zoo and aquarium curators are the chief employees responsible for the day-to-day care of the creatures. They oversee the various sections of the animal collections, such as birds, mammals, and fishes.

Salary Range

$25,000 to $100,000+

Minimum Education Level

Master's Degree

Certification/License

None

Outlook

About as Fast as the Average
Personality Traits

Organized

Problem-Solving

Realistic

Career Ladder
Zoo or Aquarium Director

Assistant Zoo or Aquarium Director

Zoo or Aquarium Curator

Assistant Zoo or Aquarium Curator

Zookeeper or Aquarist

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