Have you ever wondered how you can become more involved with the Zoo and its animals? Becoming a Zoo Volunteer is a great way to help the Zoo and be involved in the community. Whether its animal care, educating the public, landscaping, interpretive services or office support, there’s a place for you at the Chattanooga Zoo!

Why Volunteer?

  • Meet new people and make new friends
  • Network with the community
  • Explore career and personal interests
  • Earn recommendations for future employment or college applications
  • Develop marketable job skills and build your resume
  • Share your time, talents and energy with others
  • Uncover hidden skills and talents
  • Increase your self-confidence
  • Stay physically active
  • Make a difference in your local community
  • Share your passion of the natural world with others
  • Become involved in conservation, recreation and education efforts
  • Learn more about the animals and/or plants you love
  • Directly support the mission of the Chattanooga Zoo
  • Have fun!!!

How to Get Started!

  1. Check out the Volunteer section of the website and see what opportunities there are at the Chattanooga Zoo.
  2. Match your skills and interests with our Volunteer Opportunities Listing.
  3. Review our FAQs.
  4. Complete our online Volunteer Application
  5. Attend an interview with one of our volunteer coordinators.
  6. Pass a background check.
  7. Attend an orientation to complete all paperwork and receive materials and uniform.*
  8. Begin volunteering!

Please Note: Orientations are only offered each Spring (March) and Fall (August) for all volunteers.  This is the only time you can join the volunteer program unless otherwise stated.  For more questions, please contact us at volunteer@chattzoo.org

*Attention Current Zoo Volunteers: Click here to find out what current volunteer opportunities exist and how to get signed up!  

Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions:

How old do I have to be to volunteer?
There are different levels of volunteering that require different ages of volunteers. Our youth programs begin at 12 and end at 16, (click here for more information) and our Interpretive and Husbandry Volunteers must be at least 18 (click here for more information).  Our core volunteer programs begin at age 17.
How long does the process take to become a volunteer?
Depending on available positions, orientation sessions and events going on in the Zoo, it may take anywhere from 2-8 weeks for a volunteer to begin. Group volunteers, special event volunteers, and short term volunteer activities will be handled accordingly and will not take as long to accommodate depending on openings.
How many hours do I have to commit to in order to volunteer?
Two shifts per month or a minimum of 8 hours
What are the application deadlines?
To meet the Spring/Summer Volunteer Training deadline, your application is due by March 1st
To meet the Fall/Winter Volunteer Training deadline, your application is due by August 1st 
To meet the Counselor In Training Program deadline, your application is due by April 1st 
Please see Internship Page regarding intern application deadlines

Can volunteering at the Zoo lead to a paid position?
It is possible, but there are absolutely no guarantees that any volunteers will be offered a paid position. When a position becomes open, volunteers will be given equal consideration as other applicants.

Does it cost anything to volunteer?

A $10 fee is required for materials and uniforms. 

Volunteer Opportunities


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