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Explore the possibilities with an Internship at the Zoo!

The Zoo’s Internship Program offers a unique opportunity for college students (enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program and at least entering the sophomore level) to become actively involved in the Zoo’s conservation, research, education and recreation efforts. Interns can enhance their knowledge and experience in various administrative, animal care and education roles.

The application for Fall 2024 will be available soon.  The following will be needed to apply, application form, cover letter, resume, two letters of recommendation and a current (official or unofficial) transcript.

Interns serve 20-40 hours per week for 12 consecutive weeks. Positions are experience-based and are unpaid. The Zoo can provide information to assist with your housing and transportation search. Participants in the Intern Program must be currently enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program; we are unable to accept recent graduates.

Intern Application Deadlines

Spring Nov. 10
Summer March 10
Fall July 10

Applications are available approximately two months prior to the deadline listed above. Please complete the appropriate application for the session in which you are interested in participating. Although it is recommended that all materials be emailed, faxed or postal mailed together, letters of recommendation may be sent directly to the Zoo from their authors. Contact information for where to send completed packets and letters of recommendation is listed on the application form.

Internship Application Form

The application period for summer internships has closed. Please check back soon for information about the fall session.

Available Opportunities may Include:
  • Ambassador Animals Animal Care

    Interns in this position assist the Encounters staff with the husbandry of a wide variety of species who serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts. The Indianapolis Zoo’s entry experience allows guests to interact with these ambassador animals, including aardvarks, birds, hedgehogs, pouched rats and many more.

  • Conservation Education Programs/Interpretation

    Join our multi-disciplined team of educators, scientists, and conservationists to develop and implement a far-reaching series of programs that will have a measurable, significant and positive impact on wildlife and wild places around the planet, and help transform the City of Indianapolis into a community that embraces environmental stewardship as a core value. Conservation Education Program Interns assist with camps, overnights and variety of other visitor programming. Interns will have opportunities to experience educational programming from a range of viewpoints from development to facilitation.

  • Birds/Macaw Animal Care

    The Indianapolis Zoo is home to seven species of macaws – blue and gold, blue-throated, great green, green-winged, hyacinth, military and scarlet – which participate in a free-flight presentation. This opportunity is perfect for students interested in learning more about birds and animal training.

  • Institutional Advancement

    The Institutional Advancement Department creates and implements the Indianapolis Zoo’s fundraising efforts. This internship position will provide substantial experience in non–profit development and management, grant writing, event planning, researching donor prospects, and solicitation strategizing, in addition to gaining valuable office experience working in one of the top 10 zoos in the nation. Individuals with great attention to detail, previous experience with special events and team players are encouraged to apply.

  • Marine Mammal Animal Care

    Working with one of the most diverse marine mammal collections in the U.S., this internship is ideal for individuals wishing to learn more about proper husbandry for keeping marine mammals in captivity. Interns in these areas may encounter Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, Pacific walrus, and domestic dogs.

  • Marketing-Sponsorship

    Our corporate partners make many of our activities and events – such as ZooBoo and Christmas at the Zoo – possible. Interns in this position assist our Corporate Sponsorships team to help prospect, secure, implement and manage sponsorships.

  • Oceans Animal Care

    The Zoo’s aquarium houses one of the nation’s largest shark touch tanks! Interns may have the opportunity to work with numerous species including smooth dogfish sharks, a wide variety of reef fish, moray eels and seahorses!

  • Plains Animal Care

    This internship offers a unique experience working side-by-side with keepers. Species Interns will encounter in the Plains area include African lions, cheetahs, Grant’s zebras, greater kudu,  reticulated giraffes and white rhinoceros. Plains interns will learn to identify, collect, and freeze multiple types of browse for our plains animals to have for the winter months.

Preceptorship or Off-Campus Block

Veterinary students will observe and assist the veterinarians with clinical cases, treatments, immobilizations, surgeries, necropsies, and medical record keeping. The student will be required to complete and present a project during the externship. Externships are 40 hours per week for 4-6 weeks as per fourth year vet student requirements. Arrangements for externships must be made far in advance. This opportunity is available year round for enrolled vet students; vet techs do not qualify for the externship. Positions are filled through April 2025. 

Apply Now

The Indianapolis Zoo is excited to offer a paid position for college students pursuing a career in animal or horticultural husbandry. The Life Sciences Apprenticeship Program is available to current college seniors and graduate students and will involve working, learning and understanding how the animal or horticultural staff cares for its collection.

Animal Collections Experience

The apprentice will experience working in several animal collections departments. Apprentices will get a first-hand look at how Zookeepers care for the Zoo’s exotic animals.

The apprentice will spend time working in the Zoo’s animal commissary department. Apprentices may help prepare diets, clean the work environment and make deliveries to various animal departments.

Horticulture Experience

The apprentice will experience working with the Horticulture team throughout the Zoo.

Other Experiences

The apprentice will have the opportunity to meet and talk with the Zoo’s president. Apprentices may shadow in other departments, including Education, Marketing, Guest Experience and Safety/Security. Completion of the Life Sciences Apprenticeship is a pre-requisite to participation in the Zoo’s new Life Sciences Training Program.

Applications are currently closed for the Life Sciences Apprenticeship program, please check back in January 2025.

Veterinary technician students will observe and assist our vet techs with all aspects of animal diagnostics and treatments, in-house lab work, hospital maintenance and record keeping. Externships are 40 hours per week for 4-6 weeks as per school requirements. Arrangements for externships must be made in advance. This opportunity is available year round for enrolled veterinary technician students.

Apply Now