Work Placement

Every year we offer a limited number of work placements throughout the zoo.

Industrial placements

We currently have two full-time one year industrial placements available, both with a closing date of Friday 28 April 2017.

Nutrition Placement > (pdf)

Behaviour & Welfare Science Placement > (pdf)


We offer two internship options, the Three Month Internship Programme and the One Year Internship Programme, both of which involve working with our Animal Keeping sections on a voluntary basis.

All those doing work placement with the Animal Sections must be at least 18 years old so our internships are best suited to those taking a gap-year between A-Levels/National Diploma and further studies, sandwich placements or those who have already graduated from university or college, preferably having studied in a related subject

Please note that all placements are voluntary and unpaid.

One year internship - Animal Husbandry

Sept 2017 - Sept 2018

Find out more (doc)

Download an application form (doc)

One year internship - Botany & Horticulture

Sept 2017 - Sept 2018

Find out more (doc)

Download an application form (doc)

Under 16s' Work Experience

We offer a number of places to Year 10 students from local high schools from March to July in the following departments: Catering, Retail, Guest Experience and Membership & Adoptions.

As places are limited we are only able to offer places arranged through MPLOY solutions.

We are now fully booked for under 16s' work experience placements for 2017.

Students who are interested in a placement for 2018 can make their application from July 2017

For further details about work experience at the zoo, please see below, or contact our HR Team at

Placement Descriptions:


We have 3 main restaurants – Bembé, June’s Pavilion and Manado Street Kitchen, selling a range of meals including pizza, pasta, deli sandwiches, gourmet burgers, fish & chips, and South-East Asian inspired rice and noodle dishes. We have a number of coffee shops and kiosks offering our own brand SHUKA coffee and a range of fresh sandwiches and cakes. Finally we have Oakfield Manor, which has its own pub and is a popular wedding venue.

Students will assist with the presentation of pre-wrapped food and drinks (e.g. sandwiches, salads, sweets etc.), and help with clearing tables, cleaning floors and dishwasher operation. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with our visitors and learn about the importance of good customer care.

There will be some opportunity to observe skilled catering staff at work and learn about food storage and hygiene protocol.


We have 3 main shops at the zoo – the main entrance shop, Fountains Shop and Manado Town, along with a number of pop-up outlets across the site. They sell a range of products including souvenir gifts, toys, clothing, books, jewellery and confectionary.

Students will gain an overview of all aspects of retail work, including customer service, displaying and pricing goods, stock rotation and stock transfers. Students will also assist with general housekeeping tasks, helping to keep the shops and outlets neat and tidy at all times.

Guest Experience

Our Guest Experience team takes care of everything else a guest may need when visiting the zoo. This includes car parking, selling admission tickets, site presentation, operating the boat trip and monorail, and running events like The Lanterns at Chester Zoo!

Students will help with tasks including visitor admissions, wheelchair and buggy hire, and assisting in the Guest Services Information Building answering visitor queries. Students will also have the opportunity to observe experienced staff operating the monorail and lazy river boat trip, as well as assisting with car parking and site presentation. Guest Experience staff interact closely with our visitors and so working with the team is an ideal opportunity to learn about the importance of great customer care and service recovery.

Membership & Adoptions

Our Membership & Adoptions team are located at the main entrance in a fast-paced and busy environment, looking after our 85,000 members and 5,100 adopters!

Students will spend time interacting with our visitors whilst learning about the work done by the team, including online sales processes and the importance of gift aid to the Zoo’s conservation work.

Students will assist with answering telephone queries, stock control, making up gift packs for adopters, and sending out renewal correspondence.