Volunteer Opportunities at the Detroit Zoo

There are a number of volunteer opportunities at the Detroit Zoo.    All of these positions will be described in further detail at Orientation Part 1.  

Our most intensive training prepares these dedicated volunteers to be educators and interpreters at animal habitats throughout the Zoo.  In addition, they provide tours and assist with a variety of educational programs both inside the Zoo and in the local community all year long.   A multi-week training program is generally offered in the fall.

Australian Outback Adventure ("Mob Squad")

Kangaroos and wallabies call the Australian Outback Adventure home.  In this popular Detroit Zoo attraction, guests are able to walk through the habitat and get a closer view of the animals.  Volunteers called the "Mob Squad" interact with visitors along the winding pathway inside the animals' habitat.  One half-day training class required. 

Gallery Guides
These volunteers are based in the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery and spend their time talking about butterflies, Science On a Sphere and the permanent art collection in this historic building. One three-hour training session is required. 

Ford Education Center Assistants
A wide variety of activities take place in the Ford Education Center and more are coming.  Volunteers help as needed and especially enjoy welcoming guests to the changing exhibit hall.  Opportunities are available throughout the year and no specific training is required.  Pre-shift briefings are provided as needed.

Special Events
Throughout the year the Zoo offers fun and interesting themed events to encourage guests to visit.  These could not happen without the helping hands and smiling faces of Zoo volunteers.  From greeters to craft assistants; face painters to storytellers; costume wearers to registration helpers, each event has its wish list of specialized assistance.  No training is necessary. Pre-shift briefings take place as needed.

Staff Aides
Clerical skills, phone experience and weekday availability on a regular schedule would be assets to volunteers interested in offering their services in this program.  Opportunities may become available for ongoing shifts as well as short term projects.

Arctic Ring of Life Guest Assistants
While helping with crowd control in the busy Frederick and Barbara Erb Polar Passage, these volunteers enjoy quality time with the polar bear and seal residents of this award-winning habitat.  One half-day training class is required.

Zoo Ambassadors
This is the ultimate “people person” position.  Spend half of a three-hour shift greeting guests as they enter the Zoo, helping them get oriented to the map, the facilities and any special events.  The rest of the time is spent walking the Zoo looking for ways to be helpful.  One full day of training is required for this seasonal opportunity, April-October.

Volunteen Counselor-in Training Program
Counselor-in Training program matches teen volunteers ages 16 and 17 with paid camp counselors to assist during the Zoo’s Summer Safari Camp. Responsibilities include assisting with groups of 10-12 youth (Kindergarten-8th grade) on tours throughout the Zoo, administering craft projects and interacting with staff and guests. Camp is held Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. and is held mainly outdoors.

Volunteen Zoo Corps Program
The Detroit Zoological Society is looking for energetic youth ages 15-17 to be part of our Zoo Corps, the latest expansion of our Volunteen program.  This is an opportunity to earn community service hours while working with a dynamic team from the Education Department at the Detroit Zoo, the wildest place in town.  This program is taking place on certain dates and times in the June-October period.


Diversity Statement

To be a great organization means that we are diverse and that we value diversity. The Detroit Zoological Society is not only dedicated to the natural world of biodiversity, but also to the diversity of our organization and community. Diversity is defined as all the ways that we are similar and different; the differences make us each unique, but it is in recognizing and valuing our differences that we learn to value each other.