The job is hard at times but not overwhelming, and is based on each person's strengths and weaknesses. The main goal is to improve and maintain the husbandry, care, and health aspects of the animals in your charge. It can be quite rewarding on a personal level, as bonds are invariably formed with the animals under our care, and most of the keeper jobs are basically unsupervised, with each person expected to know and perform his or her duties efficiently, which is quite nice. My tenure with the zoo had been enjoyable and fulfilling for the most part.
The pay is generally low, which is especially disconcerting for those with advanced degrees, and there is little to no room for advancement. Also, a recurring issue is a lack of competent management (although it is getting better) and a lack of recognition for good work. In other words, if you do well you will generally get little to no praise or acknowledgement, but mistakes and errors will definitely be focused on and dealt with, sometimes a bit too drastically. This has been an unfortunate recurring theme in my tenure with the facility. Do to the "chain of command at all cost" structure, there tends to be situations where the most knowledgeable & talented people may be a the bottom of the chain and are not involved in decision-making, and lesser qualified (but higher-ranking) people make the decisions that are sometimes not in the best interests of the zoo.