Woodland Park Zoo Employee Reviews

Showing all 20 reviews
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Great culture and fantastic organization
Admissions (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WANovember 12, 2015
WPZ is doing amazing work with wildlife conservation all around the world, as well as an extraordinary job educating over a million visitors per year on how they can help as well. WPZ is a perfect example of how a Zoo should be. Its naturalistic exhibits and animal care are the best. Whatever position you work you work in at the Zoo, you still feel like you are a part of something special.
Pros
Seeing exotic animals everyday, behind-the-scenes tours, great work culture.
Cons
Most of the positions are seasonal/temporary.
Was this review helpful?YesNo
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Fantastic place to work!
General Admissions (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAOctober 11, 2015
There is alot of variety in the daily work there, which helps keeps things interesting. The crew is amazing and the management truly listens and takes action in a timely fashion.
It is ridiculously fun to make the day of the zoo guests a bit more fun and education. The hardest part was that it was just a temporary position.
Was this review helpful?YesNo
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
So much potential... wasted
No longer exists (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAOctober 9, 2015
This review is about the animal management side, not operations.

WPZ used to be a leader in the zoo world for advancements in animal welfare (first to implement naturalistic enclosures) and technology (their website is zoo.org after all). Unfortunately, it's been riding on that reputation for the last 30 years without much continued progress.

The wages are unusually high for the industry, which leads to increased job loyalty and a very experienced and knowledgeable staff, which is great in many ways. This also means that new positions are rarely available, change or progress is extremely difficult, and money is always tight.

There is a huge emphasis on cutting spending. Staff are expected to do the work of 2 people in half the time. If you go overtime because unexpected things happen, you're scolded for not being more efficient. Those that are naturally more efficient are promoted to positions that do the work of 3 or 4 people so that other positions can be cut - leading to burn out, possible injury, or inevitable failure (which is scapegoated on the individual employee, not poor management). There is a huge lack of trust, respect, and general professionalism on almost all levels.

All this is exacerbated by the current (2015) changeover of CEOs and the new "interim" CEO wanting to show off at the expense of staff safety, business growth, and animal welfare. I sincerely hope they get a new CEO in there who actually cares about animal welfare, the advancement of zoos and conservation science, and the professional growth and safety of the staff.
Pros
Union positions equal good wages, Great environment for animal lovers and conservation enthusiasts, Front line staff care deeply about their animals and/or roles
Cons
Very difficult to get a benefitted position, Management is powerless and panicky, Business infrastructure is dated and updates are slow and difficult to implement
Was this review helpful?Yes3No
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Everyday is different!
Event (Former Employee) –  SeattleSeptember 8, 2015
Working in events is very fast paced, exciting, and team building experience. It's really great to see all of your team's hardwork pay off after a great event
Was this review helpful?Yes2No
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Get to know your coworkers
Seasonal Admissions Associate (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAJuly 2, 2015
Although I wasn't there for long, I had a lot of fun with my coworkers. The job itself was probably the easiest as people just want to get their ticket and get inside, but the only annoyance was working in the lot.
I got forgotten one night in the North lot and was lucky I ran into Scott. My phone, wallet, and keys were inside. I was pretty upset.

Overall, great place to work. Management is supportive and the guests aren't too bad.
Was this review helpful?Yes1No
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Awesome retail experience here:
SALES LEAD (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WAJune 16, 2015
Everyone is close, we are like family here. There are always minor setbacks to working in retail but it's a fun and enjoyable job to have.
Pros
Free admission to the zoo.
Cons
Poor pay/compensation for employees
Was this review helpful?Yes1No
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
fun place to work at.
Cart Runner (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAJune 10, 2015
it was fun working at the zoo. they give you probably to much responsibility but you learn to handle that really fast. made a lot with tips for zoo tunes and had a blast as well. would go back and work for them if asked.
Was this review helpful?Yes1No
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
great place to work
Carpenter (Former Employee) –  seattleApril 9, 2015
Great place to work. Great people working their best to fulfill the mission. Management wasn't bossy or authoritarian, but respectful and helpful. Lots of collaboration - across trades and ranks.
Pros
get to go to the zoo every day!
Cons
Animal waste (zoo poo), chronically underfunded (city, county, ...)
Was this review helpful?Yes2No
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Non Profit -
Administrative (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WAAugust 13, 2014
Would be a great place to work - walk and play. Top down structure typical for high level corporations - but this is a small non-profit
Pros
92 acres of walking and friendly teams
Cons
no growth - lock in when you sign on - top dogs never interact
Was this review helpful?Yes3No1
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
A knowledgeable place environment with a friendly staff
Orangutan Unit (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WAJune 26, 2014
Cleaning and prepping daily meals, cleaning and prepping enclosures, cleaning communal spaces and interacting with the animals
Pros
helping captive animals
Was this review helpful?Yes3No

Want to know more about Woodland Park Zoo?

Ask a question
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
fun place with really nice people
Volunteer (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WaMay 11, 2014
everyone is so nice and happy. Its like they really enjoy working here and love their jobs.
Was this review helpful?Yes4No
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
I love drawing!
Caricature Artist (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAFebruary 17, 2014
I had the opportunity to draw caricatures here, and I loved it! My manager taught me how to make my drawings more dynamic. My coworkers were great and clearly loved what they were doing. I made a ton of friends
Pros
free coffee, coworkers
Cons
ugly uniforms, underpaid
Was this review helpful?Yes2No2
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Fun and educational in every way!
Zoo Corps Intern (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAAugust 22, 2013
Working at Woodland Park Zoo was the most fun I've ever had at a job. I was a part of Zoo Corps (a teen program) that helped out in almost every area of the zoo: food prep., keeper assistance, classes and camps, training volunteers, the petting zoo, customer service, and educational stands/animal handling. Working here provided me with a variety of experiences that are widely applicable and almost impossible to find in any one place (other than the zoo) especially in an entry level position. The management was great; helpful, educational, kind, patient, and they had fun too. And my co-workers were my peers, we all got along and no one wasn't having a good time. To be honest, I can't remember one thing I didn't enjoy about working at the zoo.
Pros
everything
Cons
minimum wage
Was this review helpful?Yes4No
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Fun place to work with animals and people
Docent (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAJune 7, 2013
I was a docent and volunteer and therefore not paid. The job consisted of giving tours and educational programs and participating in fundraising events.

I worked in teams and also alone. The job involved creativity, organization and the ability to connect with people. I worked weekends and also during the summer since I was also teaching.

The hardest part of the job was answering so many questions; this meant that I had to really "know my stuff" about a large variety of animals and issues.
Pros
great outdoor experience, beautiful setting.
Cons
finding my way around the zoo at times :)
Was this review helpful?Yes4No
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Great mission and a very fun place to work.
Coordinator (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WAApril 22, 2013
Love working for the Zoo but growth in my position is limited.
Was this review helpful?Yes5No2
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
great people, they were all so welcoming and helpful
Volunteer Crew Member (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WADecember 1, 2012
when i volunteered at wood land park zoo i was very surprised to see such a diverse group of young adults also volunteering with me and we all got along so well. it was a dream job with the most helpful supervisor's and manager,s and counselor's. it was great.
Pros
free lunches, snack, the animals
Cons
the program was in the summer so it was quite hot
Was this review helpful?Yes2No1
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Friendly work environment with passionate people
Zoo Corps Intern (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WAAugust 4, 2012
I volunteered and worked at Woodland Park Zoo as part of a youth development program. All of the adults I worked with were really passionate about their jobs, as well as helping to shape the professionalism and office behavior of the teens. The hardest part of the job is maintaining a professional environment while working with good friends.
Was this review helpful?Yes3No1
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Fast paced, ever changing and enjoying all aspects of my position.
Manager, Events and Sales (Current Employee) –  Seattle, WAJune 13, 2012
Staff at the zoo demonstrate compassion, dedication and commitment on a level that I've not seen in my professional career. It inspires me each and every day to be a part of a big pool of talent.
Pros
working for an organization to promote conservation messages and partnering in global efforts
Cons
limited professional growth opportunities
Was this review helpful?Yes6No2
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Productive and fun place
Zoo Service Associate (Former Employee) –  Seattle, WAApril 10, 2012
I loved working at the Zoo. Management was almost, they got things done, worked conflicts well, but knew how to have fun. Co-workers was also so much fun. It was very busy but it was a very fun place to work.
Pros
free admissions
Was this review helpful?Yes1No

Overall rating

4.3
Based on 20 reviews
5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Culture