Colchester Zoo
3.3 out of 5 stars.
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Colchester Zoo Job security & advancement reviews

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United Kingdom48 reviews

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3.3Work-life balance
3.1Job security & advancement

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Often saw bullying by management and wasn't backed by management when following zoo policies e.g. no kids allowed without adults. Strong culture of nepotism and favoritism in the zoo. Only way you can get a promotion is to be a butt kisser or threaten to leave when they are understaffed. Last minute rotas and often wouldn't find out when your working until the day before the new week. Tiny disgusting staff room. If you are seen to be not doing anything even for a second you would get told off. Had to ask for the toilet and water.There are some positives though. Paid above minimum wage, free entry for you +1, discount in shop and catering. Some customers are really nice and job isn't too hard. Great colleagues.


Free entry to zoo for you + 1, discount om food and shop


Last minute rotas, treated poorly, favouritism
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Fun fast paced environment

Great place to work, benefit of visiting the zoo with friends and chance to progress. Fast paced environment with lots of events taking place through out the year to be part of.
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Insights into Colchester Zoo

Based on 4 survey responses
Areas for improvement
  • Supportive environment
  • Ability to learn new things
  • Sense of belonging

Unpaid work experience

I had an incredible experience during my work placement in the cats section at Colchester Zoo. I interacted hands on with many different animals and learned many different safety procedures when looking after more dangerous carnivores etc. I also learned different ways of introducing enrichment for different purposes and thoroughly enjoyed the team I worked with.
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Fun work environment

Colchester Zoo is a fun and challenging work environment, which gives me the chance to work with some amazing people and learn many skills whilst working with them. I work with the volunteer team, which I do in my spare time because, I can't always make it due to college.


Free Lunch
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Great learning oportunity

I found that during my volunteering experience at Colchester Zoo it was something I really enjoyed and a great learning experience for anyone with a passion for animals.
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Good working environment

Great working environment for those pursuing a career in animal care, great teams of people very friendly atmosphere. Plenty of training provided and always supported by staff members.
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Long days and extremely repetitive tasks.

Typical day at work- Morning is very slow, after opening there will be a few customers buying just drinks, cleaning tasks are normally complete within an hour of opening. Lunch time, feels very busy but that is because the food production takes too long and the queue can be out of the door even on a quiet day. After lunch it dies down again and cleaning will be done by around 4pm. Shutting down can take anywhere between 15mins to an hour depending on the amount of staff and how much cleaning had been completed prior to shutting. Lunch breaks normally start at 2pm but you can often get one around 4pm (occasionally had to have one once hot food has been taken off) they last for 30 mins max. What you learned- Very little, applied for this job to do kitchen work and have had minimal training in that area, am either put on the tills or dining area (normally the former) Management- Can be great but there is minimal communication from them. Often changes are put in without informing anyone which can cause confusion for staff and customers. Co-workers- Can be nice, there are very few staff in Mon-Fri so you don't get to interact much. Sat-Sun and school holidays are filled with 16 year old cliques so the environment is not very professional if you are looking to leave behind your school years. Hardest part of the job- Finding something to do when all the cleaning has been completed, often end up sweeping a clean floor, wiping clean glass or cleaning an already clean coffee machine. Most enjoyable part- None of it is particularly enjoyable, you have little work - 


Free entry to the zoo (for yourself and one extra person) and cheap entry for any extra people.


Low pay, low benefits, lack of communication from management, holiday requests often ignored, extremely short staffed during the week, extremely over staffed at weekends, lack of promotional opportunities, rarely get a pay rise, pay rise often only by 10p per hour.
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Fun and good way to gain valuable experience

You learn and develop your skills of working in a team, as well as organisation and improvisation skills. The fast paced culture of this job means you learn important skills very quickly, making the employee develop quickly and fit into the role only a few days into the job (if they've had no past experience).


Discounted Lunch


Long hours
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Absolutely amazing

So many amazing memories from this job. There are many prospects and opportunities for employees
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Overall rating

Based on 51 reviews

Ratings by category

3.3 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
2.9 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
3.1 out of 5 stars for Job security/advancement
3.1 out of 5 stars for Management
3.3 out of 5 stars for Culture

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