Volunteer Opportunities

Guest Engagement Ambassadors

Guest Engagement Ambassadors play an important role in advancing the Zoo’s mission of “creating unforgettable natural connections.” They enhance the guest experiences by engaging and educating visitors of all ages. Our Guest Engagement Ambassadors support select Conservation Stations, use biofacts to engage guests, and answer visitor questions.

To expand volunteer opportunities within the Zoo, training programs are offered quarterly.

A volunteer at ZooTampa works with a young girl.

Program Expectations


  • Guest Engagement Ambassadors will complete training and shadowing sessions that cover interpretation, conservation, biology and ecology.
  • By the completion of your training, demonstrate the ability to enhance guest experiences through accurate and engaging interpretation throughout the Zoo.
  • Commit to 5 hours a month, for a minimum of 6 consecutive months, of educational volunteering.
  • Successfully complete programs and assignments.
A volunteer at ZooTampa helps a young girl

Program Requirements


Volunteers must be:

  • 18 years or older.
  • Enthusiastic and passionate about animals and conservation.
  • Reliable, hardworking and possess strong leadership skills.
  • Willing and able to regularly and positively engage guests in the park in support of our mission.
  • Able to successfully pass a background check and drug screening.
A volunteer at ZooTampa helps a young girl

Application Process & Details

  • A representative of ZooTampa at Lowry Park will contact those who have applied and invite candidates to attend a mandatory Interview Session.
  • Approved candidates will undergo a background check at their own expense. The cost for this is typically $25.00, but some jurisdictions may charge additional fees.
  • Upon final acceptance into the Program, a non-refundable fee of $30.00 is assessed to cover a uniform, name badge, and training materials.
  • If the fees associated with participation will cause you financial hardship, you may ask to be considered for sponsorship. Please contact Arinn Bolin for details.

After 60 hours and 1 year of service in the Guest Engagement Ambassador position, volunteers can apply to additional volunteer opportunities.  To be eligible for these positions, applicants must have demonstrated excellence in guest service and experience.

If you would like to be notified when volunteer applications reopen, join our waiting list.

Guest Engagement Ambassadors II

The advancement provides opportunities for the volunteer to expand their knowledge, skills, and involvement with ZooTampa.

Guest Engagement Ambassadors II support additional conservation stations and biofacts that further engage guests with conservation action.

Coming Soon
Guest Engagement Ambassadors III: Encounters

The advancement provides opportunities for the volunteer to expand involvement with ZooTampa by assisting with regularly scheduled guest programs such as behind the scenes tours, signature encounters, and chats.

Dive Volunteers

Join our dive team! This challenging but rewarding position offers certified divers an opportunity not available to most divers and is highly competitive. ZooTampa volunteer divers assist with animal care by diving and snorkeling for habitat maintenance and performing other dive support tasks in the Aquatics and Manatee Critical Care Center, and other select areas of the zoo. Dive volunteers play a critical role in promoting the zoo’s mission of “creating unforgettable natural connections” by cleaning habitats and engaging with guests regarding the animals in our care, the dive program, and zoo research and conservation efforts.

Next Steps

Application Process & Details

  • Submit your application online.
  • Upload a copy of your certificates.
  • Attend an informational session. (A ZooTampa representative will reach out to qualified applicants with details.)
  • Conditional selection for the dive team will be communicated within two weeks of the interview session.  Selected candidates will schedule a background check and dive physical.
  • Upon clearance of these items, volunteer divers will be scheduled for training. Divers must attend and pass all training sessions prior to final acceptance into the program.

Program Requirements


Volunteers must:

  • Be 18 years or older.
  • Be able to commit to 2 4-hour shifts each month for at least a year.
  • Show proof of open water or higher certification from a recognized training agency and have 25 logged open water dives.
  • Be enthusiastic and passionate about animals and conservation.
  • Be reliable, hardworking and possess strong leadership skills.
  • Be able to lift up to 30 pounds and work in the outdoor Florida environment.
  • Be willing and able to regularly and positively engage guests in the park in support of our mission.
  • Successfully complete background screening.
  • Demonstrate an attitude of commitment to safe diving practices at all times.
  • Be able to pass a background check and an AAUS dive physical (at own cost).
  • Provide proof of health insurance and sign a liability release.
  • Be able to attend all training sessions and pass a swim test, written exam, and all elements of the ZooTampa dive training program.

Lowry Park Clean-Up

Looking for a way to get outside and help the environment? ZooTampa at Lowry Park, in partnership with Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, has adopted the adjacent Lowry Park. Located along the Hillsborough River, Lowry Park is home to native wildlife including manatees, alligators, hawks, owls, and ibis.

ZooTampa hosts quarterly clean-ups  to protect and connect with the wild places in our backyard. Our next event is scheduled for Sunday, April 19th at 9:00am. If you, your family, or your organization, would like to volunteer with us, please click below to register.

All participants must sign a release of liability waiver in before beginning any clean-up activities. Volunteers of all ages are welcome, however, volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. One adult must be present for every 5 youth in a group or family. Participants under the age of 12 are not permitted on the roadway.

Our River Clean-Up scheduled for Sunday, April 19th has been cancelled. We may reschedule this volunteer event for a later date. Check back for more information.

Summer Camp Teen Volunteer Program

If you love working with children, and are passionate about animals and the environment, then the Summer Camp Teen Volunteer Program might be for you!

Summer Camp Teen Volunteers assist Kindergarten through eighth grade campers with a variety of games, crafts, zoo hikes, and animal science learning. Volunteers will also complete tasks that enhance the Camp curriculum, develop an understanding of Program Wide Positive Behavior Support, and participate in weekly Leadership Development Workshops.

To be eligible, participants must have completed 9th grade and be a minimum of 14 years of age.

Applications for the 2020 Summer Camp season are now closed as capacity for the program has been met.