Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Will I Learn from the FITZ Zoo Program?
A: The FITZ Zoo Animal Management Program is designed to train the next generation of responsible animal caregivers. Our focus is on Zoo Keeping. FITZ students obtain over 2700 hours of “zoo lab” and classroom experiences during the One Year program. You are a Zookeeper for a Full Year.
Q: Why FITZ Zoo Animal Training Program Over Other Programs?
A: Three simple things make FITZ the best program: Animal Collection, Instructors, & Class Size
#1 Jaguars, Spotted Hyenas, and ROO’s, GROUPS of Breeding Patas Monkeys, Tamarins, Hawaiian Ne’Ne’ geese (Look it up and they reproduce, too), Broad snout Caiman, Superb Starlings, Mandarin Ducks, Amherst pheasants, plus others. And the collection is expanding.
#2 FITZ Instructors are “Pros” from the zoo animal field. Our Director is a Zoo/Circus Veterinarian with 50 plus years working in zoos as a keeper and veterinarian. No waiting for DOC to arrive at FITZ.
#3 FITZ class size averages less than 10 students. We like a class size around 8-10 students. We planned it this way. More personal experience, MORE RESPONSIBILITY.
Q: What kind of Jobs Can I Expect to Get after Graduation?
A: The FITZ program began twenty five years ago as the Marion Teaching Zoo. Our graduates are wildlife officers, zoo curators/directors, private zoo culturists,biology/zoology instructors, animal control officers, naturalists and just plain old hard working folks. FITZ graduates cherish the times they spent with the animals and the skills and knowledge they received.
Q: Will I Be Able to Have A Part Time Job? Financial Aid? Housing?
A: The FITZ zoo program was always designed with student need in mind.You spend every Sunday and Tuesday Evenings from 6PM to 9PM in lecture. Zoo Lab times are 8AM to 5PM. Students are required a minimum of one regular day per week and one “public” day (Saturday /Sunday) per week . You have plenty of time to have a job. Young people, empty nesters, career changers, and even seniors have graduated from FITZ. We like the mix and diversity.
Tuition is $1000 per three month term-Four terms per year ($4000-Total Program). We accept cash or checks. FITZ also has a monthly payment plan of $350 per month. Tuition is $1000 per three month term-Four terms per year ($4000-Total Program). We accept cash or checks. FITZ also has a monthly payment plan of $350 per month. FITZ does not provide financial aid. No Florida Residency required. You must be 18 years of age with a GED or High School Diploma. No Florida Residency required. You must be 18 years of age with a GED or High School Diploma.
The students have compiled a list of housing options. You will receive this information at acceptance.
Q: What Are Entry Level Salaries Like?
A: As with all jobs, salaries depend on education, experience, and region. FITZ graduates have more skills, experience, and knowledge than the “Average Joe”. FITZ curriculum, also, includes resume building and interview skills.
Q: Will I Be Working Weekends, Spring Break Holidays, summer at FITZ?
A: We make only a few exceptions for holidays and “cover “for each other. Real Zoo keepers care for their animal charges 365 plus days a year. JUST LIKE THE REAL WORLD- The Hyenas don't do Spring Break at the beach.
Q: What is a Typical FITZ Lab Day Like?
A: 8AM to 5PM- Year round-One Year – JUST LIKE THE REAL WORLD AM’s are exhibit cleaning, collection counts, emergency repairs, and morning feedings.
After Lunch project time: Landscaping, exhibit building/repair, animal enrichment/behavior projects PM’s are Pre –Closing time feedings, night time preparations, record keeping ,debrief.
FITZ has the most extensive Public Management Curriculum available.You learn public/group speaking, tour guide basics, power point, and artifact demonstrations.
Public days/ special tour groups- The students do the tour- NO Special Tour Staff –It’s all on you. The Professional Zoo Staff is omnipresent and guides as needed.
Q: How long is the FITZ Program? How Do I Apply? Is There Pretests? Or education requirements?
A: The FITZ program is one full year. There are no pre-tests. You must have a high school diploma or GED. You must be 18 years old.Many of our students have degrees or some college background, but we do not require any. The FITZ program accepts students in January and July.
To APPLY email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on FITZ line at 352-867-7788