Chester Zoo Employee Reviews

Found 46 reviews matching the search See all 51 reviews
Sort by: Helpfulness | Rating | Date
1.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Poor management and progression
Animal department (Former Employee) –  Chester2 April 2019
Poor management who prefer to ignore problems than deal with them. No progression instead staff are employed from elsewhere with the desired skills. Used to have a good team spirit but now everyone looks out for themselves and too scared to speak out.

Favouritism plays a major role in progression and rewarded for saying the right things but not for actually doing the work and providing good animal welfare.

Poor pay for skills required to do the job.
Pros
Working with a great variety of species.
Cons
Management.
Was this review helpful?YesNoReport
2.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
A nice place but Not such a nice place to work
Guest Experience Assistant (Former Employee) –  Chester29 March 2019
Although the zoo is a beautiful place to work. The management and some of the permanent staff really make it a sad place to work. The management team don’t treat you with any respect and are really bad at doing the jobs. The permanent staff act like they are godsends to the zoo and treat seasonals poorly. They move people around and have a go at you for asking questions. To some of the management it feels like it’s about eye candy with the staff. Some of the staff who have been there a while think they own the zoo. It just is a toxic environment where everyone acts like it’s happy and nice when the truth is it only is when they want you to do things. The Islands zone is where they treat you bad the most because the staff think they are the best zone and staff in the zoo. Which is made worse with a delusional coordinator who the staff moan about but suck up to when she’s there. It just isn’t nice. After speaking to various staff who have left I was warned it isn’t great but I went there to work anyway. Now I wish I hadn’t, which is sad as it has ruined me ever wanting to go there to visit as well.
Pros
The zoo
Cons
everything else
Was this review helpful?Yes 1NoReport
5.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Seasonal Role
Catering Assistant (Former Employee) –  Chester, Cheshire12 January 2019
Without a doubt this was a job i will always remember, I was working in a restaurant based in the Zoo and the staff were very friendly aswell as the customers because they are all having a nice day at the zoo!

I was required to clean tables etc. But this was just a seasonal role just after i had finished college
Was this review helpful?Yes 2NoReport
2.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Long hours, poor pay, dismal management, but hey at least there's animals.
Guest Experience Assistant (Current Employee) –  Chester29 November 2018
If you have any love for Chester Zoo I would strongly advice against working there. As a guest what you see is how lovingly the animals are treated and the conservation work the zoo performs both at home and abroad, but once you're taken behind the scenes it quickly becomes apparent that the zoo's goal is money first, animals second and employees last.

I work as a member of the Guest Experience team at the zoo, but don't let the title fool you as Guest Experience is actually a code-word for cleaner. The majority of the roles you undertake in this position will involve cleaning in one way or another. Whether it is cleaning toilets, emptying bins, picking up litter or cleaning the staff canteen. This of course is not advertised in the job description as the zoo has correctly assumed that fewer people would apply if they knew the only guest experience this position provides is scrubbing the urinal after they've used it.

One of the few upsides of the job is the people you work with as they are mostly enthusiastic, upbeat people who want to provide a environment for the guests. However the management is doing their best to fix this by routinely squashing any semblance of morale. Hours are long, you will frequently be working 10 hour days, there is no overtime pay and due to chronic understaffing you will often be asked to give up a day off to cover a shift as there are barely enough staff to keep the zoo running. The only positive thing I have to say about the pay is at least it's above minimum wage, if only slightly.

Now the main reason people may be tempted to take
  more... a position like this is to "get your foot in the door" as it were. That perhaps by starting on the bottom rung you'll be able to climb the corporate ladder to a position you're more comfortable with. To that I must unfortunately say fat chance. There is little to no communication between departments and as one of the managers once told me, if you do want to swap departments the best way to do so is to leave the zoo, get a better job somewhere else then try again.

I feel like this review has turned into a rant, but at the same time I cannot stress how much I dislike the way the zoo is run. Management is a mixed bag of bullies, ruthless corporate climbers and well meaning, but lacklustre leaders. While working you are required to have a radio on you at all times, seemingly so management can nitpick at any given moment while they're enjoying a walk around the zoo, drinking a cup of coffee. They will not lift a finger to help if they can get someone else to do it. Even if it means calling someone from the other side of the zoo to pick up a couple of crisp packets. Shifts are so poorly organised that you will get people working 12pm-10pm then in the next day at 7am, or for some unknown reason they decided to only rota 3 people in for the day to cover twice as many jobs. They are the reason so many employees turn off their radios and hide in the toilet stock room, or call in sick while standing outside the front gate. Most tellingly they are the reason no one seems to work here for longer than 2 years.
  less
Pros
Animals & friendly co-workers.
Cons
Long hours, poor pay, terrible management, low morale, working every weekend.
Was this review helpful?Yes 4No 1Report
5.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Great experience really fun and builds confidence to talk to new people
Work Experience Student (Former Employee) –  Ellesmere Port, Cheshire27 November 2018
I think that chester zoo was a very good place to go on work experience as it was very fun and allowed me to experience new things and also get a test of what it was like to have a proper job
Pros
Cheap lunches that are long
Was this review helpful?Yes 2NoReport
5.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Great place to work.
Seasonal Guest Assistant (Former Employee) –  Chester, Cheshire24 November 2018
Pros:
Brilliant work environment.
Everyone is happy because they work at a zoo
Social events with co-workers are great.
Managers are generally okay.
Mental Health Awareness sessions.
Discount on clothing.

Cons:
I left because of the lack of advancement in the job. Do not expect to be treated with loyalty.
The seasonal staff does not get Christmas bonuses even though we did the exact same work and hours as permanent staff who got £500 each.
Was this review helpful?Yes 3No 2Report
1.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Not everything it’s made out to be...
Front of House Staff (Current Employee) –  Chester, Cheshire21 November 2018
I’ve worked in the commercial department in Chester Zoo for the last 9 years and can honestly say it’s gone from a great place to work to an absolute shambles! I love the zoo and all it does for conservation however working in the commercial side is terrible. Management on the ground floor are brilliant, however the Directors and General Managers who work in the administration buildings are only interested in making money and making themselves look good. Staff morale is the lowest it’s been in years across multiple departments and they don’t seem to notice or even care. More and more long term staff have left and I’ve lost count of the ammount of times staff go off with stress due to being overworked, underpaid and just generally under valued. There’s very little in the way of incentives, even a simple thank you which we would have got in the past no longer happens. I don’t even think bosses would know there employees names! They have a staff association which to be honest is a complete wast of time as they are afraid of higher management and conflict (just a bunch of yes people). Richard Branson once said ... ‘Clients do not come first, employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients’ This is certainly not the case at Chester Zoo and I hope this will change. My advice, go for a seasonal position if your young and after a summer job, however don’t go for a higher grade position in the commercial department as your treated as just another number.
Pros
Christmas Bonus (now capped but never used to be)
Cons
Long hours with no overtime pay, poor incentives, no prospects of promotion, poor management
Was this review helpful?Yes 3NoReport
5.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Busy, fast pace and fun.
Assist to customers within the Guest Service desk (Former Employee) –  Chester29 September 2018
Each area within Chester Zoo holds its own challenges and rewards but all come with the fair balance of work and social/home life. Regular meetings with your manager to ensure happiness on both parts which is beneficial specifically if you want to climb the ladder within. Team work skills are so important for the interview and the job itself if you wish to work here, but you also have to be a confident person for if you're working a few short hours on your own. Training is sufficient and thorough and managers are patient.
Pros
Good work/social life balance. Staff gatherings out of work.
Cons
Minimal tasks to do on a quieter day yet you have to remain busy.
Was this review helpful?Yes 5No 3Report
2.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Some managers are useless
Seasonal Guest Experience Assistant (Former Employee) –  Chester13 September 2018
I loved working here for 2 seasons, I mostly litter picked and cleaned toilets but I got to see animals every day. My colleagues were all super friendly (including the permanent staff, don't let any seasonal staff put you off them just chat to some of them yourself!)
The atmosphere was great to begin with but then managers started putting in contradicting rules, expected far too much in far too little time and god forbid you so much as say hello to someone else on shift as you'll be told you're chatting too much. They seemed obsessed with the wrong things, like complaining you missed a cobweb when you were out fixing a broken parasol!
Some managers and supervisors were okay, one supervisor in particular was super friendly and he actually helped out, while staff from other zones said theirs would call them on the radio about a crisp packet on the floor.
You also never see them out in the rain, they sit at their desks and call you to them if they need to tell you something, even if you're in the middle of a task.

I would recommend working here IF you get the right supervisor...
Pros
Free zoo tickets, discount, awesome environment to be in, comfortable uniform, perfect for students during summer
Cons
Extremely poor management with bad attitude and patronising, seem to think theyd do a better job than you yet wont help when needed.
Was this review helpful?Yes 11NoReport
4.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Great place as an Intern
Internship (Former Employee) –  Animal Keeper2 September 2018
Amazing opportunity as an intern. Keepers are incredibly: helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. Actually do zookeeper work and not make tea or food like in most internships. Holidays are fair and most sections are flexible with you swapping shifts too
Pros
Working with animals, Staff are wonderful
Cons
Not many opportunities at the end, very fast paced, have to learn quick
Was this review helpful?Yes 5No 2Report
4.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Great place to work
Internship (Former Employee) –  Chester26 August 2018
Everyone working there is working towards the same goal, and genuinely have a passion for wildlife.

Great HR team, and good managers. Contributes towards conservation in many good ways.
Pros
Animals
Cons
Run down staff facilities
Was this review helpful?Yes 2No 2Report
3.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
fun place to work, made loads of friends
Retail Assistant (Former Employee) –  Chester, Cheshire23 July 2018
worked there for 7 years, carried out various jobs whilst i was there. worked on the tills and was trained in cashing up the tills at the end of the day. helped customers with any problems that they had.
Was this review helpful?Yes 5No 1Report
4.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
productive and fun environment
Retail Artist (Current Employee) –  Ellesmere Port30 May 2018
loved working here, longest job to date would recommend to anyone.

a typical day would be a 10am-7:30 pm with a 30 minute lunch break and another 20 minute break, its always super busy in work.
I have learnt so much from this job.
the hardest part of the job is security, you have to watch the jewellery for hours and its get so boring.
Pros
free entry
Cons
watching jewellery
Was this review helpful?Yes 7No 4Report
4.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
fun workplace
Student (Former Employee) –  Chester, Cheshire1 May 2018
Fun workplace to do research, friendly staff. I learnt a a lot about research techniques and time management. The most enjoyable part of the job was the research itself and the freedom to have access to look at the other animals.
Was this review helpful?Yes 5No 3Report
2.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Hard work and high expectations that cannot be met
keeper (Former Employee) –  Chester, Cheshire25 March 2018
Management not helpful and no development for new people. Came over thinking i'd be developed and trained but was a poo shoveler. Left and much happier.
Pros
animals
Cons
Managment
Was this review helpful?Yes 16No 2Report
3.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Retail Assistant
Retail Assistant (Former Employee) –  Chester, Cheshire27 September 2017
Lovely to work and be able to see all of the animals, lots of lovely people to work with across the site. Shifts can be varied, and can sometimes take a long time to arrive at work.
Was this review helpful?Yes 4No 4Report
5.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
workplace
guest experience (Former Employee) –  Chester17 September 2017
Working in an attraction like Chester Zoo is amazing, it can be very tiring and the days are quite long but at the end of the day i felt great. my job was guest experience and i either went around the site litter picking, helping out on the car park when it was muddy and pushing cars put the mud and cleaning the toilets. But if you were doing a litter pick or bin round on the site you get to see the animals every time you went into work.
Pros
discounted lunch prices, free ticket every month, stable pay grade
Cons
open to the elements
Was this review helpful?Yes 4No 4Report
3.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
educational and very good animal welfare
YTS Trainee (Former Employee) –  Chester13 September 2017
Always something new every day.Great staff all round the zoo who are very friendly and helpful.Aswell as learning about animal welfare and husbandry also learnt over the years other skills like fencing,putting up electrical fencing,building(joinery/brick work),drains,using various power tools.I enjoyed training up new staff and interns.
Was this review helpful?Yes 2No 3Report
3.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
tough and face paced
chef (Current Employee) –  Chester, Cheshire7 September 2017
Set up kitchen in the morning then from 10 open to the public where you will then cook for the day until 5-6 where you will then clean down and get ready for the next day
Was this review helpful?Yes 5No 2Report
3.0
Job Work/Life Balance
Salary/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Fun
Catering Assistant (Former Employee) –  Chester, Cheshire30 June 2017
Summer time working, temporary contract.

Enjoyed the teams I was working in.

Management were understanding with most.

Contracts renewed each year, most stayed on.
Pros
Free lunch
Was this review helpful?Yes 3No 3Report
Claimed Profile

Want to know more about working here?

Ask a question about working or interviewing at Chester Zoo. Our community is ready to answer.

Ask a Question

Overall rating

3.7
Based on 51 reviews
516
417
38
27
13

Ratings by category

3.9Work/Life Balance
3.7Salary/Benefits
3.1Job Security/Advancement
3.3Management
3.7Culture

Chester Zoo Reviews by Location