Preserve deceased animals to be displayed or mounted on a wall.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $56,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Taxidermists do?

When someone walks into a museum and sees a lifelike buffalo looking back at them, it gives them a real sense of what the animal is like in the wild. That’s because the buffalo is not a replica. It’s an actual buffalo that’s been stuffed by a Taxidermist. Of course, Taxidermists work their craft on more than just buffalo. They create a variety of lifelike—yet lifeless—creatures, ranging from beloved house pets to exotic birds.

The process of taxidermy is detailed and precise. If you’re a Taxidermist, you start by using special tools to remove feathers, scales, or hides. Next, you create a plaster mold of the animal’s body, and then use that to make a cast out of foam or clay products. The hide (if the animal has one) is tanned using chemicals and salts before you staple or sew it back on. Your artistic muscles are flexed as you embellish the creature with artificial eyes, claws, teeth, and other elements. Some customers also request that the animal be mounted to hang on a wall.

You might work for a museum, but the results of your work can also be seen in airports, offices, or private homes. You might dabble only on weekends, or start your own business. In the latter case, you spend a significant portion of your time attending to the business side of things. You’re in charge of advertising campaigns, customer relations, billing, paying vendors, ordering supplies, and arranging for the delivery and pick-up of animals, on top of the actual taxidermy work.

Should I be a Taxidermist?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a Taxidermist

    Taxidermists often have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9vovaa&chl=no+college+%2852%25%29|certificate+%2818%25%29|associate%27s+%2812%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2818%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,52,52
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