How to Become a Taxidermist (Duration, Steps, FAQs, Cost)

Taxidermists contribute immensely to preserving animal bodies for analysis or tourism purposes.

This job is very technical, which is why taxidermists are widely respected for what they do. Taxidermists also assist in sustaining the lives of species at risk of extinction.

This post will discuss what a taxidermist does, how to become one, and several other pieces of valuable information.

Who is a Taxidermist?

A taxidermist is an individual that preserves the bodies of animals for exhibition in a realistic way.

These professionals collaborate with other professionals in the animal science industry, such as animal technicians, to perform their jobs.

They sometimes team up with sculptors to ensure the animals’ bodies are accurately displayed. It is an exciting career path.

Is Taxidermist a Good Career?

Yes, it is. Taxidermist is a good career option. It allows you to use advanced devices and tools, directly developing your technological skills.

This profession allows you to work independently and pick your working hours. Working on different animals daily can be very valuable if you want to switch careers later.

Additionally, taxidermist is a career that allows you to make money from the comfort of your home and build valuable business connections over time.

This profession’s income potential is very high, and you can start a small taxidermist business.

Pros of Being a Taxidermist

1. Flexibility

Establishing oneself as a taxidermist can be extremely satisfying. After all, you’re helping a real person with a real problem and doing work that matters to you.

You can devote as much time as you wish to the company. If you enjoy the work and have some expertise, you can launch a small business and run it independently.

When you become your boss as a taxidermist, you have the freedom to choose your hours.

You can choose which initiatives to participate in and decline participation in others that don’t interest you.

2. Better Income:

There is no limit to how much money you may make by being a taxidermist. Making more money in business depends on how hard you work and how much time you dedicate to your profession.

Referrals play a crucial role in the success of this business, both in terms of new consumers and keeping existing ones around.

Having a solid referral program that rewards customers who spread the word about your product.

Also, what it takes to produce your product (about 7 months) is relatively short. You’ll be able to get your product to consumers more quickly.

3. Simple business model:

The establishment and growth of a taxidermist firm are facilitated by the industry’s inherent simplicity as a business strategy.

You may take charge of your entire life and make your goals come true daily by starting your own taxidermy business.

When setting up shop as a taxidermist, you have more than one option.

It’s incredible how many opportunities this industry has to generate money. It’s fantastic to have alternatives and additional revenue streams, even if they complicate things.

Cons of Being a Taxidermist

1. High Competition:

There is a lot of competition in the taxidermist industry, so you need to put in some serious time and effort to study the market and figure out what customers want.

It can be difficult to incur new expenses while maintaining a profit margin of at least 65% in the taxidermist industry.

On the other hand, the ability to target a specific market segment may prove to be the difference between failure and success.

However, finding the right niche market and target audience can be more difficult and time-consuming.

Having a successful taxidermist business does not happen overnight. Sometimes it takes months or even years for people to start making money from your efforts.

2. High Tax rate:

Taxes for independent contractors like taxidermists can add up to a hefty sum. Knowing your annual tax burden will help you decide if the task you are considering is worthwhile.

As a taxidermist, you likely don’t get a regular paycheck but make money off the sales you make each month.

Since your pay is based on commission, you will likely bring in less money when business is slow. It’s crucial to plan for slow periods financially.

On the other hand, taxidermists are often self-employed, making them responsible for securing their insurance, a time-consuming and financially burdensome process.

3. Stress:

Some business owners may find this encouraging, while others may see it as a significant obstacle.

You might have to put yourself in awkward work and social situations, take on more than you can handle, and test the limits of your abilities.

When you go into business as a taxidermist, you take complete control of your destiny. This is not always a bad thing, but there are times when work takes precedence over everything else.

This can add to the stress of starting a business and strain personal relationships. In addition, you may need to get your hands dirty when starting as a taxidermist.

Starting such a business may appear exciting at first, but it often involves a lot of hard labor and repetition behind the scenes.

4. High Rate of Criticism:

As a large component of running a traditional business, answering the phone is essential for taxidermists. If you or your staff frequently miss calls, you may lose business.

Also, your taxidermist shop will potentially attract a significant clientele. Therefore, you should be prepared to hear some negative feedback.

More so, no matter how good your intentions are, many individuals on the internet will disagree with you; some may even take their criticism to an extreme.

You’ll need a thick skin (or the ability to develop one quickly) to make it in this business.

What is the Salary Expectation of Taxidermists?

The average annual income for a taxidermist is $45,000. Nevertheless, their income differs according to experience, place of work, and skills.

How Long Does it Take to Practice as a Taxidermist?

It takes between eight months to three years to complete all the training and obtain the relevant experience you need to become a taxidermist.

Steps for Becoming a Taxidermist

Below are the steps for becoming a taxidermist at the moment:

1. Take an elementary course in taxidermy

To become a taxidermist, begin by taking an elementary course in taxidermy. The lessons that you will take in this course will empower you with the foundational knowledge you need to work as a taxidermist.

You will learn about the several kinds of animals that can be preserved and the techniques for achieving that.

An elementary course in taxidermy will also teach you how to use and ensure that all devices and machines are functioning appropriately before any project commences.

2. Look for a Taxidermist’s Assistant Job

Working as an assistant to a taxidermist will adequately prepare you for this career. It enables you to develop skills and acquire relevant knowledge in this profession.

You will learn how to preserve animals and the technicalities involved in purchasing animal materials.

Assistants also understand the business aspect of a taxidermy job and how to deliver good services to clients.

3. Work as a Customer Service Assistant in a big Taxidermy Firm

Search for job opportunities that will allow you to work as a customer service assistant in a big taxidermy company.

Taking up this role will enable you to acquire the knowledge of how to handle clients and also maintain good relationships with them.

You will also learn sales techniques that will be helpful if you desire to practice independently.

Additionally, you will know how a large-scale taxidermy organization runs and how they manage their orders.

The experience you gain in this position will allow you to decide whether to engage in this career.

4. Acquire Biology Education

Enrolling in and completing a biology course is necessary for becoming a taxidermist because this course will empower you with the knowledge of the structure of animals.

A biology course will also teach you the best ways to preserve animals’ skin effectively.

Additionally, you will learn how to use chemicals safely to prevent causing harm to the animals that you are working on.

You will also understand the way insects destroy biological specimens so you can develop means to curtail them.

5. Take a Course in Art and Design

Completing a course in art and design is necessary for becoming a good taxidermist. It will allow you to understand the materials you will use for your job.

You need this knowledge to develop the best taxidermy items and determine the ideal materials for each project. Several organizations out there offer this kind of training.

6. Join a Professional Association

Joining a professional association as a taxidermist will enable you to keep in touch with the latest developments in this line of work.

You will get free access to online content such as articles, magazines, publications, and podcasts, enabling you to understand the most recent advancements in the industry.

Becoming part of a professional organization also grants you access to events where valuable lessons regarding this field are shared.

Through such events, you will stay up-to-date with the evolution in the sales aspect of the industry and trending innovations that will make your job easy.

One such association is The Guild of Taxidermists. Members of this body enjoy access to numerous resources that help them become better professionals.

Through this association, you can connect with other professionals in the industry and popularize a discovery you have made.

7. Register with the DEFRA or APHA and obtain a license

Don’t fail to register with the DEFRA or APHA as a taxidermist. Also, ensure that you get an Article 10 License (A10).

This license proves that your taxidermy company conducts its activities within the ambient of the law and regulations.

The Animal Health Act 1981 provides that any individual who desires to capture or slaughter animals for sale must get an A10 License.

This act also bans taxidermists from selling animals if they don’t have an A10 License.

To obtain an A10 License, you must take a training course on animal welfare and handling techniques and pass two exams, one for each course segment.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Taxidermist Business?

Depending on the nature of the taxidermist’s business, there may be a need to invest in various machinery before opening for business.

The bare minimum to start as a taxidermist is $12. The highest possible initial investment into a taxidermist enterprise is $21,740. An average of $11,015 is needed to launch a taxidermy business.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on How to Become a Taxidermist

What are the three types of taxidermy?

The three taxidermies techniques are freeze-dried skin mounts and reproductions.

What are the significant tools you require to start taxidermy?

The primary tools that every taxidermist must have are needles, pins, chemicals, galvanized wire, paints, and a fine paintbrush.

What is the most challenging thing about taxidermy?

Fish is the most challenging thing for taxidermy. This is because the skin changes color immediately after it becomes dry. Thus, the whole body must be re-made with paint.

Do you need a degree to pursue a career in taxidermy?

No degree is required for a career in taxidermy. However, there are several certification and diploma programs out there that will boost your knowledge and skills.


Taxidermists are experts who significantly contribute to safeguarding animal bodies for scientific study and public display.

Because of the complexity of their work, taxidermists enjoy widespread acclaim as experts in their field. Taxidermists also do their part to ensure the survival of endangered species.

You should know, however, that only giving your all at work as a taxidermist will enable you to reach the top of this field.

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Abasiofon Fidelis
Abasiofon Fidelis

Abasiofon Fidelis is a professional writer who loves to write about college life and college applications. He has been writing articles for over 3 years. He is the Content Manager at School and Travel.

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