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Taxidermist Job Description, Career as a Taxidermist, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: Associate’s Degree

Average Salary: $31,000 Annually

Job Outlook: Good

Job Description

A taxidermist is an artist of sorts, though most people don’t readily recognize them as such. They work to preserve animals for a variety of reasons. They prepare the animals in the necessary way and then work to restore them so that they almost look lifelike. This is a form of artistry and therefore requires a certain level of skill and experience.

Taxidermists meet with their clients whoever they may be. They meet with the clients to understand their needs so that they can prepare the animals as they are meant to be preserved. This may be for the purposes of a museum or for some form of scientific study. They may also work with clients on an individual basis as some may wish to preserve their beloved pet forevermore. Hunters are also a big client of taxidermists as they wish to preserve and display the animals that they caught.

Taxidermists work through a preparation process whereby they must remove bones or anything else that is required to get the animal to a natural looking state. They prepare a topical solution to ensure that the animal is preserved in the appropriate manner, and this is a rather important part of the process. They work to ensure that the animal is then positioned right, and this is all based on individual client needs. One of the most important aspects of the taxidermist’s job is to ensure that the client decides upon a position that they want the animal preserved in, as this will be important in the overall preparation.

Taxidermists work at constantly perfecting their craft, and this is an ongoing part of the job. They may perform research or work through ongoing training to ensure that they are up to date on new trends, tools, and techniques. They must often manage their own business, work to build up their client base, and ensure that they provide the very best work possible to each of their clients.

Education and Training Requirements

Though there is no set educational requirement for a taxidermist, there may be a certain expectation. Many in this field hold a minimum of an associate’s degree, but it’s not always necessary. The most important aspect of the educational part of the job is to ensure that they have classes in taxidermy so that they know the proper way to handle this profession. This will be more important than any other requirement in the job, and what most taxidermists will focus on. There is often ongoing education so that taxidermists may keep up with the latest preparation methods and tools. Though this may not necessarily be a requirement, it may be quite helpful to ensure that they are prepared and the best at what they do.

Getting the Job

Taxidermists may expect to find work initially based on their completion of the necessary classes. Ultimately no matter what point they are at in their career though, the most important element of getting a job in taxidermy is to have experience. Clients and companies alike are interested in seeing the work that they can do, and this will help them to ultimately land the job. Though many taxidermists may work on their own, they may also expect to get jobs in museums or for privately owned companies. The best way to get any of these jobs is to demonstrate a strong ability and experienced gained on the job.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook, and Career Development

This is not necessarily a competitive field as it is really a specialty. Though some may have an interest in taxidermy, it takes a special ability, skills, and experience to land a job in this field. There are opportunities for those interested in becoming taxidermists, usually at museums, for scientific based companies, or for private companies such as those that may work with hunters specifically. There are great opportunities for growth for those that do well within their role as taxidermists, as they can expect to grow and become quite valuable within their career.

Working Conditions and Environment

Though the specific type of employer may vary, the environment is very similar. They may work between a combination of an office and a laboratory of sorts. They will work with clients in their office to understand their needs, and to perform any research that is necessary. They will then work in a sort of laboratory environment where they handle all of the preparation that is involved with the profession. This is an area that is not usually seen by the outside world, as the preparation methods may be hard for some people to see. There may be some stress involved in the job working towards client’s expectations. They may be required to work longer hours if a certain job depends on it, but generally can balance their career and their personal life quite well.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for a taxidermist position is around $31,000. This can vary based on the type and size of company that they work for, the level of responsibilities that they have, and of course the number of years of experience that they carry. Those that bring a great number of years of experience to the position can expect to earn much more in their annual salary. Variances will occur based on all of these factors, and therefore this is only an average salary range. A taxidermist may be expected to earn the typical benefits that one would expect such as health insurance, paid time off, and perhaps even a retirement savings account.

Where to Go for More Information

National Taxidermists Association
108 Branch Drive
Slidell, LA 70461
(866) 662-9054

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