- Preserve animals bodies for display in museums or private collections
- You'll need the ability to work well with your hands, design skills & attention to detail
- Become a master taxidermist and get specialist commissions
As a taxidermist, you will preserve animals' bodies using stuffing and mounting techniques for the purpose of display or study. If you're self-employed, you could sell your own work or offer a repairs and restoration service. You could also hire out models to the props department of a film, TV or theatre production. You could also lead a team of taxidermists in a museum or offer workshops for taxidermy amateurs and professionals.
- Keeping accurate notes about an animal's death
- Using hand and power tools to remove the animal's skin and skull
- Making artificial parts like eyes, beaks, and fish scales
- Building the interior support frame using wood, metal or plastic
- Reconstructing the animal to create a life-like model
- Building a mount or natural backdrop for the display
- Keeping up to date with UK legislation on the use of dead animals
You could work in a creative studio, in a workshop or in a museum. Your working environment may be cramped and involve using chemicals. You may need to wear protective clothing.
This role requires the ability to work well with your hands, design skills, attention to detail and the ability to work on your own.
Taxidermy is governed by strict regulations, covered by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
You could start as an assistant by finding a taxidermist who is willing to take you on and train you. You'll need an interest in taxidermy and some artistic ability.
It may also be possible to work as a customer service assistant in a larger workshop, dealing with enquiries and booking appointments. You would then train while working to get the skills and knowledge needed to qualify.
You could also do an introductory course in taxidermy, offered by qualified members of the Guild of Taxidermists. This would be a good way to learn more about the job and to meet people in the industry, which could lead to a trainee position.
You may find it helpful to have experience or qualifications in biology, anatomy or art and design.
You could join the Guild of Taxidermists for professional development and to make industry contacts.
As your experience grows, you could become a master taxidermist and get specialist commissions.