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Taxidermy programs prepare people to create lifelike models of wildlife and fish.

Taxidermy programs include topics such as:

Taxidermists consider color, texture, expression, and muscle movement. They combine crafts such as carpentry, woodworking, tanning, and molding and casting in their work. They use the artistic talent required for drawing, sculpting, and painting.


In some programs, students may be able to specialize in a particular kind of animal, such as fish, birds, snakes, or mammals. Some students specialize by size or type of mammal.


A few career and technical schools and some community colleges offer certificate programs in taxidermy. A certificate program in taxidermy can range in length from a few weeks to up to a full year.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by completing your high school diploma or equivalent and getting some background in arts and crafts.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

In this program, you typically take courses such as the following:

Some programs incorporate a practicum or internship into their curriculums. An internship often functions as a kind of apprenticeship. You get the opportunity to work under the guidance and direct supervision of an experienced taxidermist. Moreover, you can choose to work with someone who specializes in the type of taxidermy that most interests you or whose work you really admire.

Things to Know

You need to buy your own tools and supplies. Students typically work on specimens provided by the school. Check with schools to find out specific information on what they provide and what they require.

Many states require you to have a permit before you can practice taxidermy. You also need a license from the US Fish and Wildlife Service if you want to work with migratory birds.


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