July 16 is World Snake Day! Could you work with these ssss-eriously amazing creatures?
To celebrate STEM-style, here are five cool careers with reptiles to consider if science + animals sounds like the right study and career path for you.
A herpetologist studies reptiles and amphibians – think snakes, turtles, frogs and lizards. They can focus on just one type of animal or a whole range. The two main areas they work in are education and research, and you’ll find them using their skills in zoos, aquariums and museums, as well as unis and labs.
Skills needed: communication, research, observation, and problem-solving.
Get started: Study a Bachelor of Science (Zoology).
A veterinarian looks after the health of animals, including reptiles. An average day at work will see a vet diagnosing, treating and helping animal patients to prevent illness and injury. They also advise owners on proper care. A vet can work in a private clinic or in public health, or even for the government or military.
Skills needed: curiosity, organisational, decision-making, and empathy.
Get started: Nab yourself a Bachelor of Animal Science.
A zookeeper works with animals in captivity, whether that’s for public viewing, conservation or education. This is a hands-on STEM gig, perfect for anyone who wants to be involved in the daily care and feeding of animals. If your passion is reptiles, you could work at a reptile or wildlife park – there are so many scattered all around the country!
Skills needed: observation, patience, fitness, and animal grooming.
Get started: Complete a Certificate II in Animal Studies and a Certificate III in Captive Animals through a registered training organisation (like Taronga).
4. Wildlife conservationist
A wildlife conservationist protects the habitats of animals and plants. On the job, they study things like water and soil, and also work to prevent environment destruction caused by humans or natural events (like bushfires). STEM pros in this field who are focused on snakes and other reptiles also like to spread awareness about the importance of these types of animals in keeping ecosystems healthy.
Skills needed: communication, critical-thinking, problem-solving, and team work.
Get started: A Bachelor of Biodiversity and Conservation could set you up for success.
5. Snake milker
A snake milker is a type of zoologist who safely extracts venom from snakes. Researchers then study the venom to create drugs that treat everything from blood clots to heart attacks. Venom is also used to make anti-venom, which is the antidote to snake bites. This is definitely the right STEM career for you if you love a challenge!
Skills needed: safety, organisational, patience, and team work.
Get started: A Bachelor of Science (Zoology) would be handy to have.
Wanna hear from a real life snake expert?
Meet Dr Christina N. Zdenek, a lab manager and post doctoral research fellow who loves snakes so much she lets her very own python travel with her everywhere – even on planes! Check out her awesome STEM study and career path.
Wanna work with animals? Here are 10 cool animal jobs you could get with an animal science degree.
Author: Louise Meers
Louise is the production editor for Careers with STEM. She has a journalism degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has spent over a decade writing for youth. She is passionate about inspiring young people to achieve their biggest goals.