Help For A Budding Herpetologist

Question: I am 15 years old and just loving reptiles like any other teen. I want to pursue a career in the reptile field when I get older, but I have no idea how to get started. I was thinking about trying to breed reptiles — maybe snakes and blue-tongued skinks — but I plan to go to college when I am done with high school, so I’m not sure how that would work out. What do you guys recommend I do? Can you suggest any career fields I can explore, or college classes that would help?
Steven Engelhardt

girl holding crocodilian

Max Topchi/shutterstock

Advice for those who wish to pursue a career with reptiles.

Answer: I’m always delighted to hear from young readers who hope to make a career out of working with reptiles, Steven. As you may imagine, this is a popular subject among REPTILES’ younger readers, and I am asked often how to go about planning a reptile-oriented career.

There are two articles posted on that I recommend you read. One is a list of schools that have herpetology courses (at least they did at the time the list was created). That one can be found at The other is an article about different types of jobs that entail working with reptiles, and that one can be found at

Also, an article about how to pursue a career as a reptile veterinarian is currently planned for the January/February 2018 issue of REPTILES, so you may want to keep your eyes peeled for that, too.

If you’re likely to go away to college after you complete high school it is probably a good idea to hold off on pursuing any kind of major reptile breeding operations. There will always be time for that later, though, so you needn’t forget about it entirely!
Good luck!  

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