What is the job of a herpetologist

job of a herpetologist


Herpetology is a branch of zoology that deals with the study of reptiles and amphibians. Individuals who specialize in biology or zoology to study these species are herpetologists. The job of a herpetologist includes taking care of and conducting in-depth research on a variety of reptilians and amphibians. These may consist of snakes, crocodiles, alligators, lizards, frogs, newts, turtles, toads and even salamanders.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

Due to the concentrated scope of the job of a herpetologist, their duties and responsibilities tend to vary a little. Some herpetologists may engage in teaching, while others may choose direct interactions with the species through fieldwork and research. Nonetheless, their key responsibilities include:

  • Carry out research in different areas such as reptile and amphibian genetics, their anatomy, health and reproduction, physiology, and ecology.
  • Collect research and collect samples. This is followed by studying and analyzing the data collected.
  • Publish any critical findings in scientific journals for others to review.
  • Study and review papers published by other specialists within their fields.
  • Engage in the ethical acquisition, transportation, and adoption of reptiles and amphibians, especially those that are listed as endangered species
  • Conduct research in either a controlled setting or in the field. This may include studying preserved samples of ancient species in the museum.
  • The job of a herpetologist also includes caring for the well being of the animals that are being used for research.
  • Maintain safety of the animals in their care
  • Be responsible for their feeding and other needs. This also includes recording and documentation of the feeding chart as well as any further necessary details.
  • Plan strategically for reptile and amphibian rearing.
  • Help in eliminating any poison and controlling venom.
  • Maintain a clean and hygienic facility. This is not just limited to the laboratory but also animal cages and enclosures as well.
  • Many herpetologists also work as college professors when they are not too busy with fieldwork.
  • Those herpetologists who have chosen to limit their work to teaching prepare lectures, assign and grade exams, plan laboratory exercises and supervise students.
job of a hematologist

Other duties:

  • The job of a herpetologist also includes extensive travelling to remote areas so that they can collaborate with other specialists and pursue different areas of study and research opportunities.
  • Assist with veterinary treatment care of the animals and laboratory work
  • Plan, organize and participate in outreach and advocacy programs.
  • Write funding and grant applications.
  • Keep a detailed record of the assigned budget, milestones set and systems.
  • Work with as well as support and encourage team members.
  • Mentor interns, assistants and aspiring herpetologists
  • Take part in various seminars, workshops, and webinars to stay up to date with the latest findings and discoveries.

Educational Requirements:

The educational requirement for the job of a herpetologist includes:

  • A four-year undergraduate degree in biology, animal sciences or even zoology
  • A Master’s degree in biology or zoology (since herpetology is not offered at bachelor’s or master’s level)
  • Participation in herpetology research as well as interning in relevant areas while finishing their degree
  • A PhD in herpetology

Skills required for the job of a herpetologist:

Formal education alone is not enough for the job of a herpetologist. To work as a herpetologist, one must possess the following skills as well:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Skilled reasoning and critical thinking
  • Patience and empathy
  • Love, Compassion and a keen interest in animals (especially in reptiles and amphibians)
  • Emotional Stability
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Keen observational skills
  • Ability to handle stress and long working hours in the field
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Leadership skills
  • The ability to work alone as well as with others

What about salary?

Given the nature of the job of a herpetologist, their salary varies a lot. However, the majority of the herpetologist’s salary is primarily defined by factors such as

  • Their level of education (A herpetologist having a doctorate will have more experience than one who holds just a masters degree)
  • The experience they have and if they have specialized knowledge about any particular species.
  • The geographical location

Nonetheless, the average annual salary for the job of a herpetologist is $30.49 an hour or $63,420 a year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a herpetologist can earn anywhere from $40,290 to $102,830 a year. However, those herpetologists who choose to teach at colleges and universities end up making as high as $80,000 a year.

Leave a Comment