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Do you want to work as a venom milker?

  • Read about the most important info you need to decide on following this career.
  • ​Follow the 7 points below and search for a tertiary institution near you for future studies. If you already are graduated, you may also search through our list of Jobs in the main menu.
  • If you want to PLAN the way you need to prepare, then join our community in step 8 where you will learn everything, while chatting with other potential venom extractors and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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UPDATED: 28 April 2021

1. What is a venom milker?

A venom milker is a specialist who is able to extract venom from snakes and spiders for the purpose of creating anti-venom or for medical research.

Also known as:

  • Snake Milker

The person who studies the venom and turns it into antivenom is called a Venom Researcher, discussed under it’s own Page.

Antivenom History?

First antivenom was produced by Albert Calmette in 1895 against cobra bites

Animals used?

Venom and poison can be harvested from animals such as bees, snakes, spiders and even the blue-ringed octopus

2. What do they do?


Health / Business


The primary focus of venom milker is to use special skills to extract the venom from either snakes or spiders so that venom researchers can further work with the venom.

Daily Tasks:

  • Discuss brief with clients
  • Research specific spiders or snakes
  • Manipulate animal to allow it to be in position to be milked
  • Document research findings
  • Freezing venom
  • Work with Venom Researchers
  • Calibrate and maintain laboratory equipment
  • Administration and filing

Where they work:


Venom milkers work mostly indoors in specialized laboratories.

Places of Employment –

They may be employed by government, medical research institutions, academia or antivenom producing companies, zoos and serpentariums. They may also start their own milking or harvesting business.

Average Salary:

On average the income per year is around $40,000. This will differ from country to country.


The most difficult part of this career is handling potentially lethal species of which a single bite can cause death. They may also work exceptionally long hours.

​Future growth and Possibilities:

The industry is difficult to penetrate, but there is a very high level of growth in the private sector to supply the large demand in especially snake antivenom.

3. Which Skills are required?

The skills required for a career as a venom milker can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills:

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship

Career Skills:

  • ​Excellent research skills
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Excellent computer literacy
Life Skills
Career Skills

4. Which Subjects must I have at School?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

5. What will I need to Study?

Minimum Requirements:

The minimum educational requirement to become a venom milker is a Bachelor’s Degree in a scientific field.


Major –

Most milkers focus on studies towards biology, herpetology, toxicology or zoology.

Short Courses –

Courses in learning more about the toxicity of individual animal species and the extraction of their venom or poison for medicinal use.


The duration of a Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 3 or 4 years. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

Possible Career Preparation Paths:

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Possible Combined Career Paths:

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Training and apprenticeship:

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as a scientist will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the university as well as the place of employment, after you have successfully applied for a new job.

Join the Venom Milkers Group in STEP 8 to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education of all the people who enter the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

6. Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills.

Learn more about requirements by joining OZT in STEP 8.

Professional Associations:


7. Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards biology and herpetology.

Venom Milker Icon

8. Join the OZT community

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a venom milker.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being a Venom Milker, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.

Other interesting Careers

Career Profiles and Resources

Career Mentors are Members who assist by volunteering to keep each Career Page factual and current, while mentoring Students in the related Career Group.

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Contributions by expert members are always appreciated to allow the Students to make informed decisions. Please add your contribution through the attached Form:

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List of Career Mentors/Educators who have contributed to this Career info:


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A few pictures about the Career:

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Some of the best websites to help you decide on the Career:

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