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Do you want to work as a reptile breeder?

  • 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 where you will learn everything, while chatting with other potential breeders and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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UPDATED: 3 November 2020

1. What is a reptile breeder?

A person who breeds carefully selected reptiles (snakes, lizards, geckos, iguanas) of the same species to reproduce offspring with the same qualities and characteristics.

Reptile Breeders generally breed specific species for either the pet trade or conservation.

The keeping of live reptile as a hobby or to sell for income is called herpetoculture.

Breeding snakes?

The Ball Python is the most popular snake being bred

Easy breeding?

Most reptile breeders agree that lizards, such as geckos, are the best for beginners

2. What do they do?


Business / Wildlife Conservation / Zoos, Aquariums, Theme Parks and Museums


The main focus of a reptile breeder is to mate selected species (such as snakes or geckos) as their own pets, to supply the pet market or to help in the conservation of the species.

Daily Tasks:

  • Feeding and caring for the reptiles
  • clean the tanks
  • talk with suppliers
  • ensure registration is in place
  • ​discuss budget with bookkeeper
  • manage marketing campaign
  • talk with prospective buyers
  • arrange, prepare for and transport animals to expos

Where they work:


Reptile breeders usually register and set up their businesses at home. The physical enclosures or terrariums for the animals are almost always indoors to protect the reptiles from being caught by predators or escaping.

Places of Employment –

Reptile breeders are self employed and run a profit seeking business. 

Average Salary:

The average income of reptile breeders will be determined by a few factors, such as the scarcity of the species, the country wherein the business is registered. The average income in the US is around $40,000 per year.


Entry breeders do not make a huge amount of money as most of the startup costs can be high and need to be recovered. Running a business also means dealing with bills that need to be payed.

​Future growth and Possibilities:

The pet industry is one of the fastest growing animal career industries, and there will always be space for good growth.

3. Which Skills are required?

The skills required for a career as a reptile breeder 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:

  • ​Basic animal handling and care techniques
  • Basic business knowledge
  • Excellent species knowledge
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Basic computer literacy
Life Skills
Career Skills

4. Which Subjects must I have at School?

These subjects are the ones recognized around the world. 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:

There is no minimum requirements to become a reptile breeder, although a High School Certificate or Diploma would be beneficial to prepare you to deal with setting up a business, dealing with costs and basic marketing techniques.


It is important that you learn as much as you possibly can about your chosen species before you think about opening your breeding business. Short Courses in reptile behaviour, health, business setup and marketing are recommended.


The duration of Short Courses can be between a few hours (online) to a few months.

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 Path:

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 will be acquired through on-the-job training. 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 (or junior positions) require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior person or expert. The more hands on careers, such as animal trainers might require apprenticeship.

Join the Reptile Breeders 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 the people entering 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 care 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 animal care and training.

Reptile Breeder Career_opt

8. Join the OZT community

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a reptile breeder.

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 Reptile Breeder, 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.

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


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