Taxidermists preserve the bodies of animals typically killed during a hunt to be displayed as trophies, though some clients choose their services to immortalize beloved pets who've passed away. The art form got its start in the 1800s in England during a time when people were obsessed with preserving animals with deformities such as extra limbs. Today, it's no oddity to see the bust of an animal hanging on the hunter's wall to celebrate a prized kill.
Training and Salary
There are no specific educational requirements for taxidermists, but they do need to learn how to safely restore and mummify a carcass, skills that can be gained through a trade school course or an apprenticeship. The amount you can earn as a taxidermist depends on where you live and how many clients you have. The State University website says taxidermists averaged $31,000 a year in 2014. The Advanced Taxidermy Training Center of Northwest Montana breaks this down a little more. Those who work part-time can earn $10,000 to $20,000 a year, while those who work full-time average between $40,000 and $50,000.