Career: Herpetologist

Herpetology is the study and research of reptiles and amphibians.  Herpetologists are specialized biologists and zoologists that spend their careers studying things like the physiology, ecology, genetics, health and reproduction of species like bearded dragons for example. Out in the field they could be studying evolutionary patterns of lizard species in Australia or the behaviours of bearded dragons in captivity. They could be researching the genetic fitness and allele frequencies in wild populations of bearded dragons compared to those that have been breed in captivity.


Herpetologists pursue many different paths. You can find them….


  • in labs conducting research

  • out in the field collecting data

  • educating students at universities and other institutions

  • writing research papers, articles and other educational material

  • working at zoos, aquariums, wildlife agencies and conservation parks

  • in museums studying fossils and other preserved remains


Depending on the level of education, years of experience and level of accomplishments the salaries of Herpetologists can vary from $40,000/year to over $100,000/year. University level professors make about $80,000/year.


To become a herpetologist the educational path is extensive and begins with at least a four-year bachelor’s degree. During these years students study topics such as zoology, biology, anatomy, ecology, statistics, physiology and much more.  Technology courses and foreign language are also often taken to help students prepare for collecting data and working around the world.


© 2019 by Daniel Brown.