Snake Milker




What is a Snake Milker? 

Are you a snake lover? Do you love excitement and danger? Do you like living on the edge? Becoming a Snake Milker might be the job for you! 

A Snake Milker is trained to remove (milk) the venom from various, poisonous snakes like mambas, cobras and pythons. 

This is done by gripping the snake behind the head in such a way to expose its fangs. The snake is then encouraged to bite down on a special container which collects the venom which drops from the fangs. This is called milking a snake. The venom is then freeze-dried to send to the labs. 

This is a very dangerous procedure because at any one time, the snake may move and escape leaving the Snake Milker in danger of being bitten.  In some cases, the tiniest drop of venom can kill a full grown man.

This venom is then used to produce anti-venom to combat the poisons in some one who has been bitten by a poisonous snake.

A Snake Milker usually breeds highly poisonous snakes for this purpose. 

Here are some Youtube clips of Snake Milkers:

What does a Snake Milker do?

  • hunts suitable poisonous snakes in the wild to breed
  • breeds snakes
  • feeds snakes
  • monitors well-being of snakes
  • milks snakes
  • freeze-dries venom
  • sends venom to laboratories to make anti-venom and medicines
  • keeps records

Are you … ?

  • responsible?
  • patient?
  • able to concentrate?
  • safety conscious?
  • interested in snakes?
  • careful?
  • interested in science?
  • willing to work unusual hours?

How do I become a Snake Milker?

  • DEGREES: (universities)

Most Snake Milkers have degree or Masters in Herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians) or Biochemistry.

Herpetology is a sub-section of Zoology. This means – you can do a BSc in Zoology and specialise in Herpetology at a post-grad level.

  • DIPLOMA: (universities of technology)

You could study a National Diploma in Nature Conservation and continue on to do a BTech degree.  In this degree you could do research in snakes and Herpetology.

Minimum requirements: 

High marks in the sciences, mathematics & English.  Institutions have their own requirements – check with your institution of choice what theirs are.

  • CAPE REPTILE INSTITUTE: (has volunteer programme)


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Ichthyologist or Game Ranger

Is becoming a Snake Milker the right career choice for me?