Venomous Training Program

We are pleased to offer a Venomous Handling and Certification Program at the Amphibian Foundation in partnership with the Rattlesnake Conservancy.

This 2-day workshop is a comprehensive training to prepare yourself for working with venomous snakes, or encountering them in the field safely. Using the techniques and protocols laid out by TRC, not a single person (TRC, AF staff or students) has ever been bitten by a venomous serpent.

This training sets the standard for safety, husbandry, and protocol for working with venomous reptiles. Our Level 1 Program is the leading venomous training program in the United States and has been taught to over 100 students. If you are a land manager, environmental consultant, first responder, zoo professional, herpetology enthusiast, photographer, or private citizen looking to learn how to safely handle and relocate venomous reptiles, this course is for you! Topics covered in the course include:

Hands on individual training, guided by one of our professional instructors.

Handling methods for non-venomous and venomous snakes.

Learn about the life history, toxinology, and ecology of native venomous reptiles.

Emergency field care for envenomation

Methods of relocation

This course consists of 2-days of intense training with expert instructors. The first day of the Level 1 Course involves 8 hours of classroom work, where students learn about venom toxinology, native venomous snakes in their region, snake bite management, captive venomous reptiles, and disease monitoring and management.

On day 2, students take a written test on the information they learned the day before and begin hands on training with venomous reptiles. Students learn about the various type of handling equipment available to safely work with venomous reptiles, how to spot venomous reptiles in the wild, and handle multiple species and sizes of venomous snakes. Routinely, students will work with Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon c. piscivorus), Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus), Copperheads (Agkistrodon c. contortrix), and Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes (Crotalus adamanteus).

This course is applicable for novices and individuals with entry level experience, or may be taken by advanced individuals as a refresher on information learned.

This class is not wheelchair accessible


The Rattlesnake Conservancy

Participation in the venomous handling courses by the Rattlesnake Conservancy and/or the Amphibian Foundation, does not guarantee certification by our organizations. Students must successfully pass a written and practical test to achieve certification. Completion of the course does not substitute a venomous permit or other permit that may be required to keep venomous or handle reptiles within your state of residency. Before collecting or possessing venomous reptiles, students should contact their state wildlife management agency to ensure no permits are required prior to keeping or handling venomous reptiles.

Pricing & Registration

Level I Venomous Training & Certification Program is a 2-day (weekend) workshop.

Next Course: We will be offering the course again at AF in August 2021! Please fill out the form linked below to be put on the mailing list, and we'll let you know as soon as registration opens.

Venom Mailing List

For More Information, see The Rattlesnake Conservancy