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

In-person (Atlanta) | Weekend workshop | Certificate program | Offered every 6 weeks

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!

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:

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 for adults (18+).

The course fee is $325.

See available sessions below. Each 2-day workshop occurs over a weekend, from 9:30 - 3 EST both Saturday and Sunday.

* due to the extreme hands-on nature of the class, the class might let out a little earlier or later. While we aim to end the class at 3pm, the class has been known to end anytime between 2-4pm.

Workshops are offered every 6 weeks.

April 1-2, 2022

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May 13-14, 2023

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June 24-25, 2023

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Local Hotels

Most of the students for Venom Class come from out of town. Here is a link to a Google Map of local hotels. AF is not aware of any that should be avoided. Many students stay at the Hampton Inn, which is 1.6 miles from AF.

Hotels Close to AF

Course Instructors

The Instructors for the Venom Handling and Certification Program are:

  • Maryann Barbon, Lead Venomous Instructor
  • Michael Goldman, Venomous Instructor
  • Marjan Ghadrdan, Venomous Instructor
  • Sami Netherton, Venomous Instructor
  • Ian Wilson, Venomous Instructional Assistant

Refund Policy

The Refund Policy for the Venomous Training & Certification is as follows.

Two weeks or more before class starts - FULL REFUND

After two weeks, if you would like to cancel your registration, we will work with you to find a replacement. If someone is found, then a full refund will be provided.

Because the seating is extremely limited, and the class sells out quickly, we may not be able to provide you with a refund if you cancel within two weeks of the start date, and we are unable to find a replacement.

We recommend registering for the class if you are reasonably sure you will be able to attend. We offer this class every other month, so there will be more opportunities.

Registering without PayPal

You do not need a PayPal account to register for classes at AF, just a debit or a credit card. If you are having trouble, here's a short instructional video covering how to register without a PayPal account'