Reptile Keeper

As a reptile keeper you will love all kinds of cold blooded animals – from scaly lizards to slithering snakes. You will be kept busy cleaning the enclosures and feeding the reptiles, but you will also check the animals are healthy and that the environment is safe for both reptiles and other people.

Interested in this career? Watch the video
Reptile Keeper
Press play to see what a Reptile Keeper does
What the job looks like
Salary expectation
starts at $35,000 up to $66,300
The good
  • Helping raise awareness about certain species
  • Handling and looking after different kinds of reptiles
  • Having a hands-on job and not being stuck at a desk all day
The not so good
  • Working with dangerous animals can be tiring
  • Always being cautious so no-one gets hurt

A reptile keeper often works at zoos or animal parks and is responsible for looking after all kinds of exotic reptiles.

This includes feeding the animals, cleaning the enclosures and running a show for the public. As a reptile keeper you will need to know information about different types of species to take care of them properly and to pass on information to the public.

Good math skills will be necessary to accurately measure food, liquid formulas or medications for the animals. These measurements will vary depending on the reptile's size, injury or other special requirements, including adjusting the temperature of animal enclosures.

English skills will help you with communicating to visitors or staff and all of your research into reptiles.

If you enjoy caring for animals and like doing hands-on work, then a career as a reptile keeper could be for you.

It’s a passion, I love my job. I couldn’t think of anything else I'd rather do.


Pathways to this career

Subject suggestions for the HSC

Choosing your HSC subjects from this list could really help with your career. Think carefully about what you want to study after school as you might need to choose specific HSC subjects for that course and to count towards your ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank). An ATAR is your academic rank in relation to other HSC students and helps with University admission.

HSC subjects 

Some subjects will count towards your ATAR, others will not. Check with your career advisor before making subject selections.

What can I do after I have finished school?

University degrees 

Studying one of these degrees can help with your career.

Courses and qualifications 

Courses and qualifications can give you a great start.


Check out Australian Repitle Park, Wildlife Sydney Zoo or Australia Zoo for more information

  • Volunteer where you can. Ask any wildlife parks or see if your local pet store is licenced to sell reptiles
  • Check with your local council and even ask your vet if they know of any other opportunities
  • Look into a reptile licence
  • If you are able to take proper care of an animal, ask permission to invest in a species that interests you the most. That way you can learn to handle them at home and study them more closely
  • Watch documentaries and research your favourite reptile species
  • Go to career expos and events like university Open Days for information about what you will study