1. Gameheads -Antlered (Deer, Elk, Caribou) Horned (Sheep, Bison, Antelope), Other (Hog, Bear, etc)
2. Fish -Skin Warmwater (Bass, Bream), Coldwater (Trout, Salmon), Saltwater (Redfish, Speckle Trout)
3. Fish-Commercial replica or customs cast (All species)
4. Mammals-Small (Squirrel, Raccoon), Medium (Bobcat, Coyote), Large ( Bear, Cougar)
5. African and Exotics-(Zebra, Kudu, Fallow Deer)
6. Birds-Waterfowl (Ducks, Geese), Upland (Turkey, Pheasant)
7. Reptiles-Skin + commercial replica (Snake, Alligator, Turtle)
8. Molding and Casting
9. Form alteration/customization (alteration, sculpting, carcass casting)
10. Composition and Habitat
11. Airbrush Techniques
13. Competition Techniques
14. Fundamentals of Business Management
15. Marketing Strategies
Taxidermy Tech is now headquartered in Pensacola Florida.
Is Taxidermy a profitable career choice?
Any business is a good choice if there is an active market for its products or services and you are motivated, educated and patient. Taxidermists often undervalue themselves which is almost always the first foot in the grave for a new business. There are a number of principles that we indoctrinate our students with from the very beginning which not only serve to professionalize your business but help to legitimize the industry as a whole from a consumer perspective. Business is too often the last focus area for aspiring taxidermists. Our goal is to help you professionalize and operationalize your business from marketing to scheduling to pricing. All of these things combined are important factors in the profitability of taxidermy as a career or even a part time job. Do some analysis on your own…think out some scenarios and do the math. We will help you to think it out, do some analysis and subsequent planning in our Business and Marketing Course, but let's do some examples:
How much does it cost to do a deer head? Pull out your catalog and look at the cost of a form, eyes, earliners and the hanger, etc. If your tanning it yourself, what are the costs of the products you need and if sending it to a tannery, how much will that cost for the service and shipping? How much is shipping on the supplies? How much do you demand per hour as a shop labor rate? If you have shop help, what tasks in the process require general labor and what requires skilled labor and what are those rates? How much does it cost for power, water, phone and rent on the shop, or if you are doing it in the garage, your home? You will have to learn how to factor those direct and indirect costs into your pricing as well as a markup. This is how you set your pricing. Don't undervalue yourself when determining your labor rates and don't shortcut supplies to keep your prices into a range that you think is fair. There are market trends that impact everything in every sector but make no mistake about it…you are in the luxury business, catering to consumer wants… not needs. Set a precedence early on with your pricing. If not, you will be working twice as hard making half as much and eventually you will be overwhelmed, broke and out of business. Set a standard with your pricing and along the way you will become more efficient which will make you more money on the same pricing structure. More on that in BM 101.
If your goal is to make $4000 per month, how many deer would you have to do? There are two trains of thought to this problem, one is to say that your goal divided by your labor rate should answer the question ($4000 / $225 = 17.7) but here we will look at it as a sole proprietor considering shop income after cash costs. Let's say your pricing, based on all of the factors above came to $550 for a shoulder mount deer without a panel…and lets also say that your costs (direct and indirect) excluding your labor costs ($225) equals $185. Subtract that from the total consumer cost $550 - $185 = $365… (Incidentally, the difference between this amount and your labor costs is the cash value of your markup %). Then divide your financial goal by this amount…$4000 / $365 = 10.9. So you would have to do 11 deer to make $4000 but in order to pay yourself and achieve the margin of profit per your markup %, you would have to do 18.
The average small shop will do 30-50 deer a year and larger more established shops will do 150-300 deer a year. At this rate, deer alone could bring $15000 to over $80000 per year. Using the same basic concepts of analysis, you can determine potential earning for all species and then focus your training and ultimately your marketing efforts on those that are in higher demand offering the greatest return.
All of your technical skills are the tools that earn business, but it is your business skills that make you money. Always run your business as a professional business, treat everyone with dignity and respect, do good work and market yourself…and they will come. We are here to help you through this analysis and planning process to get you on the right path to success. We obviously cannot guarantee you success nor can we pinpoint how much money you will make, but taxidermy can be profitable and offers you a good opportunity to make a decent living.
What makes your courses different than others?
There are many well established Taxidermy Schools and Workshops conducted throughout the country that are first class. We do not attempt to compete with any of them nor will we rate any of them or do any comparative marketing for the purpose of getting business. What we will say is that when researching a taxidermy school, experience and past performance are critical and above all, know exactly what you are getting for the money you are paying.
We have 25 years of experience in the Taxidermy Industry and over 25 years of experience in education, training and course design with 15 years instructing taxidermy in a formal school environment, workshop setting or with OJT. Our technical skills are in in Taxidermy, our degree fields in Business and Management and our experience is in training. As a commercial taxidermy studio, our doors were always open to aspiring taxidermists and those who wanted to improve their skills.
What do you provide?
Our courses are all modular in design…you tell us your goals and your needs. We then design and submit a course proposal for you. This can include lodging, training, tools, specimens and materials. 2
Note: You can get a credit to your tution costs by providing your own specimens, however, this is subject to approval and based on the condition of specimens and type of course.
Mentorship- Whether you are starting a business or a hobby, we believe that our commitment to you does not end when you leave the physical premises of Taxidermy Tech.
How much does it cost?
Check our Course catalog for tution costs or fill out our pre-enrollement worksheet for a no obligation proposal.
Average costs for most 1 week courses (48 hours +) is approximately $1750 which included materials. Weekend courses average around $750. You can create entire training programs from our course catalog and save $$.
You may also be able to save $$ by providing your own specimens (upon course instructor approval) and lodging .
What if I cant get off from my job during the week to come to training?
Course work is based on number of hours. We can schedule weekends or in some cases evenings to meet your needs.
Do you offer any types of financial aid or tuition assistance?
Government assistance is currently not available. We have been through the vendorization process with the Veterans Administration for Voc Rehab Self Employment Program, however our vendorization has expired as we are headquartered in a new location. We hope to be able to offer this to our disabled Veterans in the near future. You can qualify for scolarships and tution discounts at registration. For a limited time only we have a reduced tuition sponsorship program for our Wounded Warriors and LEOs. We are always pursuing options to assist with the financing of training to include our own in-house deferred payment option that finances up to 25% of your tuition costs. Your tuition payment schedule is currently divided into 3 major payments… 25%-50%- 25% of which the last 25% is eligible for deferred payment option or Scholarship. There is a possibility that we may pursue external options through financing services, however, this would amount to a signature loan and be subject to credit approval of the lending institution. We also accept all major credit cards, checks, money order and cash. We will be happy to discuss options for your training...there is not very much we cant work out!
Can I bring a family member with me?
This must be addressed on a case by case basis and is dependent primarily on the number of confirmed registrations for the class. In most cases we will allow for a spouse or another verifiable family member to accompany and partner with or assist you at no additional cost, however, any additional specimens, material or lodging costs incurred are in addition to the standard tuition. Room rates are based on double occupancy only.
What is there to do during my off time?
Our programs do provide some time for extra-curricular activities and we can negotiate cost saving deals on a number of activities for students.