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Career information


The human taxidermist finds his tasks in the fields of anatomy, pathology and forensic medicine.

In anatomy, the area of responsibility includes the preservation of corpses, the preparation of anatomical specimens for demonstration and research purposes and the supervision of dissection courses for students. In the field of anatomy, creative skills are particularly important.

In pathology and forensic medicine, the taxidermist assists the doctors during autopsies. In addition to carrying out particularly complex and technically challenging preparations, he is also responsible for the professional restoration of the corpse. Here, too, permanent specimens can be prepared for scientific investigations, teaching purposes and documentation.

For these activities, the taxidermist generally requires both anatomical knowledge and extensive knowledge of preservation techniques and manual skills. A high level of confidentiality is required in all specialist areas of human taxidermists.



Federally approved examination regulations dated July 4, 2011.

Exam preparations

The qualifications required for the exam are usually acquired autodidactically. The examination regulations and instructions are available from the Association of Swiss Human Taxidermists VSHP.

Educational offers

The practical and theoretical training takes place at the institute where the human taxidermist is employed.


3 years, with 100% employment.

Tested subjects

  • Autopsy and preparation (e.g. acceptance of a corpse, preservation of individual organs)

  • Professional knowledge (e.g. apparatus/instrument maintenance)

  • chemical knowledge (e.g. solutions for preparation purposes)

  • Commercial matters / computer skills (e.g. mortuary accounting, statistics)

  • Legal knowledge / accident prevention (e.g. health law, reporting, confidentiality)

  • General specialist knowledge (e.g. anatomy, physiology, coffin)

  • Depending on the specialist area where the person being examined works (anatomy, pathology or forensic medicine), the examination material may vary.


"Human taxidermist with federal certificate"


Required when taking the exam:

  • Completion of at least 3 years of basic vocational training or equivalent identification


  • At least 3 years of practice as a human taxidermist in Switzerland, with 100% workload


  • Proof of at least 150 autopsies carried out or 150 injected corpses in anatomy


  • At least 2 weeks of internship in an external company and working with a taxidermist with a federal certificate. Specialist certificate


Offers from the Swiss Association. Human Taxidermy VSHP, from the German Society for Preparation Technology DGP and other foreign associations as well as institutes at home and abroad.

Further training in the three specialist areas of anatomy, pathology and forensic medicine is largely self-study.

Professional relationships

There are around 70 human taxidermists working in Swiss institutes. The demand tends to decrease. There are only a few training places and jobs. Depending on the place of work, working hours may be irregular or require work on weekends and public holidays.

Trained specialists also take on management tasks and train employees who report to them.

The job requires a very precise way of working, skilled hands, mental and physical resilience and confidentiality.

The exam

The profession of “human taxidermist” is not an everyday one and it often requires patience, perseverance and sometimes a little luck to get a training position and ultimately a diploma. We would like to help aspiring human taxidermists and provide important information.

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