You'll learn:

Length: 1 hour

  • To distinguish the difference between Pit-Vipers and Elapids

  • Snake behavior, so you can predict when and when they will be active

  • Venomous snake safety for the workplace

  • First Aid

  • Troubleshooting common scenarios in the worksplace

  • Scenarios in which it is best to NOT handle a venomous snake

  • Relocation BMP's

  • The proper venomous snake handling tools for the workplace

  • Our safe handling standard

  • Take Home: Downloadable Venomous Snake Safety Manual

Be Prepared

Snakebite envenoming can be controlled through preventative measures.

In the U.S. approximately 7-8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes (CDC) each year. While deaths are rare, lasting injuries are more common such as amputation or permanent disabilities. Be prepared if you encounter a venomous snake. This course curriculum was developed by venomous snake safety experts and biologists. We have experience in zoos and with venomous snake research.

Developed for

Ideal for those that need snake safety training with handling training

  • Construction, Utility, Energy

  • Safety workers and managers

  • Maintenance crew

  • Biologists, Researchers, Botanists, Archaeologists, Field Surveyors

  • and more

Training Takeaways

Hazard Awareness + Handling Basics

  • Downloadable Snake Safety Manual

  • Snake Safety + Intro to Handling Certificate

  • Expert Support for Life

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to the course!

  • 2


    • U.S. Venomous Snake Identification

    • PDF: Types of Venomous Snakes

    • Remember!

    • Test your learning

  • 3

    Natural History

    • Natural History of U.S. Venomous Snakes

    • PDF: Anatomy of Venomous Snakes

    • Summary

    • Test your learning

  • 4

    Safety and First Aid

    • Practice Safety

    • PDF: Safety

    • CDC Snake Bite First Aid

    • Test your learning

  • 5

    Introduction to Handling

    • When and Why to Handle a Venomous Snake

    • Equipment and Containment

    • Introduction to Handling

    • PDF: Introduction to Handling

    • Test your learning

  • 6

    Next steps

    • Next Steps

    • Course Assessment

    • Human Dimensions Survey (after the course) + Feedback

    • Congrats! Here's what's next...

    • More resources for you

Learning Outcomes

2 hour course, at your own pace

  • Recognize snake diversity at a broad and local level

  • Identify what drives snake behavior

  • Understand trends and consequences of snake bites

  • Identify and mitigate encounters with U.S. venomous and nonvenomous snakes

  • Understand our safe handling standard and proper tools


Venomous Snake Expert and Biologist

Joe Ehrenberger

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Teaching from Virginia Tech and his Master’s degree in Ecology from Indiana State University Venomous Snake Handling Experience:​ Joe was a Senior Keeper at Indianapolis Zoo, an AZA-accredited institution. As a Senior Zookeeper he worked with a wide variety of venomous (e.g. adders, cobras and relatives, rattlesnakes, and a variety of arboreal vipers and rear-fanged species) and nonvenomous snake species from around the world. His experience also includes husbandry of arboreal pit vipers and rattlesnakes at Indiana State University. He has also conducted research on Prairie Rattlesnakes their natural habitats. This research included tracking, PIT-tagging to determine hibernacula and provide management recommendations to agencies. In recent years, Joe traveled to Central and South America working with native herpetofauna, including venomous species like Bushmasters, Fer de Lance, Neotropical rattlesnakes, and Coral snakes. He is also experienced with Gila monsters and Mexican beaded lizards, both of which are venomous lizards. He provides snake safety training to agencies and industry staff.

Wildlife Biologist

Kelly Triece

Kelly Triece is an experienced field wildlife ecologist and environmental educator. Kelly has years of experience in habitat restoration, reptile, amphibian and avian research and public outreach and education. Kelly received a B.A. in Biological Sciences from University of Delaware and a M.S. in Ecology and Evolution from Montclair State University where her research focused on identifying and restoring critical habitat linkages in New Jersey. She currently works at Adaptation and teaches Biology at her local community college.

Get trained now

OSHA Standard 1926.21(b)(4) says that in job site areas where harmful plants or animals are present, employees who may be exposed shall be instructed regarding the potential hazards, and how to avoid injury, and the first aid procedures to be used in the event of injury.


5 star rating

Simple, Important, Well-Formated

Emily MacArthur

This course made me feel very confident and ready to identify venomous snakes, and how to react if I come across one. I feel prepared to take the in-person c...

Read More

This course made me feel very confident and ready to identify venomous snakes, and how to react if I come across one. I feel prepared to take the in-person course. They did an excellent job of stressing responsibility, a cool head, and respect for the animal while mitigating fear.

Read Less
5 star rating

Excellent course

Jessica Ransier

Very thorough introductory material for wildlife/ herp professionals!

Very thorough introductory material for wildlife/ herp professionals!

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  • How long is the training?

    This online training typically takes 1 hour to complete.

  • Is there a certificate?

    Yes, there is a 3 year Venomous Snake Safety with Intro to Handling Certificate with the successful completion of this training.

  • Are there materials I get to keep?

    This training comes with a fillable Snake Safety Plan and Venomous Snake Safety Manual.

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