Is becoming a paleontologist right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do paleontologists do?
Career Satisfaction
Are paleontologists happy with their careers?
What are paleontologists like?

Still unsure if becoming a paleontologist is the right career path? to find out if this career is in your top matches. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a paleontologist or another similar career!

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How to become a Paleontologist

A doctoral degree or Ph.D is almost always necessary for any serious professional career in paleontology, especially as a researcher or a professor. A strong educational background in the natural sciences is required, specifically focusing in the areas of biology and geology. Having a major in one of these areas and a minor in the other is a great way to gain necessary background knowledge. Having a double-major is of course ideal. Statistical analysis and computer skills are also necessary, and it is recommended that these be pursued during the undergraduate years.

A bachelor's degree will take fours years to complete, a masters degree will usually take two to three years to complete, and a Ph.D usually takes four to six years to complete.

It is important to speak to your professors early on to see if they can point you in the direction of volunteer or paid fieldwork and research opportunities, as it is an important element of paleontological training. It is also a great way to network with professionals in the field.