Paleontologist - How to become a Paleontologist?


Paleontology is the field related to the study of primitive life in Earth. The ancient life of different organisms is figured out from the fossil records. The traces of animals, plants, bacteria, etc. are analyzed for finding their historic existence in the earth crust. Many subdivisions are there in Paleontology. These include micropaleontology, vertebrate paleontology, invertebrate paleontology, taphonomy, biostratigraphy, paleoecology and paleobotany.

The one who works in this field is usually called as Paleontologist. They work for finding out how and what the historic life was like. For some people, the profession is like hobby or their passion and for some others a well paid career. The paleontologists work in different places such as museums, research institutes, colleges, universities, etc. Some of them work on site and these works include unearthing process to find the fossils. Experienced professionals in this field can work as senior project managers or researchers in various research projects.

Qualifying exam

For an entry level in this field to work as a paleontologist one should have a minimum qualification of Bachelor’s degree in geology or related science subjects. But they are limited to work as assistants for the senior paleontologist. For a high designation job in this, one must pursue a Master’s Degree or PhD in paleontology related subjects. They have to undergo training programmes also to work in various research projects. These training can be gained at the post graduation level. If a paleontologist need training for specific research projects, it will be given by the research institutes or by the employers

Who is eligible to apply?

To become a paleontologist one must be prepared from the high school level itself. They should have a strong knowledge in the science subjects and also Mathematics. After pursuing this they can join the under graduate course in geology or earth sciences. The science subject should be major in Bachelor’s degree. Those who have successfully completed Bachelor’s degree can apply for the post graduation course with specialization in the paleontology fields. A PhD in this is also recommended for a good career.

Key Points in the process

  • Pursue high school from any recognized institutions with good academic scores. Give more attention to science subjects like Biology. Try to study the foreign language also.
  • Find the university that offers degree in geology or related subjects. Pursue a bachelor’s degree in that with good scores in mathematics, biology, physics, and geology.
  • Pursue a master’s degree in the same. If possible pursue PhD also for bright career. The teaching profession in this field requires a post graduation or PhD.

Skills required for a Paleontologist

Paleontologists require some different skills to work in this field. They should have a scientific curiosity and analytical mind. The most important is that they should have patience. They have to travel different places for the research and excavation activities. In modern paleontology they must have good statistical and computer skills. They should be good in team work, physically fit and also need a hard working mentality.



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One Response to “Paleontologist - How to become a Paleontologist?”

  1. 1
    steave mathew:

    I am a B.Tech biotechnologist.i like to work in this field concerned with the research of I would like to know if I am eligible to work in labs or do I need any other qualifications to be a paleonotologists and also i would like to know more about the job oppurtunities available in INDIA in this field.thank you.