Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV. 27, 2014
version 7, draft 7

How to Become a Genealogist in the US

Genealogist in the US

Genealogy is the study of the descent of an individual, family or communities. Genealogists, also known as genealogy studies professionals, conduct research to identify the lineage of a person. They not only tell us who our ancestors are, but also draw family trees showing our relationships with family members. If you have a good level of natural curiosity and an academic background in history, you could become a successful genealogist.

What Do Genealogists Do?

Genealogists are tasked with mapping a specific family back to their ancestors using family historical information. This involves:

  • Consulting genealogical tables from countries of interest
  • Studying and analyzing the genealogical data in documents such as marriage certificates
  • Creating diagrams and charts showing a family’s ancestry
  • Highlighting particular points of interest, for instance, if there is an adopted member in the family
  • Preparing reports on their findings and presenting them to clients
  • Supervising and instructing archival technicians and record clerks
  • Maintaining databases, archives and libraries.

Work Environment

Full-time genealogists work from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Freelance genealogists, on the other hand, have irregular work schedules.

These professionals perform most of their duties from their offices even though they at times visit libraries, churches and other areas to obtain information.

This job also involves a lot of travelling. For example, you may be required to conduct research in a foreign country. This means spending time away from your family.

Salary

How much do geologists make in a year? Find out below:

Occupation

 

Annual Salary Range

Genealogist

 

$16,134-$83,061

Source: Payscale

Entry Requirements

To qualify for employment as a genealogist, you should earn a bachelor’s degree in family history with concentrations in genealogy. Few universities offer this program. Some of those offering it include:

It is also possible to get started with a degree in general history or library studies.

To improve your competence and ability to attract employers, you should obtain professional certifications offered by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

Important Skills and Abilities

To become a successful genealogist, you should have:

  • A detailed knowledge of evaluation criteria, citation styles and genealogical data communication
  • Strong research and analytical skills to locate and use historical sources and information
  • Good computers skills to use a variety of genealogical data programs
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Good presentation skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Good record keeping skills

Career Development

After getting a job, the on-the-job experience you acquire will play a crucial role in your career progression. Success often lies in tracing missing persons and presenting accurate family trees to clients.

Besides, you can:

  • Pursue a master’s degree in genealogy
  • Join the National Genealogical Society to access profession publications and other career development resources
  • Learn one or two foreign languages.

Job Opportunities

Although many genealogists work on a freelance basis, you can find full-time jobs in:

  • Social services agencies
  • Archives and libraries
  • Genealogical research companies.

After gaining enough experience and obtaining a master’s degree, you can move into consulting, or teaching in colleges and universities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t provide job growth projections for genealogists. Nonetheless, genealogy is a small field with few employers. If you are not passionate about studying family history, chances are this career will frustrate you.

But if you have a deep interest in helping other people trace their family histories, you will thoroughly enjoy this career.

Perhaps the best thing about genealogists is that they transferable skills. So you can easily move into careers such as authoring, editing and high school teaching.

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'

LEAVE A COMMENT

0 comments

 

RELATED ARTICLES

cytotechnologist
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV 24, 2014

Cytotechnologists are laboratory specialists who examine tissues and tiny cell samples to detect abnormalities in cellular patterns. They play an important role in...

Palaeontologist
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV 23, 2014

Paleontology is the scientific study of plant and animal fossils. Paleontologists strive to understand how life was like millions of years ago and how it has evolved over...

How to Become an Andrologist in the US
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV 14, 2014

Andrology is a field in medicine that focuses on male reproductive health. Unlike urologists who address diseases of the urinary and sexual organs in both females and...

How to Become a Criminologist in the US
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV 14, 2014

Criminologists help law enforcement officers and agencies understand why criminals engage in criminal behavior. They also play an important role in combating crime and...

Mycologist
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV 05, 2014

Mycologists are microbiologists who specialize in studying fungi. They conduct research and tell us the types of fungi that are poisonous or edible. If there is a fungus...

astronomy reading globe
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV 04, 2014

Astrologers study the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies such as the moon and the sun, and how they influence human life. These professionals combine...

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'
G up arrow