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I Want to be a Paleontologist Contrary to popular belief paleontology is more than just dinosaurs Paleontology is the study of the history of life on Earth as reflected in fossil records There are many subdivisions of the field of paleontology including vertebrate paleontology invertebrate paleontology micropaleontology paleobotany taphonomy biosrtatigraphy and paleoecology Paleontologists are also frequently involved in studies about evolutionary biology Preparation for becoming a paleontologist can begin as early as freshman year of high school The best starting point is a college-prep program with as many math and science courses as possible Outside reading and visiting museums with fossil displays is helpful Good overall grades in high school are almost always required for admission to a good college or university which is a necessary prerequisite for a career in paleontology In college a strong background in science primarily biology and geology is absolutely necessary Courses which are recommended to students that are pursuing a career in paleontology that attend the University of Michigan are Sedimentary Geology Organismal Function and Evolution Intro to Paleontology Paleontology Laboratory and Fossil Record Once you have taken these classes you must to choose I want to major in biology or geology A doctorate or PhD is also important for any serious professional career in paleontology Before you pursue a doctorate you may choose to take classes to get your Masters degree An MS in paleontology usually takes 2 to 3 years to complete A PhD usually takes 4 to 6 years if you already received an MS or 6 to 8 if you havent already received a PhD The salary of a paleontologist can greatly vary The salaries determined by Surveys of the National Association of Colleges and Employees of several similar occupations are listed Geologist w Bachelors - 30 900 Geoscientists in oil and gas industryless than two years experience - 48 400 Federal Governments Avg Salary for Geologists - 59
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