Top Paleontology Jobs

Updated: January 6, 2020

Paleontologists are often associated with dinosaurs, and in part, that’s accurate. On a more general scale, though, paleontologists study the history of plants and animals by scrutinizing fossils. Before pursuing a career in paleontology, be aware that the majority of paleontologists hold a Ph.D. in the field, so you’ll be in for some serious study time. Once you’re a certified dinosaur expert, read on for a list of job options.

1. Teacher — More specifically, you would probably be a paleontology professor at the university level. Teaching is the most common job for paleontologists, and it will allow you to share your knowledge of biology, geology, climate, and other scientific topics.

2. Research Specialist — Research is the main component of most jobs in the paleontology field. You’ll spend your day digging in the dirt and taking your finds back to the lab for analysis.

3. Museum Curator — There are a handful of museums across the nation that have large enough exhibits to necessitate a paleontologist on staff. Your job is to inform audiences about the exhibits, locate and acquire new finds, and consult with people who present their own ancient discoveries.

4. Prospector — Yep, just like the old days, you can use your skills to help oil companies find their next reservoir. Using your geological know-how and some scientific equipment, you quickly assess whether an area has loads of oil beneath the surface.

5. Specialty Environmental Monitor — This title may not be on every job board, but it’s a rewarding position that allows you to put your paleontology degree to good use. You monitor the activities of construction crews on specific projects to make sure they adhere to environmental compliance policies.