How to get into paleontology as a career on geology?


Dec 25, 2020
Ever since I was little (likely common) I have wanted to get into paleontology. I live in Montana, and even went fossil digging in Choteau, landing myself quite the find. It's what sparked it, but life altered for me to where I couldn't pursue it - until now.

Does anyone have resources I can look into? First steps? Internship opportunities? Anything on geology?


Staff member
Jun 3, 2020
You can pursue Bachelors and Masters degree in Geology. Paleontology specialization is very rare and very few colleges offer it. Generally, people complete Masters in Geology and then do Ph.d. in Paleontology. The Biology background is helpful in studying Paleontology as the identification & classification of the fossils requires a knowledge of anatomy. Paleontology can be studied as a part of Geology (prehistoric life forms and their relationship with the environment) and Biology (prehistoric life forms and their evolutionary history). It's a borderline subject and you'll frequently find the concepts of both Geology and Biology. So, it's better to choose both these subjects in Bachelors and pursue one of them in Masters to do a specialization in Paleontology in academic research. The career opportunities are mostly in academic fields as only a few industries depend upon the fossils. For example, Petroleum industry requires a study of microfossils to identify petroleum basin. The internship opportunities are rare as this is not a major field of study. Most people don't plan a career in Paleontology but it accidentally happens. As you're from Montana, you can check available courses in Montana State University.

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