Thursday, 16 May 2013

Becoming A Professional Genealogist

It goes without saying that I find genealogy to be incredibly rewarding. Lately I've been thinking a lot about extending the scope of my personal family history research by studying genealogy, with the goal of ultimately becoming a professional genealogist.

I've been doing some research on the Internet, and what I've found so far hasn't filled me with hope. The genealogy courses I have found are expensive, and the actual qualifications obtained vary from course to course. It appears that a genealogy degree, or some relevant qualification, is required for entry to most family history societies, but that even with such qualifications it is very difficult to find employment. 

I would love to work as a freelance genealogist. Reading through family history magazines and websites I have seen countless adverts from genealogists offering their services, so at least some people must be making a living doing what they love. I am by no means an expert, but I've been tracing my ancestry for several years; I've also helped my wife and various friends with their family trees. I know I've got the dedication to be a professional genealogist, but:
  • do I have sufficient knowledge without taking an expensive degree course and gaining a qualification?
  • would anybody hire me? This is the scary part, as I'd be needing to make a living from this.
I'm not giving up yet. I'm going to keep on researching to see if I can make my dream a reality. If anybody reading this has gone through the same thing, or if you are now working as a professional genealogist, I'd love to hear from you.