Careers in Genealogy

Interest in genealogy has dramatically increased since the year 2000 as the internet grew and became readily available and with TV shows such as Who Do You Think You Are and Genealogy Roadshow

With this increase of interest, there has been an increase of careers in genealogy that can employ anyone with just a little experience and computer knowledge to those with advanced degrees.

Have you thought about a career change or maybe turning your hobby into more of a paid gig?

Take a look at these careers in genealogy and related fields to see if anything interests you.

Genealogy Researcher

Job Description: A genealogy researcher is someone who is often paid to conduct research from someone who wants to do genealogy research but needs assistance beyond their normal skills or capabilities. A genealogy researcher may have access to records in locations that the requester cannot visit or locate themselves. A genealogy researcher may have special skills, techniques or resources to perform their job.

Education Requirements:
 A genealogy researcher can have a variety of skills obtained from regular college degrees such as history or information sciences but there are certificates and degrees designed specifically for genealogy research.

Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City offers a bachelor’s degree program in Genealogy and Family Research studies. Boston University offers an intensive certification program for genealogy research. Having a degree or certificate that specializes in history or genealogy is definitely a benefit for someone wanting to be a professional genealogy researcher.

Archivist

Job Description: An archivist acquires, manages and maintains documents and other materials that have historical importance for individuals, organizations and towns, cities, etc. A large part of their work is related to making information accessible to users in a digital format that can be indexed and searched.

Education Requirements:
 Archivists require a bachelor’s degree in library or archival science. However, archivists can also hold bachelor’s degrees in subjects such as history, art or science.

Historian

Job Description: A historian is a person who researches, analyzes, records and interprets the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals. They may also research items such as photographs, interviews, films and unpublished manuscripts such as personal diaries and letters. A historian might work on a large scale for a specific topic or on a smaller more locality specific area. When conducting genealogy research for a specific area, it’s good to seek out a local historian as they know the ins and outs of a place and typically know more about stuff than what can be found online or at a local library.

A historian might work on a large scale for a specific topic such as the history of a major war or on a smaller topic such as the history of a geographic location.

When conducting genealogy research for a specific area, it’s a good idea to seek out a local historian as they know the ins and outs of a place and typically know more about stuff than what can be found online or at a local library.

Education Requirements: 
Typically historians have either a bachelor or even a master’s degree in history specific to their area of interest.

Customer Service Representative

Job Description: While a customer service representative can sound pretty generic in terms of how it can relate to genealogy, it is still an important job in the genealogy field.

If you have an account from a genealogy company such as ancestry.com23andmefamilysearch.org, etc., you may have communicated with a customer service representative. Many genealogy companies have a customer service department that can help you with a wide range of topics related to your genealogy research. Often, these customer service reps are genealogists or family researchers themselves and can relate to what you have going on.

Education Requirements: Customer service representatives require a positive attitude, previous customer service experience, attention to detail and computer skills related to navigating the internet, proficient typing skills and basic knowledge of Microsoft Windows and Mac.

Bioinformatics Data Specialist

You’ve seen all the genealogy companies that offer a DNA test. Have you thought about the careers of the people who work in the labs to process all those tests?

Job Description: Bioinformatics specialists are computer scientists who apply their knowledge to the management of biological and genomic data. They build databases to contain the information, write scripts to analyze it and queries to retrieve it.

Education Requirements: 
Bioinformatics Data Specialists typically have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in biology, bioinformatics or computer programming.

Expected Job Outlook

As this field continues to grow, employment demand for the jobs listed above as well as others that support genealogy-rated jobs will grow. It’s never too late and it never hurts to look into a career change.