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How to Become a Professional Researcher

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Research keeps the world moving, or at least it keeps American public universities funded and statisticians busy. If you find that you’ve developed a healthy interest in research and are interested in making a career out of it, you have plenty of options in terms of where to begin your career path. However, simply advertising yourself as a professional researcher and hoping an employer will take the bait and hire you isn’t enough to get started in this field.

Specialize. Market research is very different from genealogy, which is different from psychology. Examine your personal and professional interests to decide what kind of research you want to conduct in your career.

Get the education needed to do professional research in your field. To do most kinds of strictly scientific research, you will need at least a Bachelor’s degree if not a Master’s or doctoral degree in the field, preferably with an emphasis or significant coursework pertaining to research. Even most marketing researchers must obtain an undergraduate-level education in market research or a related field to prepare for a professional research career.

Obtain certification to perform professional research, if necessary. Some professional researchers need only an undergraduate or advanced degree for their careers, while others must also get certified to better their chances of finding employment.

Find a job as a professional researcher. Check the classified section of your local newspaper, search online for jobs or contact organizations directly to find out if they are hiring. Where you work depends on your specialization. Check universities and local research facilities for positions in scientific research. Look into advertising companies and corporate offices for work in market research, and consider joining an organization or starting your own business as a genealogy researcher.

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