Most careers in paleontology require an advanced degree such as a master's or doctorate. While few universities offer degrees in paleontology itself, the geology department teaches most coursework on the subject. Additionally, jobs in the field often demand extensive knowledge of evolution, ecology and systematics.
University professors of paleontology primarily teach classes and pursue research. However, as with most professorships, you will also need to tackle writing student testimonials and intra-departmental administration as well, according to The Paleontologic Association.
Science museums employ paleontologists to work in both geological and non-geological departments. Often, these professionals monitor and document the condition of a museum's collections and are in charge of setting up events, lectures and overseeing volunteers. Usually, there is very little academic research.
Television channels that produce documentaries employ paleontologists to research a topic in depth, interview experts and provide content for their programs. More mundane tasks of a the job include scanning archival footage, tracking down tapes and tedious paperwork.
Working for a scientific publication often involves reading large amounts of submissions and determining whether they would be of interest to readers. Other tasks may including writing articles and attending scientific conferences.
Palynologist or Stratigrapher
The oil industry employs paleontologists who specialize in palynology, the study of organic matter in sediment, and stratigraphy, the study of rock layers, according to The Paleontological Association. On site work may include advising on operational decisions while studying the sediment that is being drilled. The bulk of the job includes writing reports and reviewing data of other scientists. However, according to the Paleontological Research Institution, in recent years, oil industry jobs for paleontologists have become rarer.