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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How to Become a Professional Genealogy Researcher

Learning how to become a professional genealogy researcher is the first step in a rewarding career. If you have always been interested in helping people find out who their ancestors were, or learn more about where they came from, this might be the right field for you.

Image via Wikimedia

Certified genealogists in Maryland and other parts of the United States usually run their own businesses. This means that you can set your own rates and working hours. Of course, it also means that the entire burden of running your business successfully will rest on you. If you know you don’t have strong skills in bookkeeping or marketing, you will need to partner with persons who do.

You may already be working in this area as an assistant researcher and want to step up to another level. If you reside in the United States, your first step should be to join the Association of Professional Genealogists. This will give you the opportunity to meet researchers who are experts as well as beginners in the area.

You should also aim to attend as many conferences as you can which are based on your chosen specialty. If you plan to be accredited, you should look at the information on accreditation that is available on the website of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists.

After you have learned how to become a professional genealogy researcher and invested the time in your education, you may choose to specialize in a particular area. For example, some men and women choose to focus on adoptions, or on particular ethnic groups, such as Native Americans or African Americans. Participating in national conferences will provide more information on the things that interest you and help you become a better genealogist.

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