Before yesterday I didn't know much about professional genealogists. I was browsing around on ancestry.com and ended up on this page which provided a nice overview of organizations that credential genealogists.
Now, I am still very much in the infancy of my genealogy skills and I am far from a pro, but I found this intriguing. The Association of Professional Genealogists maintains chapters all around the United States and the closest to me happens to be quite a few hours away.
I was also surprised to learn that there are educational programs at colleges and universities in fields such as genealogy, family history, and genealogical research. One of the other methods to improve skills that was recommended by the APG was reading books.
Anyone read this book?
It is pretty old (published in 1998), but got mostly positive reviews. I was amused by the extreme difference in the dates the ratings were posted - some in 1999 and some in 2011 without many in between. I suppose this is somewhat fitting as my very first introduction to genealogy in the form of a school assignment dates back to about this same time!
Another route to becoming a professional is to become 'board certified' through the Board for Certification of Genealogists. On the "Are You Ready for Certification?" page I was struck by the first question regarding the numbers of hours spent on genealogy research! One point is given for every 250 hours. I wonder how many hours I have done? Might be interesting to start keeping track (though I feel like the last thing I need to my research routine is something else to keep track of!).
While this is certainly not something I will pursue in the immediate future, I think it would be a nice way to recognize all of my hard work down the road.