A person wishing to become an astrologer should study the discipline of astrology thoroughly and become familiar with astrological terminology and symbolism. There are many other skills that are important for an astrologer to have, such as strong writing and math skills and good analytical ability. A professional astrologer must be able to create astrological charts, either drawing them by hand or generating them with computer software. More important than the ability to create charts, however, is the ability to analyze and interpret charts for the client. Many astrologers are self-employed, so an aspiring astrologer should be able to promote herself and the services she offers.
There are degree programs available in astrology. The aspiring astrologer should decide whether she wishes to complete her coursework online or at a college or university campus. Anyone wishing to become an astrologer should fully research degree or certificate programs, as they can vary in length, content and reputation. A strong background in mathematics, science, philosophy, or writing can also be helpful in becoming a professional astrologer. Someone who wants to become an astrologer should keep up with new trends in astrology by reading recent literature on the subject.
The basis of any astrological prediction is the astrological chart. Charts are circular diagrams that are divided into twelve sections, or houses, with each section representing a different astrological sign. The most common type of astrological chart is the natal, or birth, chart, which illustrates the positions of the planets in the heavens at the precise date and time of the subject's birth. An individual who wants to become an astrologer might find it useful to be able to draw a birth chart by hand, using a drafting compass, ruler, calculator, and an up-to-date astrological ephemeris. Astrological software programs that create charts more quickly are also available, frequently via a free Internet download.
In modern times, the astrological chart is usually computer generated rather than hand-drawn, so the real work for the astrologer lies in interpreting the meaning of the chart. Each astrological sign, planet, and house has a special significance. The person who wants to become an astrologer must understand individual meanings and also be able to analyze how these elements interact within a chart. It is customary for an astrologer to write up a comprehensive final chart analysis for each client.
Someone wishing to become an astrologer professionally should also be ready to run her own small business. It may be helpful for the would-be astrologer to draft a business plan that outlines her goals for the business and estimates profits, losses, and expenses. Astrologers may gain clients through a variety of marketing strategies, such as printing out business cards or brochures, maintaining a website or blog, or giving a new client an initial reading for free.