Hi! If you mean how long did I study before getting a proper science job, it was 3 years for a Bachelor’s degree, 2 years Master’s degree, 6 years PhD, all done in Prague, Czechia. That’s different in the UK though, as you don’t need a Master’s degree and PhDs often last just 3-4 years. On the other hand, I was already part-time employed at the university as a Research Assistant during my PhD.
If you mean in general, I’d say something like 30 years 😀 I became interested in animals and nature as a kid and since then just followed what I loved and let it guide me instead of making any real career decisions. Might not be the wisest advice, but worked for me so far 🙂 Of course, I would have made loads more money in the biotech industry, as well as having a more secure job there, so if money and stability is the main motivation, then it might be worth directing your career a bit more towards some industry research job rather then just going where your curiosity takes you 😀