You don’t have to be paid or have a job to be a scientist. If you ask questions about the world around you, and use critical thinking you are a scientist. I have been a scientist since 5th grade. I didn’t get paid to be a scientist until the summer after my sophomore year in college.
I completely agree with Zoe. You don’t have to be paid to apply a scientific mindset to the world. I think people basically begin as scientists because once we’re born, we have to learn how the world works, and we do this by experimenting and empirical observations. Somewhere along the line, though, this natural process gets taken over by people telling us how to think instead of just doing it ourselves. My advice is, never stop questioning, and you’ll never stop being a scientist!