Well it depends what type of scientist you want to be and what qualifications your school offers.
For example if you want to become a doctor or dentist or vet you need to get a university degree. What you need to get to that point depends on the university but generally you need to have qualifications, like A-levels, in chemistry at least and preferably the other sciences.
But then on the other hand, if you don’t like studying so much, there should be apprenticeships for other areas of science for when you leave school.
Personally, I got my GCSEs and A-levels. I then decided I wanted to study at university so got a degree (the qualification you get from university). After that many of my friends went to be scientists at different companies whilst I stayed at university to be a scientist who did a lot of research.
Depending on which type of science you like best you usually need at least 1 A Level in either Chemistry, Biology or Physics. Also, maths is always really helpful, and sometimes you need to have Maths A Level to do Chemistry.
I reckon you can think of yourself as a “scientist” at any age or level, as long as you have an inquisitive mind, a real interest in how things work and why, and enjoy doing experiments on scientific topics!
I’m similar, I have GCSE’S, A-Levels in science. Then a university degree in a science subject. I also did a masters degree as I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do. A lot of my friends went into various jobs after this degree but I stayed at University to do a PhD.
For what I want to do you need a PhD (which is research at a University) but there are plenty of jobs out there that require a undergraduate degree.