Think all archaeology career opportunities are about being outside, digging around in the dirt while the sun is blazing overhead? Think again. You can take your passion for archaeology and put it into a more comfortable environment if you'd prefer.
Where Archaeologists May Work
- Colleges and universities
- Federal or state governments (the U.S. Forest Service, Army Corp of Engineers, National Park Service, and State Historic Preservation Offices are a few examples)
- Private companies
- Consulting companies
Overview of Archaeology Career Opportunities
There are many ways to study human cultures and their development, the core of archaeology. There are also opportunities to spread public awareness and knowledge about the studies, the sites, or the field in general.
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- Conduct research and publish the results - You can do this in almost any type of archaeological career, whether you work for a university, a museum, or a private sector.
- Teach: You can teach in a college or university, but you may also teach as part of a museum via public presentation. Some of the teaching responsibilities include creating displays and taking care of the museum collections.
- Conduct field studies: You can work in the field within almost any area of archaeology. If you are a professor, for example, you may take a semester or more off (usually in the summer) to gather research and report on your findings.
- Investigate and analyze artifacts and sites: This is another area in which almost anyone in an archaeology profession should expect to work. It may be harder to investigate actual sites if you are working as a museum curator, for example, because those tend to be full-year jobs. Professors and those in private sectors, however, may frequently have the opportunity to investigate and analyze what they have uncovered.
- Complete Cultural Resource Management (CRM) investigations: This job is generally within the private sector and government, and will include locating potential excavation sites, excavate before sites are destroyed for new construction, and conduct the investigations required by law. The nature of the job is supervisory.
- Raise public awareness for archaeology by hoping to arrange school field trips, writing press releases, and more: Those with museum positions often do this type of work.
Find a Job
Society for Historical Archaeology: You will find job postings on this site, so check back frequently. They will not accept resumes at this time. These jobs will be in the historical archaeology field, so they will entail the study of remains from past societies and encompass multiple sites on land and in water.
Archaeological.org is another site where you can search for archaeology career opportunities. These jobs are in classical archaeology and are updated monthly. Subscribers are emailed alerts when new jobs are sent in. Members can submit CVs to be put into a yearly publication called the Placement Book. Membership is also a valuable way to network with others in the field, which could lead to job opportunities independent of the listings.
Don't forget to submit your CV to community colleges, colleges, and universities if you're interested in a teaching position. You will need at least a master's degree to pursue this type of position.
At the very least, someone interested in pursuing an archaeology career opportunity needs a bachelor's degree. Possible majors include not just archaeology, but anthropology too. If your college of choice doesn't have archaeology program or you want to change your major without moving to a new school, check for an anthropology program instead. You will also need previous field experience.
If you like to be in charge, there are supervisory roles to be filled. However, you'll need a master's degree or a doctorate.
How to Get Experience
You can volunteer to go on a dig. That means you get the experience you need to score one of the archaeology career opportunities out there, and you also get to get a feel for what the job can be like, make connections with other experts in the field, and more. Visit Archaeological.org for details on fieldwork opportunities. You could also contact your state's archaeological society.