How to Become An Archaeologist

How to Become An Archaeologist

Archeology is the study of the ancient human past through material remains. It is also a child of anthropology, the study of different human cultures. The earth has such a deep history that we need archaeologists to tell us about its history and how it happened. All the more reason why you can become an archaeologist. In this article, we will talk about the archaeologist career path and all you need to know to become an archaeologist.

What is Archeology?

Archaeology is the study of materials developed by humans since they first set foot on earth. Archaeologists have to study and restore ancient ruins from different eras and eras. From the age of dinosaurs on earth to the evolution of man. You can make a career in archeology. Archeology is studied to learn more about the past through bones, images, means of communication, human remains, and animals.

Who is an Archaeologist?

Archaeologists are scientists who study the remains of previous civilizations and peoples. They examined objects such as dwellings, clothing, tools, bones, pottery, and other artifacts left by people long ago.

Archaeologists collect many types of evidence from different places and make observations and evaluations of the results. Anyone who wants to become an archaeologist must have a solid knowledge of history and geography.

The work of an archaeologist involves conducting surveys in many locations using a variety of methods and equipment and manipulating data using sketches, notes, and photographs.

What do archaeologists do?

Typical duties of an archaeologist include:

  • Identify, analyze and date excavated artifacts
  • Collect data on artifacts and other objects found during excavations or research sites
  • Analyze data to make logical conclusions about past cultures, behaviors, and other aspects of human civilization
  • Use computer applications such as geographic information systems (GIS) and computer-aided design (CAD) to develop archaeological simulations of what a product or site might have looked like in the past
  • Use aerial photography and geophysical surveys to locate dig sites
  • Write reports and documents on the results
  • Personnel guidance in earthworks
  • Keep archaeological inventories
  • Artifact cleaning, restoration, and conservation
  • Comparing finds from one site with archaeological data from another to identify differences or similarities

How to Become An Archaeologist

To become an archaeologist you should meet the educational requirements and follow these steps:

1 – Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

You must have completed an undergraduate degree with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology or another related field such as geography and history. After graduating from high school (10+2) you can enroll in a B.A. degree in Archaeology. During your training, you will carry out professional appraisals of archaeological finds and can participate in excavation projects. This will help you analyze and interpret historical information.

2 – Complete An Internship

Internships or fellowships offer great field experience, a requirement for many archaeological jobs. Some places that can offer archaeological internships are museums, archaeological organizations, and government agencies. Because internships provide supervised experiences, you can assess your suitability for this type of work and ensure it’s the right career choice.

3 – Earn a Master’s Degree

You can find entry-level jobs with a bachelor’s degree, but most archaeologists prefer a master’s degree after graduation. A master’s degree can give you a deeper understanding of the field and further develop your technical skills. Some common master’s degrees include MA, MPhil, Diploma, and Graduate Diploma in Archeology or a related field.

4 – Consider Getting a Ph.D.

If you want to serve as an archeology professor or lead a senior project, consider a Ph.D. in archeology or a related field. A Ph.D. typically takes three years, in addition to several months of field research on a specific dissertation.

5 – Join An Archaeology Association

When you join the Archaeological Society you will meet people who are passionate about this area and want to preserve its cultural heritage. Through these associations, you can keep up to date with the latest news and read archeology-related journals. Joining a local society can build your network, help you share your research, and develop your skills. Plus, the connections you make can help you find better career opportunities.

6 – Create Your Resume

A professional resume that shows your relevant education, skills, and experience can impress potential employers. When writing your resume, focus on your archeology experience and the specific area in which you would like to build your career. For example, if you are applying for a position as a historical archaeologist, mention your field experience rather than your teaching experience.

7 – Seek Employment

Depending on your area of ​​interest, you may find employment after completing your bachelor’s or master’s degree. Finding a suitable job after graduation is important to gain experience and advance professionally. Some entry-level archaeologist jobs include associate archaeologists, collections managers, cultural resource specialists, and historians

Different Types of Archaeologists

Archeology is a branch of anthropology and you can specialize in different areas. The area you choose defines the type of archaeologist you become. Some of the most common types of archaeologists are: 

Bioarchaeologist: Bioarchaeologists are professionals who study the skeletal remains of archaeological sites. This can include various specializations such as studying human remains, researching ancient diseases, and genetic research.

Environmental Archaeologist: These archaeologists study the interrelationships between ancient peoples and their natural environment. Environmental archaeologists answer questions about the natural habitats of ancient people. They examine the plants, animals, and crops that appeared at a particular time and how people used them in their daily lives. It involves field research and laboratory experiments.

Landscape Archaeologists: These archaeologists study the natural and man-made changes that occur in various landscapes. Landscape archaeologists try to understand the connections between habitats and landscapes and human behavior. They also explain how changes in the landscape lead to cultural changes.

Ethnoarchaeologist: Ethnoarchaeologists conduct ethnographic surveys of formerly inhabited communities to gain insights into the past. They uncover clues and provide valuable insights into the habits, culture, and customs of people at a given time. Ethnoarchaeologists may need to study the ancient culture of a place and compare it to the way of life of modern people living in the area.

Underwater Archaeologists: They are also called marine or marine archaeologists. They mainly study underwater ruins and search for underwater cities, shipwrecks, and other underwater archaeological sites. To uncover evidence of submersion, these archaeologists must delve into deep water and search with sophisticated archaeological tools.

Aerial Archaeologist: Using aerial photography and photography, these archaeologists can discover new dig sites. Although it is a high-altitude exploration, it does not require digging.

Aviation Archaeologist: These professionals discover and examine airplanes, abandoned airbuses, airstrips, or other historical sites related to the history of aviation. Aviation archaeologists use the information gathered to try to explain the past actions and events that led to plane crashes.

Commercial Archaeologists: These professionals study the goods that ancient people traded and bartered. They also study the different modes of transportation used in business activities. Commercial archaeologists may need to explore ancient trade routes and ports and discover ancient markets. Through their research, these archaeologists tried to answer the trade relations between nations and the exchange of goods between them.

Industrial Archaeologists: These professionals specialize in researching the physical remains of industry-related artifacts and by-products. Industrial archaeologists use this information to learn more about the industries that existed and how people produced goods in specific periods. They also decipher the types of tools and raw materials used to craft various goods.

How to Become An Archaeologist: Where Do Archaeologists Work? 

Today, most archaeologists work in the field of Cultural Resource Management (CRM). CRM Corporation is responsible for archaeological research following federal historic preservation laws. Archaeologists employed by CRM companies can serve as temporary field or laboratory assistants. Or they could be project managers or administrators. CRM archaeologists direct field and laboratory work and manage staff. After collecting data, they are responsible for writing reports and other publications to share their findings. CRM archaeologists may also engage in public education and outreach. They can share their knowledge with the public through excursions, brochures, and exhibitions.

Archaeologists do more than just “dig”. Archaeologists in federal, tribal, and state agencies manage, protect, and interpret archaeological sites on public lands. Some work in museums, archaeological parks, or historical sites. Archaeologists may manage collections of cultural relics and work in education or public planning. They can become stewards managing projects related to research, collections, education, and exhibitions. Colleges and universities employ archaeologists as faculty members to teach undergraduate and graduate students. Academic archaeologists are active researchers in their field in addition to teaching. They write grants to fund their research. They also oversee the analysis and interpretation of projects and publish the results of their work. Her research appears in books, journals, and popular publications.

How to Become An Archaeologist: Do Archaeologists Travel?

It depends. Archaeologists whose field of research is not close to where they live can travel there to conduct surveys, excavations, and laboratory analyses. However, many archaeologists do not travel very often. This applies to some posts in federal and state governments, museums, parks, and historic sites. These jobs include managing collections, public programs, and educational programs. Other archaeologists travel but within a limited geographic area. For example, an archaeologist leading a project for a large engineering firm may travel within a radius of several hundred miles, depending on the company’s needs. Your trip may depend on ongoing projects. They may spend a lot of time in laboratories and offices, conducting analysis and writing reports or publications. Professional archaeologists spend more time on these tasks than on-site.

How to Become an Archaeologist: The Educational Path

Secondary School

In high school, it’s important to develop your basic skills in math, science, English, and history. Archaeologists need excellent research and writing skills – they write more than they dig! They also apply mathematical and statistical concepts in the field and data analysis. Learning a foreign language can also help, as can knowledge of programming, chemistry, or physics. Archaeologists also need to be good at communicating with a wide audience. They share their findings with other archaeologists and the public.

Post-Secondary School

The minimum education to work in the field of archeology is a 4-year university degree (BA or BS). Archaeologists typically study anthropology or archaeology. They also receive training in archeology and laboratory techniques. Positions at this level are limited to field or laboratory assistants. Some professional qualifications for archaeologists are defined by the Register of Professional Archaeologists. RPA requires a degree in anthropology (M.S. or Ph.D.) and professional experience monitoring archaeological fields and laboratory projects.

In North America, students interested in archeology typically major in anthropology, which consists of four subfields: cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and archaeology. Anthropology majors typically take courses in all four subfields. When researching colleges and universities, look for a school with an anthropology department and at least one archaeologist on the faculty. Also, attending the university-sponsored field school requires being an archaeologist. A field school is typically a credit-based course in which students learn about and participate in active archaeological field and laboratory research. As you plan your studies, see what field and laboratory work opportunities are available. Some schools have archaeological laboratories or museums that offer students training, volunteer, or paid job opportunities.


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Bachelor of Archaeology

The School of Archeology plans to strengthen students’ skills in archeology and analysis, computer science, methodology, and theory. History, culture, and art are also integrated into the curriculum. In the United States, many schools offer archeology and anthropology majors. Some schools may allow additional concentrations in specific districts or complexes, heritage sites, or areas.

Students studying Archeology and Anthropology have many research opportunities to participate in research abroad. Laboratory courses enable students to work with detergent methods. Some courses require simple accompaniment, such as B. biology, geology, or history. In addition to the basic courses, students may also need to learn a foreign language. In second or third grade, students focus more on archaeology. Some universities require students to complete a final project.

Master of Archaeology

The Master’s degree in Archeology offers the opportunity to specialize in a specific area or for a specific period. Prospective students must apply for a course that matches their interests and professional goals.

Part of the master’s program focuses on archaeological theory, methods of elimination, practical field experience, and analytical and laboratory skills. Many courses require a master’s thesis. Some courses include laboratory or fieldwork elements for hands-on experience. Other courses are devoted to archaeological theory and research methods.

Ph.D. in Archaeology

Students in doctoral programs focus on specific aspects of archaeological studies, such as B. specific cultures, communities, or anthropology. His main areas of interest are Renaissance art, Greek archaeology, monument preservation, archeology, and Roman art.

Many departments of anthropology and archeology are closely related and offer opportunities to explore overlapping interests. Students work closely with science and technology and acquire skills in analysis, perception, and interpretation. Students must also be proficient in the language of the region they are considering, with some programs requiring two languages ​​other than their native language. Classical archeology students, for example, must be proficient in Latin and Greek. The completion of the certificate requires the completion of an examination and a dissertation.

Some basic courses in advanced archeology are required before students can specialize in a particular area. Electives must include additional information and information about the student’s major.

How to Become An Archaeologist: Salary

According to the BLS, anthropologists and archaeologists earned a median annual salary of $63,670, as of May 2019. Those salaries in the highest 10% topped more than $97,950.

How to Become An Archaeologist: Job Outlook

The BLS projects a 5% growth in the job market for archaeologists between 2019 and 2029. The field remains very competitive for job openings. Applicants with at least an applied master’s degree and extensive experience in fieldwork will have an advantage in filling these open positions. Earning a Master of Arts in History from Norwich University can provide the educational background necessary for this role.


This was all about how to become an Archaeologist. If you want to fulfill your dream of pursuing a career in archaeology, then reach out to us for more information. You can also read our articles on how to find a career path. 

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