Career Profile: Archaeologist
We know why you’re here. You’re here because, at some point, you have questioned if you want to consider this as a possible career. And with that we say: welcome! You’ve come to the right spot. This article is meant to help you further explore this career to help you confidently make decisions about your future.
Career Profile: Archaeologist
Signs You Should Keep Exploring:
- You love history.
- You enjoy learning about various cultures and societies.
- You have a love of traveling.
- You enjoy spending time in a lab.
- You are good at analyzing data and writing reports.
- Patience comes easy to you.
- Reading and research are fun pastimes.
- The thought of getting your work published is exciting.
- You enjoy puzzles and intellectual conversations.
If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, that’s your cue to keep reading! The sooner you start to explore the ins and outs of a career, the more prepared you will be to make the right decisions that lead you to a satisfying career.
A Day in the Life of an Archaeologist
Contrary to popular belief and media, most archaeologists do not spend a lot of time digging in the ground or on a site. The goal is to leave sites as “untouched” as possible in a lot of cases, but it is the responsibility of an archaeologist to solve history’s mysteries! While that does require some travel and field time, it’s mostly a lot of lab time and research and review. Many experts are also teachers as well.
There are a variety of responsibilities that could come at any stage of your career as an archaeologist. Here are just a few:
- Writing reports
- Analyzing data
- Spending a lot of time in a lab
- Reading and researching people and their culture
- Reading and researching historical events
- Making unique connections through documents, science and more!
- Publishing research
- Working / collaborating with other experts.
Being an archaeologist is about filling gaps in history books, but you can spend a lot of your time digging into the ground. Science has helped us explore the ground in ways we were not able to in the past. The more we advance with science in the future, the more we will be able to unlock about our past.
A day in the life of an Archaeologist varies depending on your expertise, but moreso, it varies depending on your years of experience. A master’s degree is a minimum preference in the field of anthropology. Early on, the work of an archaeologist is ongoing education and lots of intern hours. It’s a very competitive field so be ready for some competition. Later on in your career,
- It’s recommended to have a minimum of a master’s degree, but the more education the better for some roles.
- This very much depends, but the more field experience you have and a focused expertise, the more respected and sought after you will be for a particular project / need.
- You can be outside or inside. There’s a decent variety, but it ultimately depends on your project and your role.
- When outside, there can be a lot of physical labor and use of heavy machinery. The work can appear similar to that of a construction site.
- At other times, you may be required to sit for long hours, stare at the computer for long hours and do a lot of research.
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN LEARN MORE:
Still undecided? Check out some suggested steps to explore further:
- Research blogs or vlogs online.
- Visit a local university and explore their programs.
- Ask for an informational interview.
- Find movies or documentaries about characters or real people that are archaeologists and imagine yourself in that role. (Except note that Indiana Jones is fiction!)
- Make a pros and cons list to determine if it’s the right fit for you.
- Check out course requirements for required degrees to see if you have any concerns.
- Work with a career counselor.
- Take a personality test like Myers-Briggs to see if a role like this is a good fit for your personality.
- Check out these articles in our resources center: