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Archeologist

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What is an Archeologist?

Career Description Conduct research to reconstruct record of past human life and culture from human remains, artifacts, architectural features, and structures recovered through excavation, underwater recovery, or other means of discovery.

Archeologist Responsibilities

  • Collect artifacts made of stone, bone, metal, and other materials, placing them in bags and marking them to show where they were found.
  • Create artifact typologies to organize and make sense of past material cultures.
  • Record the exact locations and conditions of artifacts uncovered in diggings or surveys, using drawings and photographs as necessary.
  • Clean, restore, and preserve artifacts.
  • Create a grid of each site and draw and update maps of unit profiles, stratum surfaces, features, and findings.
  • Research, survey, or assess sites of past societies and cultures in search of answers to specific research questions.

Qualities of an Archeologist

These are the skills Archeologists say are the most useful in their careers:

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Types of Archeologist Jobs

  • Project Director
  • Archaeologist
  • Archeologist
  • Curator
  • Archeological Technician

Job Opportunities for Archeologists

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 7,600 jobs in the United States for Archeologist. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 3.9% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 300 new jobs for Archeologist by 2026. The BLS estimates 700 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Archeologist are Washington, Nebraska, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, or West Virginia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for an Archeologist

The salary for Archeologists ranges between about $36,840 and $97,170 a year.

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Archeologists who work in Massachusetts, Hawaii, or Idaho, make the highest salaries.

How much do Archeologists make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $54,390
Arizona $64,660
Arkansas $58,240
California $67,030
Colorado $63,940
Florida $54,130
Georgia $67,550
Hawaii $82,550
Idaho $71,520
Illinois $62,650
Kentucky $59,740
Louisiana $68,690
Maryland $53,680
Massachusetts $91,140
Missouri $56,880
Montana $62,690
Nebraska $74,280
Nevada $60,480
New Jersey $64,950
New Mexico $58,300
New York $67,860
North Carolina $63,690
North Dakota $62,110
Ohio $63,280
Oklahoma $56,150
Oregon $63,090
Pennsylvania $70,770
South Carolina $62,230
South Dakota $52,340
Tennessee $59,690
Texas $71,590
Utah $66,410
Virginia $72,480
Washington $74,300
West Virginia $50,550
Wisconsin $55,720
Wyoming $67,400

What Tools & Technology do Archeologists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Archeologists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Facebook
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • Graphics software
  • ESRI ArcView
  • ESRI ArcInfo
  • Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Golden Software Surfer

How do I Become an Archeologist?

Individuals working as an Archeologist have obtained the following education levels:

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Who Employs Archeologists?

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The table below shows the approximate number of Archeologists employed by various industries.

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Those interested in being an Archeologist may also be interested in:

References:

Image Credit: via CC0 Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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