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What Does it Take to Be an Archeologist?

Example of Archeologist Job 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.

Life As an Archeologist

  • Clean, restore, and preserve artifacts.
  • Present findings from archeological research to peers and the general public.
  • Teach archeology at colleges and universities.
  • Assess archeological sites for resource management, development, or conservation purposes and recommend methods for site protection.
  • Research, survey, or assess sites of past societies and cultures in search of answers to specific research questions.
  • Lead field training sites and train field staff, students, and volunteers in excavation methods.

Archeologist Skills

When polled, Archeologists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

  • Egyptologist
  • Research Archaeologist
  • Archeologist
  • Project Director
  • Director of Research Center

Job Demand 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 700 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Archeologists in U.S.

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.

What is the Average Salary of an Archeologist

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

Salary Ranges for Archeologists

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?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Archeologists may use on a daily basis:

  • 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

Becoming an Archeologist

What education or degrees do I need to become an Archeologist?

Archeologist Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become an Archeologist?

Archeologist Work Experience

Archeologists Sector

Archeologist Sectors

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

Archeologist Industries

Those thinking about becoming an Archeologist might also be interested in the following careers:


Image Credit: via CC0 Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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