ARCHAEOLOGISTS determine the history, customs, and living habits of earlier civilizations. They engage in the systematic recovery and examination of evidence, such as graves, buildings, tools, ruins, and pottery from past human life and cultures. Archaeologists study, classify, and interpret artifacts recovered by excavation in order to determine age and cultural identity. They try to find reasons why human culture has changed through time. Modern archaeology often depends upon the study of existing collections. Instead of digging, archaeologists use new technologies and methods to reexamine and reinterpret existing collections.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $71,500 average per year ($34.50 per hour)
- A small occupation (5,100 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow rapidly (2.8% per year)
A Ph.D. or equivalent is a minimum requirement for most ARCHAEOLOGIST positions in colleges and universities and is important for research and administrative posts. Graduates with master's degrees in applied specialties generally have better professional opportunities outside of colleges and universities. Bachelor's degree holders may qualify for various entry-level jobs such as research assistant or administrative aide. No special licensing or certification is required for archaeologists, although professional registration is available through the Registry of Professional Archaeologists.