I want to work in Archaeology
What do archaeologists do?
Archaeologists can be found in many workplaces and organisations - not just in muddy holes in the ground! Archaeologists are employed in national agencies, local authorities, museums, universities, planning consultancies, and private practice, undertaking a wide variety of activities from field practice to laboratory work, information management to education, specialist research to artefact curation and display.
- Job profile of an archaeologist from the Prospects website
- Job profile of an archaeologist from the TARGET Jobs website
- Archaeology Expert be a volunteer archaeologist
- Thought Co: Is a Career in Archaeology Right for You?
- Chartered Institute for Archaeologists: Getting started in archaeology (including advice on gaining experience and CV’s)
- Headland Archaeology: Finding employment in commercial archaeology
If you want a career in archaeology, you should get as much relevant experience as possible. Develop practical 'hands on' skills through volunteering on digs and with local archaeological societies: even if you are only given routine tasks, this will help to increase your skills and confidence, give you a network of contacts and give you something extra to put on your CV when applying for jobs..
- CBA Volunteering http://new.archaeologyuk.org/cba-volunteering
- Canterbury Archaeological Trust Volunteers www.canterburytrust.co.uk/community_archaeology/volunteers
- Kent Archaeological Society https://kentarchaeology.org.uk/search?keys=volunteer
- Kent Archaeological Field School www.kafs.co.uk Short practical courses
- Go Digging! www.archaeology.co.uk/digs
- Museum of London Archaeology www.mola.org.uk/volunteering
- Past Horizons www.pasthorizons.com/worldprojects International database of projects
- Archaeological Fieldwork Opportunities Bulletin https://www.archaeological.org/programs/professionals/fieldwork/ from the Archaeological Institute of America
- Biblical Archaeology Society https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/digs/ digs in Europe and the Middle East
Getting a job in archaeology
- British Archaeological Jobs Resource www.bajr.org
- European Association of Archaeologists job service https://www.e-a-a.org/
- Headland Archaeology (commercial) https://headlandarchaeology.com/careers/finding-a-job-in-archaeology/
- Chartered Institute for Archaeologists https://headlandarchaeology.com/careers/finding-a-job-in-archaeology/
- Training Online Resource Centre for Archaeology www.torc.org.uk ]searchable databases of all the archaeology courses available in the UK
- Find A Masters www.findamasters.com/search/courses.aspx?SAID=8
- Further study advice on finding, applying for and funding postgraduate study www.kent.ac.uk//furtherstudy
Specialist areas of Archaeology
These are all relatively small and highly competitive areas. Further study, to Masters or PhD level, is usually required. Jobs will rarely be advertised and building up experience through volunteering and networking is essential. Use the resources below to follow these areas and find out about projects that you might volunteer or work for. Explore over 30 different specialisms at Archaeology expert.
Environmental ArchaeologyEnvironmental archaeology is the interdisciplinary study of past human interactions with the natural world - a world that encompasses plants, animals, and landscapes.
- Association for Environmental Archaeology www.envarch.net
- Historic England Guide to Environmental Archaeology
- Museum of London Archaeology http://www.mola.org.uk/commercial/specialist-services/environmental-archaeology
Forensic archaeology applies the techniques, principles and methodologies of the discipline of archaeology to medico-legal investigations. Forensic archaeologists are most often utilised by various police forces in the United Kingdom in the search, location and recovery of unidentified or missing persons and any associated physical evidence that may be present. They have also played an increasingly important role on the international stage with their participation in the investigation and excavation of mass graves of victims of human rights violations, war crimes and genocide conducted on behalf of ad hoc tribunals and non-governmental organisations, such as the United Nations.
- Investigating Forensics www.sfu.museum/forensics/eng/pg_media-media_pg/archaeologie-archaeology
- British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology www.babao.org.uk
- CIFA Forensic Archeology Special Interest group www.archaeologists.net/groups/forensic
- Chicora Foundation www.chicora.org/forensic-archaeology.html
- United Nations: Forensic archaeologist job specification. https://careers.un.org/lbw/jobdetail.aspx?id=112393
Underwater archaeology employs special techniques to study shipwrecks and other submerged archaeological sites such as water-buried cities. Archaeologists who work under water rely on sophisticated diving and excavating equipment and employ special methods to preserve perishable materials that have been waterlogged for long periods.
- Nautical Archaeology Society www.nauticalarchaeologysociety.org
- How to become an Underwater Archaeologist https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/so-you-want-my-job-underwater-archaeologist/
- Maritime Archaeology www.maritimearchaeology.com
- Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds: Free online course www.futurelearn.com/courses/shipwrecks
Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) https://blog.ciep.uk/specialist-editing-archaeology/
Postgraduate Courses in Archaeology
- The Council for British Archaeology http://new.archaeologyuk.org
- Archaeology Expert www.archaeologyexpert.co.uk
- Careers in Archaeology www.archaeology.co.uk/advice/careers-in-archaeology
- The Association for Industrial Archaeology www.industrial-archaeology.org.uk
- Canterbury Archaeological Trust www.canterburytrust.co.uk
- Chartered Institute for Archaeologists www.archaeologists.net/jis/online Includes a list of registered organisations within the archaeology profession www.archaeologists.net/ro
- Kent Archaeological Society www.kentarchaeology.org.uk
- London Archaeologist www.londonarchaeologist.org.uk
- RESCUE: The British Archaeological Trust www.rescue-archaeology.org.uk Independent non-political charitable trust supporting archaeology and the historic environment in Britain and abroad. Has a useful list if links to other organisations.
- Archaeolink www.archaeolink.com/archaeological_job_and_career_in.htm American site including career information, advanced study opportunities and jobs
- European Association of Archaeologists www.e-a-a.org
- Doug’s Archaeology https://dougsarchaeology.wordpress.com
- The Archaeology News Network https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk
- CSCS safety card for archaeologists www.bajr.org/Documents/28CSCSCard.pdf