Careers and Employability Service

I want to work in Archaeology

Job roles

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.

Getting experience

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..

Getting a job in archaeology

Further study


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 Archaeology

Environmental archaeology is the interdisciplinary study of past human interactions with the natural world - a world that encompasses plants, animals, and landscapes.

Forensic 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.

Underwater Archaeology

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.

Archaeology editor

Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP)

Postgraduate Courses in Archaeology

Postgraduate search
Find A Masters
University of Kent: Further study for advice on a wide range of postgraduate study options

Further information

Page updated April 2020

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Last Updated: 25/11/2020