Job Description of an Archaeologist


An archaeologist is a social scientist. She searches, investigates, researches, documents, studies and publishes artifacts and findings of previous cultures. Her goal is to understand the history and structures of these societies. She also preserves the heritage of the culture on which she works.

Job Responsibilities

  • An archaeologist oversees and maintains monuments and archaeological sites. He preserves the area surrounding archaeological site. He archives maps, photographs and drawings of archaeological sites. He organizes and performs excavations. He conserves and performs restorations on monuments and archaeological sites. He monitors all research. He monitors for the illicit or illegal trade of archaeological findings. He collaborates with museums and other cultural institutions for the exhibition of findings.

Job Opportunities

  • Archeologists are employed by universities, museums government agencies and private companies and foundations. A candidate seeking this type of employment can apply directly to the organization or agency. Available archaeologist opportunities are posted on online job search boards such as, and Professional organizations such as the Archaeological Institute of America and the National Association of State Archaeologists provide resources and networking opportunities for those who seek employment. Additionally, niche industry-specific online job sites such as and are excellent resources for prospective archaeologists.

Qualitative Requirements

  • To successfully work as an archaeologist, the successful candidates must have a keen interest and respect for the historical and cultural heritage of her field. She should excel in researching and problem-solving. She should be able to work well independently as well as have good interpersonal skills, as he will work alone and in team environments.

Educational Requirements

  • To become an archaeologist, the successful candidate must possess a four-year degree within history, archaeology or related field of study. Additionally, he must posses a postgraduate degree or diploma within in a specialization or specific area or historical time period in which they intend to research.

Average Compensation

  • According to, in 2009 the average postdoctorate scientist working in the United States of America earns an annual base salary of $43,899. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the employment of archaeologists to increase by 15 percent from 2006 through 2016.

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