Opportunities for archaeologists exist within museums, heritage agencies and local government, but the skills you'll get from the degree open up doors to many different careers...
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Heritage manager
- Historic buildings inspector/conservation officer
- Museum education officer
- Museum/gallery curator
- Museum/gallery exhibitions officer
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
If you want to become an archaeologist try to get relevant work experience as it'll show your commitment and genuine interest in the career. Some employers will also expect you to have experience in related areas.
Consider volunteering as a digger or check out opportunities with local museums and galleries and heritage organisations.
Volunteer work will introduce you to the demands of working outdoors, in all weather conditions, and it's an excellent way of demonstrating your physical fitness and resilience. It's also great for networking and meeting useful contacts.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Employers of archaeologists include:
- archaeological contractors;
- local government;
- university archaeology departments;
- national heritage agencies;
- independent archaeological consultants.
Private museums and charities also employ archaeology graduates.
Look into the growth area of rescue archaeology. Also known as commercial/contract/compliance or salvage archaeology, it takes place before any building work or land development.
Skills for your CV
During your degree, you'll develop a mix of subject-specific and technical skills:
- applying theoretical and scientific principles and concepts to archaeological problems;
- field work, post-excavation and laboratory techniques;
- applying statistical and numerical techniques to process archaeological data;
- interpretation of spatial data.
Archaeology courses also equip you with skills to:
- work as a team member/leader through field/project work;
- form structured arguments supported by evidence;
- use various IT packages;
- prepare and give oral presentations for different audiences;
- retrieve information to produce written reports;
- work methodically and accurately;
- demonstrate attention to detail.
A range of specialist areas can be explored, such as human osteology and palaeopathology, as well as related subjects, like geophysics. A PhD is often necessary for a career in archaeological research or academia.
Improve your career prospects and keep your skills and knowledge up to date with distance learning and short courses. These are available through professional organisations, such as the:
What do archaeology graduates do?
More than half of all archaeology graduates are in employment six months after graduation, and more than one in ten are working as social and humanities scientists.
Almost a third go on to further study, either full time or part time, immediately after completing their course.
|Working and studying||8.5|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and bar work||19.2|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||10.5|
|Business, HR and financial||9.8|
Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.