What to Know About Becoming Archaeologist

So, you have a knack for history and want to uncover the secrets of past societies and humanity. To this day, there are so many mysteries of the past that have yet to be discovered. This is why we turn to archaeologists to find out the truth. If you’re someone who wants to learn more about the past, then archaeology is the career for you. In this article, we’ll be going over everything you need to know about becoming an archaeologist.

What is an Archaeologist?

Before getting into how you can become one, it’s important for you to understand more about what an archaeologist actually is. Archaeologists are a type of scientist that are dedicated to studying and learning more about the ancient past. They do this in a variety of ways such as reading old manuscripts and analyzing artifacts, like stones, jewels and even fossils. In some cases, archaeologists even study preserved human remains to better understand how the people of ancient societies lived. Below is a quick list of tasks to give you an idea of what an archaeologist does in their daily routine:

  • Write down discovered data at a dig site
  • Examine designated areas
  • Plan out and start research projects pertaining to a specific species or society
  • Take advantage of satellite imaging to find noteworthy dig sites

The life of an archaeologist is quite literally full of adventure, so there’s never going to be a dull moment. Furthermore, there are also various types of archaeology to choose from, like underwater archaeologists, aviation archaeologists, and zoo archaeologists.

Education Needed to Become an Archaeologist

It should go without saying that you’re going to need an extensive education. Most entry-level positions in this field require at least a BA, which is a four-year program. More specifically, you need to get your BA degree in a field relating to anthropology. Afterwards, your next step should involve acquiring your master’s degree or doctorate in a specific archaeological field. That choice is ultimately up to you. Furthermore, it’s also in your best interest to get some hands-on experiences in the field by participating in an internship. You can do this during or after your BA program.

You’ve probably already realized that you’re going to have your hands full studying and being qualified for a position. Archaeology isn’t an easy field to study in, especially when it comes to getting a master’s or a doctorate. You’ll also want to take out a student loan to cover the education costs. A BA can be $25,000 to as much as $34,000 on average while a master’s degree can cost around $65,000. A student loan can also cover the purchase of any necessary books, equipment and supplies needed for your program.

Where You Can Get Employed as an Archaeologist

Once everything is said and done, the only thing left for you to do is to seek out employment. Archaeologists are commonly seen in places, like museums. However, archaeologists can also be employed in state and federal agencies, requiring them to have improved managerial skills on top of industry knowledge, in places like universities and even engineering firms. Employment does depend on the route you’ve chosen to take, so make sure to research thoroughly before anything else.