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Study Archaeology 

If history captures your interest and you want a profession that blends theoretical and physical work, then Archaeology is a good fit for you. 

$102,770

$102,770: annual income of top archaeologists

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8,000 job openings projects over the decade for archaeologists and anthropologists

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7% expected employment growth rate for archaeologists

23%

In the top 23% of careers for job satisfaction

Archaeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. This material culture may be in the form of structures, artefacts, biofacts or sites. Archaeology combines history and science to uncover the remnants of the past and take a deep dive into the lives of our ancestors. Archaeology offers you the opportunity to pursue a deeply meaningful career path that encompasses everything from lost scrolls to mapping trade routes of ancient civilisations.

During your study, you’ll be shuttling back and forth between the library and laboratory which mirrors what you’ll be doing during your profession. You’ll learn excavation techniques, read ancient texts, and decide what era, culture and civilisation you want to pursue.

Students of archaeology will be expected to pursue their archaeological interests and some university program might even offer you opportunities to travel to archaeological sites. Some common modules that you can expect to study are archaeology and forensic science, palaeobotany, analysis of artefacts and archaeological practices.

   

To thrive in Archaeology, you must have three fundamental skills. First and foremost, you must think critically, which will allow you to identify patterns and draw conclusions from observations. Secondly, you must have good communication skills that will enable you to write for academic journals, publish reports and present proposals for funding of your research. Lastly, physical fitness is of the essence as archaeologists conduct fieldwork in hot and humid conditions, often hiking several miles to research sites.

  

Something to bear in mind when opting for Archaeology is that you will be travelling frequently. Archaeological fieldwork necessitates travelling to foreign locations for extended periods to examine and excavate archaeological sites. Although some archaeologists work in typical office settings and laboratories far away from excavation sites.

  

The first level of your study in this field will be a bachelor’s degree. You can opt for either a BA or a BS in Archaeology. The BA degree will be more focused on the theoretical and academic side while the BS degree will be more geared towards the fieldwork aspect of Archaeology. Both degree programmes provide solid foundations for advanced archaeological courses. A bachelor’s in Archaeology will qualify you for positions like field assistant and laboratory technician. A bachelor’s degree in Archaeology costs around $36,222 per year in the US and £19,600 per year in the UK on average.

  

Most entry-level jobs in Archaeology require at least a master’s degree. 42% of all archaeologists have a master’s degree while 48% have a doctorate. A master’s degree typically takes 2 years to complete. A master’s degree costs around $30,211 per year in the US. During their master’s, archaeology students will visit archaeological sites to conduct fieldwork and polish their excavation techniques.

  

A PhD is a key demand for most senior positions in Archaeology. A PhD is also a core requirement for international projects. PhD students must complete a doctoral presentation and conduct field research for 18-30 months before they can obtain their PhD degree.

   

The rapid pace of innovation is reshaping archaeology as new technology continues to reinvigorate the field. Consequently, the demand for archaeologists is on the rise — not only to explore ancient sites but also to excavate sites for corporations and construction firms prior to construction.

  

Archaeologists continue to be crucial for ensuring that museums, builders and corporations comply with federal laws regarding the preservation of archaeological sites and artefacts. In fact, Archaeology is projected to grow by 7% this decade.

From research to federal jobs, Archaeology graduates have a number of opportunities available to them. Most common employers include federal governments, museums, universities and construction firms. 

Landscape Archaeologists

  

Landscape archaeologists study how ancient civilisations used their environment. They analyse the relationship between the geographical aspects of the site with its material culture. They also help identify and trace possible ancient sites.

  

Museum Curators

These professionals collect new exhibits for a museum after ascertaining its authenticity. They also organise the storage of artefacts under their care.

  

Archaeological Surveyors

  

These experts survey a region to identify the presence of archaeological sites and determine the best site to excavate. The record and categorise extant archaeological features like earthwork and buildings.

  

Archaeological conservators

As an archaeological conservator, you will be tasked with preserving artefacts for future generations. Archaeological conservators are trained in conservation techniques. They treat documents, artefacts and sites with appropriate chemicals and procedures to conserve them.

  

Top Archaeology courses

Top Universities to study Archaeology

The University of New England

The University of New England

uni-location Australia

Macquarie University

Macquarie University

THE ranking: 192

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University of Wollongong

University of Wollongong

THE ranking: 201

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The University of Queensland

The University of Queensland

THE ranking: 54

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La Trobe University

La Trobe University

THE ranking: 201

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The University of Sydney

The University of Sydney

THE ranking: 58

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Flinders University

Flinders University

THE ranking: 251

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James Cook University

James Cook University

THE ranking: 251

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The University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne

THE ranking: 33

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The Australian National University

The Australian National University

THE ranking: 54

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The University of Western Australia

The University of Western Australia

THE ranking: 132

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The University of Southern Queensland

The University of Southern Queensland

THE ranking: 401

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Griffith University

Griffith University

THE ranking: 201

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Trent University

Trent University

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Laurentian University

Laurentian University

uni-location Canada

Wilfrid Laurier University

Wilfrid Laurier University

uni-location Canada

Brock University

Brock University

uni-location Canada

Lakehead University

Lakehead University

THE ranking: 801

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Memorial University of Newfoundland

Memorial University of Newfoundland

THE ranking: 601

uni-location Canada

Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University

THE ranking: 201

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University of Calgary

University of Calgary

THE ranking: 201

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University of British Columbia

University of British Columbia

THE ranking: 37

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University of Alberta

University of Alberta

THE ranking: 125

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University of Saskatchewan

University of Saskatchewan

THE ranking: 501

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Western University

Western University

THE ranking: 201

uni-location Canada

University of Toronto

University of Toronto

THE ranking: 18

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The University of Otago

The University of Otago

THE ranking: 201

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The University of Auckland

The University of Auckland

THE ranking: 137

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Coast Mountain College

Coast Mountain College

uni-location Canada

Northern Lights College

Northern Lights College

uni-location Canada

The University of Notre Dame Australia

The University of Notre Dame Australia

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University of Lethbridge

University of Lethbridge

THE ranking: 1201

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Nipissing University

Nipissing University

uni-location Canada

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