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Become An Archaeologist

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Working As An Archaeologist

  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Processing Information
  • $89,700

    Average Salary

What Does An Archaeologist Do

An Archaeologist is focused on studying past human activity. They record, interpret, and preserve archaeological remains for future generations.

How To Become An Archaeologist

Geoscientists typically need at least a bachelor’s degree for most entry-level positions. In several states, geoscientists may need a license to offer their services to the public.


Geoscientists need at least a bachelor’s degree for most entry-level positions. However, some workers begin their careers as geoscientists with a master’s degree. A Ph.D. is necessary for most basic research and college teaching positions.

A degree in geoscience is preferred by employers, although a degree in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, engineering, or computer science usually is accepted if it includes coursework in geology.

Most geoscience programs include geology courses in mineralogy, petrology, and structural geology, which are important for all geoscientists. In addition to classes in geology, most programs require students to take courses in other physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, and computer science. Some programs include training on specific software packages that will be useful to those seeking a career as a geoscientist.

Computer knowledge is essential for geoscientists. Students who have experience with computer modeling, data analysis, and digital mapping will be the most prepared to enter the job market.

Many employers seek applicants who have gained field and laboratory experience while pursuing a degree. Summer field camp programs offer students the opportunity to work closely with professors and apply their classroom knowledge in the field. Students can gain valuable experience in data collection and geologic mapping.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Geoscientists write reports and research papers. They must be able to present their findings clearly to clients or professionals who do not have a background in geoscience.

Critical-thinking skills. Geoscientists base their findings on sound observation and careful evaluation of data.

Interpersonal skills. Most geoscientists work as part of a team with engineers, technicians, and other scientists.

Outdoor skills. Geoscientists may spend significant amounts of time outdoors. Familiarity with camping skills, general comfort being outside for long periods, and specific skills such as boat handling or even being able to pilot an aircraft could prove useful for geoscientists.

Physical stamina. Geoscientists may need to hike to remote locations while carrying testing and sampling equipment when they conduct fieldwork.

Problem-solving skills. Geoscientists work on complex projects filled with challenges. Evaluating statistical data and other forms of information in order to make judgments and inform the actions of other workers requires a special ability to perceive and address problems.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some states require geoscientists to obtain a license to practice. Requirements vary by state but typically include minimum education and experience requirements and a passing score on an exam.

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Archaeologist Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Italian

  • German

  • Portuguese

  • Japanese

  • Russian

  • Greek

  • Arabic

  • Sami

  • Irish

  • Cherokee

  • Carrier

  • Hindi

  • Hebrew

  • Polish

  • Navajo

  • Korean

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Archaeologist Education


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Top Skills for An Archaeologist


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Top Archaeologist Skills

  1. Artifact Analysis
  2. Cultural Resource Management
  3. Lab Analysis
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Participated in excavations which required extensive measurements, calculations, data input and compilation, map plotting, and artifact analysis.
  • Led and conducted historical and archaeological cultural resource management investigations to preserve the historical resources of the state of Virginia.
  • Survey and Excavation in Southeast U.S., Lab Analysis, Report Production
  • Conducted and participated in various phases of archaeological surveys and excavations in the state of Indiana.
  • Collected project data utilizing Garmin GPS and camera.

Top Archaeologist Employers