Career outlook for archaeologist
UK Salary Ranges
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You would dig up buildings and objects from the past and share what you learn from them so people can learn more about the past.
You'd carefully uncover old buried buildings, settlements and objects in archaeological digs. You'd look for traces of the people who lived there - things like pottery, jewellery, bones, coins, seeds and animal remains.
Your discoveries would help people understand more about how the past influences our lives today. You'd help to preserve the past by assessing what impact new developments will have on historic sites.
- Identify possible sites to study with aerial photos, field-walks and surveys
- Excavate old buried buildings, settlements and objects
- Record finds and sites with photos, detailed notes and drawings
- Identify, date and classify finds
- Clean and preserve finds in a laboratory
- Use laboratory analysis, for example carbon dating
- Use computers to produce simulations of the way a site or artefact would have looked
- Preserve industrial buildings
- Check planning applications and identify the impact of development on archaeological sites
- Make sure that important sites, buildings and monuments are protected and preserved
- Classify, display and look after artefacts in a museum
You might also carry out research, write about your work for publication in books and journals or teach at a university or college.
You would probably focus on a particular geographical area, for example Ancient Egypt, a period of history like Roman, or a type of artefact such as pottery or coins.
Archaeologists work for a range of government agencies, public sector organisations and museums. Others work for small, independent units or are self-employed as consultants.
UK employment status
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- Working with technology
- Written communication
- Attention to detail
- Developing a plan
- Managing resources
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