SOC: 19-3091.02


Conduct research to reconstruct record of past human life and culture from human remains, artifacts, architectural features, and structures recovered through excavation, underwater recovery, or other means of discovery.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
7,700 employed

Projected (2024):
8,000 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Archaeologist
  • Associate Director
  • Curator
  • Director
  • Director and Professor
  • Director of Research Center
  • Egyptologist
  • Principal Archaeologist
  • Project Director
  • Research Archaeologist
  • Research Professor

  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed


    Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.


    Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

    Job Training:

    Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Fine Arts
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Write, present, and publish reports that record site history, methodology, and artifact analysis results, along with recommendations for conserving and interpreting findings.
  • Compare findings from one site with archeological data from other sites to find similarities or differences.
  • Research, survey, or assess sites of past societies and cultures in search of answers to specific research questions.
  • Study objects and structures recovered by excavation to identify, date, and authenticate them and to interpret their significance.
  • Develop and test theories concerning the origin and development of past cultures.
  • Consult site reports, existing artifacts, and topographic maps to identify archeological sites.
  • Create a grid of each site and draw and update maps of unit profiles, stratum surfaces, features, and findings.
  • Record the exact locations and conditions of artifacts uncovered in diggings or surveys, using drawings and photographs as necessary.
  • Assess archeological sites for resource management, development, or conservation purposes and recommend methods for site protection.
  • Describe artifacts' physical properties or attributes, such as the materials from which artifacts are made and their size, shape, function, and decoration.
  • Teach archeology at colleges and universities.
  • Collect artifacts made of stone, bone, metal, and other materials, placing them in bags and marking them to show where they were found.
  • Create artifact typologies to organize and make sense of past material cultures.
  • Lead field training sites and train field staff, students, and volunteers in excavation methods.
  • Clean, restore, and preserve artifacts.
  • Present findings from archeological research to peers and the general public.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • 35 millimeter cameras
  • Alidades
  • Bench scales
  • Binoculars
  • Bucket augers
  • Cold chisels
  • Conductance meters
  • Conductivity probes
  • Crack hammers
  • Dental burs
  • Dental picks
  • Desktop computers
  • Dial calipers
  • Digital calipers
  • Digital cameras
  • Digital levels
  • Digital video cameras
  • Directional compasses
  • Drying ovens
  • Drying racks
  • Electrical resistivity instruments
  • Electron microprobes
  • Flat-ended shovels
  • Flatbed scanners
  • Fume hoods
  • Geophysical magnetometers
  • Glass beakers
  • Glass burets
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Ground penetrating radar GPR
  • Hydraulic drilling rigs
  • Inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopes ICP-ES
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopes ICP-MS
  • Laboratory precision balances
  • Laboratory scalpels
  • Laptop computers
  • Laser line levels
  • Lufkin tape measures
  • Magnetic stirring bars
  • Marshalltown trowels
  • Mesh sifting screens
  • Metal detectors
  • Metallurgical microscopes
  • Personal computers
  • Personal digital assistants PDA
  • Petrographic microscopes
  • Plains trowels
  • Platform scales
  • Plotters
  • Plumb bobs
  • Pneumatic airscribes
  • Pneumatic chisels
  • Pocket loupes
  • Polarizing microscopes
  • Precision rulers
  • Rock picks
  • Round point shovels
  • Safety goggles
  • Sandblasters
  • Scanning electron microscopes SEM
  • Scuba diving equipment
  • Shaker screens
  • Side scan sonars
  • Slide hammers
  • Slide scanners
  • Soil probes
  • Soil samplers
  • Stereo zoom microscopes
  • Tablet computers
  • Theodolites
  • Total stations
  • Tree ring sampling kits
  • Triple beam balances
  • Ultrasonic cleaning machines
  • Underwater digital cameras
  • Underwater still cameras
  • Vacuum freeze-drying chambers
  • Vernier calipers
  • Water screening devices
  • X ray diffractometers
  • X ray fluorescence XRF spectrometers
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • Archeological Sites Management Information System ASMIS
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • Automated National Catalog System ANCS
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • ESRI ArcInfo
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Golden Software Surfer
  • Graphics software
  • Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • SPSS software
  • Trimble Pathfinder Office
  • Web browser software

  • life physical and social science

    industry stats

    SOC: 19-0000

    Total Employed: 1,146,110

    Average Annual Salary: $71,220