How to Become an Archaeologist?

How to Become an Archaeologist?

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How to Become an Archaeologist?

Question: How to become an archaeologist?                             
Answer: Take a field school and, if able, go to university.


Hello Daniel,

If you are interested in becoming an archaeologist there are plenty of ways that you can gain in-the-field-experience.

The best way is to enroll in an archaeoloy field school that is run by a university. These usually go for around 6 - 8 weeks in the summer months and are easy to join as a visiting student. I went to the Florida Atlantic University Field School in Ecuador and the training that I received completely prepared me for the profession. It is seriously the best field school that I have ever heard of. 

Another way to gain experience is by volunteering on an excavation. This is essentially a trade of your time and labor for instruction in field archaeology methods. This may be a little more difficult of a way to get into archaeology than doing a formal field school and the resulting experience will not be regarded as highly when you search for a job.

A university degree is technically a requirement for doing archaeology in the USA, though, I have found, it is not a necessity. I have worked professionally for 7 seasons without one, though I had a really good field school in Ecuador and had to really push my way into the profession.

Once you have taken a field school and/ or earned a university degree finding work is very easy and the pay is good. Well, it is easy and well paying if you want to travel. Jobs are usually found and secured through the website, You just find a job posting in a place that you want to travel to, send them your CV and a cover letter, and then wait for a response.

Getting into field archaeology is not the most difficult profession to gain experience in. 6 weeks in the summer at a field school is enough to make you (almost) employable to travel around the USA from project to project.

If you do complete a field school and would like some help finding a job I could throw a word in for you.    

Links to other archaeology pages for more information:
Archaeology Field School- Question about how to enroll in an archaeology field school and fieldwork as a way to travel while making money to travel.

Archaeology Education and Work- How to get into doing archaeology fieldwork while traveling to make money for travel.

Past Horizons- A website with many volunteer and field school opportunities around the planet. Really good. The main website for finding professional archaeology fieldwork opportunities in the USA. Also has information on international and domestic field schools.

Archaeology Website with tons of information on working in cultural resource management (C.R.M) in North America. Also has a large collection of links of contract archaeology firms from many places on the globe.

Florida Atlantic University Field School on the Manabi Coast of Ecuador- This is the field school where I received my archaeology training. I went straight from this excavation into professional field work. I highly recommend the Florida Atlantic University field school.

(If any of this information helps you - or if you just appreciate me trying - please tell a friend about Thanks!)


Hi Wade,

I read your story at and couldnt be more interested. We have very similar interests, and I intend on using Archaeology as a means to travel latin america. I was a Peace Corps volunteer here and Nicaragua and continue working for a local NGO, but want to get into the field. I saw you learned in Ecuador in 2000 - naturally I wanted to ask you for advice on where I can learn and how I can find work afterwards. Do you not need a university degree in the subject, or do you get your experience from field schools? thanks so much for any help you can give me,

Daniel Glazier
Gerente de Proyecto
Fundacion Santa Helena
Empalme de Boaco, Boaco, Nicaragua

How to Become an Archaeologist?

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