A Career in Archaeology
Whether you're just starting out or considering a change of direction, archaeology is a rewarding and exciting career choice with many different specialisms, opportunities for travel and the job satisfaction that comes from discovery.
You will work alongside and learn from passionate and extraordinary people. The skills you will learn from studying archaeology equip you well for the job market and take you to exciting places.
Watch our three videos on different career pathways and hear first hand from those who are embarking on their journey or reflecting on their experiences, and find a range of other useful links below.
A Career in Archaeology Videos
In 2020, the CBA produced three films with support from the Royal Archaeological Institute looking at different pathways into a career in archaeology.
Apprenticeships offer you on the job training in a paid role. This film focuses on Hostoric England's Historic Environment Advice Assistant (HEAA) Apprenticeships. Find out what they are, how they can provide a route into archaeology, and hear from two apprentices about their experiences.
Watch 'A Career in Archaeology - Apprenticeships' on our YouTube channel
Find out more information about Historic Environment Advice Assistant (HEAA) Apprenticeships.
Studying archaeology at university equips you not only for an archaeological career but a whole range of other options after study. Archaeology students will tell you that there's no limit to what you can learn and the experiences you can expect.
Hear the academic's view and the experiences of students at different stages of their study in this short film. Find out why you should study archaeology, what universities are looking for, and what to expect.
Watch 'A Career in Archaeology - University' on our YouTube channel
For more information, visit University Archaeology UK.
There are lots of different routes into a career in archaeology and plenty of jobs that don't involve digging in a muddy field.
This film takes a look at some of those pathways and destinations. From 3D modelling to app and game design, the scope of jobs you can do within archaeology is huge. And it's never too late to change direction - hear an inspiring story of how one person swapped ballet shoes for the trowel.
Watch 'A Career in Archaeology - Different Pathways' on our YouTube channel.
There is a downloadable flyer available to accompany these videos. If you work in a school or college, why not print off some copies to hand out to your students?
A Career in Archaeology Flyer.pdf
Have you ever wondered what archaeologists really do? A Day in Archaeology showcases "a day in the life" of archaeologists from all over the UK. These snapshots provide a great introduction to the people who work in the sector and the many different roles that they carry out.
Volunteering on archaeological fieldwork projects is a great way to learn a variety of skills, and try out different techniques such as geophysics, landscape survey and excavation. You can find a project near you, or join a dig abroad. But if digging isn’t your thing, don’t worry! There are plenty of opportunities to gain experience working with historic buildings or archaeological artefacts – try your local museum, heritage group or organisation or contact the CBA or one of its regional groups. Check out our volunteering section.
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Where do archaeologists work?
Archaeologists work in many different types of employment; they don’t just dig holes in the ground. They can be found in national agencies such as English Heritage, Historic Scotland, Cadw, and the Department for Communities (Northern Ireland).
They can be found in teaching and research institutions such as Universities; in County and City Councils; with national organisations such as National Parks, the Environment Agency, and the Highways Agency; as curators and specialists with museums; many commercial planning and development consultancies have an archaeological team.
And, of course they do excavate archaeological sites throughout the UK working for both local authority archaeological units, or commercial organisations such as MoLAS, Wessex Archaeology, Oxford Archaeology and many more similar organisations that undertake aspects of commercially related development archaeology. To be employed in archaeology is to have the option of a wide selection of employment.
Chartered Institute for Archaeologists careers and training pages
British Archaeological Jobs and Resources