Tomb Raider comic book covers

Indiana Jones running away from a boulder

In the media, archaeology looks very exciting... and it can be!

Will I Get Chased By Huge Rocks?

Probably not.

Archaeologists study past civilizations. They do this by examining the physical remains of those civilizations. That can involve field work.

Excavation site with dust and sand Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash

Field work includes:

Flaticon Icon Surveying the surface to look for signs of past human activity

Flaticon Icon Digging test areas to find potential sites

Flaticon Icon Excavating sites very carefully to uncover artifacts

Flaticon Icon Geophysical surveying to explore sites in a non-invasive way


Archaeologists are likely to get chased by?

Will I Always Be In The Field?

Probably not.

MOST archaeological work is done in a lab.

A pie chart showing much more lab work than field work

Lab work includes:

Flaticon Icon Researching written records like maps, photographs, letters, land records and prior site reports to learn more about an area

Flaticon Icon Analyzing artifacts to learn more about past civilizations

Flaticon Icon Preserving collections of artifacts and data for ongoing research and public education

Flaticon Icon Interviewing to gather information about family histories and oral traditions

But Will It Pay The Bills?

Flaticon Icon $55,000 average salary per year for archaeologists in the United States.

Flaticon Icon $81,000 average salary per year for archaeologists in Canada.

You Will Love It If You...

  • are investigative and artistic.

  • like to analyze and think deeply.

  • are patient and methodical.

  • are a team player with a sense of humor.

100s of hours sorting old papers... I'm in!

Look For Another Career Path If You...

  • like a fast paced work environment.

  • want to work business hours (9-5).

  • would like to earn a high salary.

Yoda says: Wear business suit you want, archaeologist be not.

Find The Future Archaeologist

Flaticon Icon Aliyah loves mystery books. She enjoys listening to her older neighbors' tell stories. She is most comfortable being indoors and does not enjoy travel.

Flaticon Icon Thiago enjoys traveling and learning about other cultures. He hopes to earn a very high salary to allow him to travel all over the world.

Flaticon Icon Mingmei spends most of her free time touring local historical sites. She asks a lot of questions and takes photos, then writes a blog about the things she learns.


Which will enjoy being an archaeologist?

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