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Archaeologists investigate, research, record and do their best to protect the remains that people have left behind in the past. Their job is to help preserve these precious archaeological remains and in doing so build a better understanding of our collective heritage.


Average salaries are in the region of £25,000.00 to £40,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Archaeologists investigate, research, record and do their best to protect the remains that people have left behind in the past.

What they do

An Archaeologist's job is to help preserve precious archaeological remains and in doing so, build a better understanding of our collective heritage.

Construction will often take place in areas where our ancestors have lived and worked, leaving important relics of their lives, and this has made the archaeologist’s role an extremely important one. This could be providing expert advice prior to ground-breaking or managing unexpected finds once work has started.

This is a key role in many construction projects, and a career that offers an exciting combination of historical research and field investigations.

Their role in the construction process

As an archaeologist working with the construction industry, you will be involved in initial research and field surveys designed to identify whether any heritage assets might be present. In the case of historic buildings, you’ll be making records of the structure, fabric and condition of these properties.

Your expertise would then be central to the development of a plan that takes into account the historical significance of the site and the potential impact of the proposed development. 

You might be asked to help in redesigning the project to protect the assets or, if this isn’t possible, you would be closely involved in monitoring and recording excavation works.

What would I be doing?

As an Archaeologist, you would be:

  • Undertaking both desk-based research and site investigations
  • Assessing whether more involved investigative works are required
  • Liaising with planning authorities
  • Managing excavations
  • Recording and preserving any significant remains that are discovered
  • Producing reports once excavation works are completed

Hours & Salary

  • Newly trained archaeologists can earn in the region of £17,000-£21,000
  • Trained with experience archaeologists can earn in the region of £25,000-£40,000
  • Senior, chartered or master archaeologists can earn in the region of £40,000-£50,000

Salaries typically depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options improve with chartered status.

The typical working week involves standard office working hours, Monday-Friday. But there may be time where you'll need to work in the evening and at the weekend, particularly if an excavation is underway.   


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Qualifications & Training

What qualifications or subjects do I need for this role?

Some archaeologists are able to forge a career by working towards a relevant NVQ/SCQF (e.g. Qualification in Archaeological Practice) while in employment, but most choose to follow a degree or equivalent course in Archaeology or a related discipline such as Ancient History, Conservation or Heritage Management.

Many also go on to undertake further study as part of a Masters degree, or by acquiring additional skills though the many courses offered by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA).

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regualr basis. 

Looking for a vacancy?

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 

British Archaeological Jobs and Resource

Indeed

Prospects

The number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

 

Career trends and forecasts

16690 additional staff needed

According to the latest Construction Skills Network research, the UK construction industry will need an additional 16690 non-construction professional, technical , IT and other office based staff (which includes archaeologists), every year for the period 2017 - 2021. The majority of this demand will be in the South East, Greater London, and Yorkshire and Humber.

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Find out more about other roles in the construction industry and what they involve.

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