What Careers are Available with an Archaeology Degree?

For those working on majors in archaeology, there is great news. There are a number of great careers available with an archaeology degree today. Working in history, its discovery, and preservation is a noble calling. With an archaeology degree, there are plenty of ways to heed this call, according to the Society for American Archaeology. Here are five great options.


Perhaps the most obvious and direct career application of the archaeology degree is none other than the job of archaeologist. This is often the dream that sees many students into university archaeology programs; digging precious artifacts, bones, and the deepest mysteries of times long past. These are the very real concerns and duties of archaeologists. When not in the field digging and surveying, they are in the library and in the research room, seeking answers in this arena. The archaeology degree is built for this application specifically despite its complete transferability to other trades and careers.


Curators provide an important administrative service to exhibits, museums, and other venues that display items of interest and value. They are the sort of overseer and manager of the collection and its display and accompanying events. Curators involved in matters of historic importance or subject matter are especially well prepared for this position via the attainment of an archaeology degree beforehand.

Historic Tourism Director

In many public, historic districts and even privately owned historic properties, tours, displays, and events may compliment the duties of an already busy, historic establishment. At the head of all the commotion is the historic tourism director. This important figure is essentially in charge of all of the happenings in this district or property.

For example, an old Civil War town may draw plenty of tourists and be located among important lands, with important structures and past events of great significance. The director here would ultimately seek to harness and organize all of the area’s offerings so as to create the best, most beneficial state of harmony for guests and locals alike while seeking to also continually preserve the area’s rich history. These same goals may likewise be shared by the director at a private, historic property such as a plantation, battleground, or monument.

Preservation Specialist

We’ve covered curators, and we’ve covered archaeologists. However, there is an important, yet often overlooked area that exists between these two occupations and their attributed goals. This area is that dedicated to the preservation of physical artifacts and other historic items.

After the archaeologist makes their discovery, the artifacts included will typically eventually be put on display and/or stored for future safekeeping. Before this display or storage can take place however, the archaeologist must hand over their finds to preservation specialists. These experts are responsible for cleaning, maintaining, and the continued safe handling of the precious object. This process becomes more intensive as objects become older and more fragile. Those with archaeology degrees are often chosen for this critical role between artifact discovery and future display and safekeeping.

History Teacher

History teachers provide a valuable link between the lessons of the past and the youth of the future. An archaeology major is often the perfect choice for this position, bringing a wealth of real-life, historic knowledge with them to the classroom. The teaching of history via the merits of the archaeology degree can take place at any grade level, from elementary school through colleges and universities. The details in job requirements and pay may change slightly in each venue, but the job always remains the same,  keep factual history alive in the minds and hearts of future generations.

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There are plenty of great jobs to be had in this noble field. These five career options are just a small batch of examples that lie waiting in this particular realm of expertise.