So You Want To Be An Archaeologist?

archeologist Archaeology is the study of human cultures from around the world throughout time. This is done by excavating artifacts to learn about the people who left them behind. Though being an archaeologist may not be as exciting as it was for say Indiana Jones, if you find the idea of unearthing an arrowhead that hasn’t been touched for 900 years exciting, then this may be the perfect career path for you. But the question remains: do you have what it takes?

Here are a few qualities an archaeologist must possess:

Ability to work with others: Whether you’re leading a crew or just joining one, being able to either take or give orders and to work in a collaborative environment would help you pursue this career field.

Investigative skills: To succeed as an archaeologist, you must be capable of conducting extensive research and learning to apply the knowledge you’ve gained to the field.

Analytical skills: Thinking critically is an excellent skill for understanding laboratory experiments and observations you’ve made in the field. You will also need to know how to use the scientific method and how to analyze your data in order to further your goals.

Writing skills:  Contrary to popular belief, archaeologists don’t spend all of their time in the field. They can often be found writing about their findings in a report and publishing their results in public interest publications and scholarly journals.

Cultural Sensitivity: If you work in foreign countries to your own, you must be hyper-aware of local customs and expectations. Locals will see you as an ambassador from your country or school, and tend to make generalizations based on your behavior.

Competitive nature: Just as with most professions these days, the job outlook isn’t as sunny as it may appear. This is a small occupation, with only about 1,400 new jobs growing in the next ten years, so you must be prepared to work very hard to gain the necessary experience to achieve your goals. Though your ideal scenario will involve you finding work in the field right away, the truth of the matter is that when it comes to finding work as an archaeologist, supply often exceeds demand. Volunteering is a great way to gain some experience, to network by building connections.