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How Much Do Archaeologists Get Paid?

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/12/2010

Salaries for archaeologists vary and there are different factors determining them. Here you will get detailed salary information and more information about this career.

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    Salaries for archaeologists vary and everyone going into this field should familiarize themselves with the salary and how to improve it before diving in. Archaeology is a branch of anthropology. Those in this field study humans. Those working in this field will need a college education and the level their obtain will determine their job prospects and potential salary.

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    Archaeologist Salary

    Archaeologist Eric H Cline In the United States, the general annual salary range for archaeologists is about $30,000 to $100,000. The average starting salary is approximately $34,000 per year and with each additional five years of experience, the increase in salary is about $5,000 per year. Salary will vary depending on the person's level of education, his or her region, how long they have been in this field and level of experience, and their employer.

    In the United States, salaries for archaeologists possessing a bachelor of arts in anthropology earn an average salary for $20,000 to $41,000 per year. Those possessing a master of arts in anthropology earn an average salary of $31,000 to $42,000 per year. Those possessing a PhD in anthropology earn an average salary of $37,000 to $64,000 per year.

    Those who want to improve their salary can do several things. The easiest way is to move to a geographic region where salaries are higher. Next, he or she can pursue further education. Lastly, as he or she gains experience in this field their salary will increase. Changing type of employer may also result in a salary increase.

    Archaeologists with one to four years of experience earn an average of $26,000 to $43,000 per year. Those with five to nine years of experience earn an average of $34,000 to $54,000 per year. Those with 10 to 19 years of experience earn an average of $39,000 to $62,000 per year. Those with 20 or more years of experience earn an average of $42,000 to $72,000 per year.

    Those working for a college or university earn an average of $24,000 to $33,000 per year. Those working for a non-profit organization earn a average of $24,000 to $52,000 per year. Those working for the federal government earn an average of $48,000 to $73,000 per year. Those working for a company earn an average of $35,000 to $50,000 per year. Those working for a private firm earn an average of $38,000 to $55,000 per year. Those working for a local or state government earn an average of $37,000 to $55,000 per year.

    Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Ehcline

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    Career Outlook

    Those working in archeology can expect to see an increase of about 15 percent in employment opportunities. Most will find employment in research institutions. The next most common field of employment for archaeologists is with the United States federal government.

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    What Does an Archaeologist Do and How do I Become One?

    Archaeologists dig up ancient artifacts and remains to study past human cultures. They do this to get a glimpse into how past civilizations lives. They will determine how long the things they dig up have been underground and will spend time analyzing the data they gather in a laboratory, and then will write up reports on the outcome. They will often work in teams and spend a large amount of their work time outside on site. They may work in mountains and caves, deserts, and other areas so they must be able to tolerate different weather conditions and extreme temperatures well.

    For entry-level research assistant positions in this field, a bachelor of science in archeology is needed. Those who wish to teach or gain higher-paying employment opportunities, a master of science in archeology is needed. For those who wish to write books about the excavations they have done, lead their own excavation teams, and have the reputation and knowledge to complete projects that private foundations, government agencies, and trust organizations fund, a PhD is necessary.

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    Resources

    StateUniversity.com. (2010). Archaeologist Job Description. Retrieved on December 10, 2010 from StateUniversity.com: http://careers.stateuniversity.com/pages/7752/Archaeologist.html

    PayScale. (2010). Salary Snapshot for Archaeologist Jobs. Retrieved on December 10, 2010 from PayScale: http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Archaeologist/Salary






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