Archeologist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Archaeologists Career Video



Conducts research to reconstruct records of past human life and culture from human remains, artifacts, architectural features, and structures recovered through excavation, underwater recovery, or other means of discovery.

This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster Science and Mathematics pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Writes, presents, and publishes reports that record site history, methodology, and artifact analysis results, along with recommendations for conserving and interpreting findings.
  • Cleans, restores, and preserves artifacts.
  • Studies objects and structures recovered by excavation to identify, date, and authenticate them and to interpret their significance.
  • Presents findings from archeological research to peers and the general public.
  • Records the exact locations and conditions of artifacts uncovered in diggings or surveys, using drawings and photographs as necessary.
  • Leads field training sites and trains field staff, students, and volunteers in excavation methods.
  • Researches, surveys, or assesses sites of past societies and cultures in search of answers to specific research questions.
  • Creates a grid of each site and draws and updates maps of unit profiles, stratum surfaces, features, and findings.
  • Collects artifacts made of stone, bone, metal, and other materials, placing them in bags and marking them to show where they were found.
  • Develops and tests theories concerning the origin and development of past cultures.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overnight travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Archaeologist --
  • Associate Director --
  • Curator -- Administers affairs of a museum and conducts research programs.
  • Director of Research Center --
  • Principal Archaeologist --
  • Project Director --
  • Research Archaeologist --