How to become an archaeologist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
Most professional archaeologists have a degree and many also have a postgraduate qualification.
You can do a degree in archaeology or a degree that specialises in the different aspects of the work, like:
- environmental archaeology
- human evolution
- forensic investigation
- archaeological science
You can search for higher education courses and see what the entry requirements are on British Archaeological Jobs and Resources.
Postgraduate qualifications can be particularly useful if you want to:
- be a researcher
- teach archaeology in higher education
- specialise in a particular area of archaeology
You'll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
You could gain relevant skills through an archaeological technician advanced apprenticeship. Then you could move on to do an archaeological specialist degree apprenticeship.
The degree apprenticeship typically takes 36 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and off-the-job study at an approved university.
You can look for vacancies with organisations like:
- local authorities
- national parks
- archaeological contractors
You'll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
Competition for courses and jobs is very strong. It's essential that you get practical experience.
Local and regional archaeological associations often have programmes of field activities that you can join. You can look for volunteering opportunities through websites like the Council for British Archaeology.
It can be useful to have experience of things like:
- computer aided design (CAD)
- geographical information systems (GIS)
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists for professional development training and networking opportunities.
You'll find more advice on how to become an archaeologist from the Council for British Archaeology.