Archeologist Job Description Template

An archeologist works at a site.

With zoning regulations becoming increasingly strict to prevent the possible destruction of historical artifacts, the demand for archeologists is projected to increase by 6% over the next decade. When it comes to overseeing excavations of construction sites in historically prominent locations, government regulations often require architecture firms and developers to retain a supervising archeologist to manage a small team of less senior archeologists, graduate assistants, or trained volunteers to determine whether objects found on site are historically significant.

Most archeologists work for institutes of higher learning, museums, or historical societies. They also work for state and local tourism departments. Others work for national and international foundations and can be found on sites worldwide, gently digging into the earth and sifting dust and dirt from potentially important artifacts.

Many archeologists spend their careers teaching in colleges and universities and spending sabbaticals on digs piecing together information about human history. Others are self-employed, consulting for developers and construction firms, nonprofit organizations, historical societies, or national, state, or local governments and municipalities. Typically, these experts specialize in particular historical periods or geographic areas.

To find the expert that fits your needs—whether you are looking for a freelance archeologist to excavate a single site on a short-term basis or a tenure-track senior-level professor with a robust publishing record—you need to write a detailed archeology job description. The template below can be used as a starting point. For more ideas about what qualifications to include in your job post, you can scan the current job listings for archeologists on Monster.

An archeologist works at a site.

Archeologist Job Description

Intro Paragraph: Your job description should begin with a concise overview of the open position and what you are looking for in an ideal candidate. Writing this summary will help you to focus on the most critical qualities you are seeking in an archeologist.

You might phrase it as follows: We are looking for a highly qualified archeologist with teaching or site management experience and a robust research and publishing record.

About Our Organization: Archeologists tend to be mission-driven, so this is the perfect place to summarize your organizational mission and values or explain what makes your project special. Is your site located in a geographical area rich in historic significance? Do you manage a highly respected museum or higher education institution with significant resources?

Whatever makes your organization unique will help to attract the most qualified candidates. This section of the archeologist job description is also the perfect place to state your organizational mission and core values and to describe your diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies to attract a wider range of candidates.

Archeologist Responsibilities: The following list of day-to-day job responsibilities may differ significantly, depending on the nature of the project, position, or your organizational needs. However, here are some common archeologist job responsibilities:

  • Identify sites for possible exploration using a variety of research methods, including evaluation of surveys, primary documents, and aerial photography.
  • Analyze potential construction sites to ensure that historically important artifacts and locations are not destroyed, damaged, or disturbed.
  • Excavate sites or “digs” and collect, identify, record, and preserve artifacts to help determine the historical significance of locations and increase the field’s understanding of past societies, civilizations, and historical epochs.
  • Supervise the use of appropriate equipment to complete excavation and collection of artifacts and other forms of evidence in the field with the least possible damage.
  • Clean, analyze, date, and catalog objects found at excavation site(s) and maintain database of information on all aspects of project.
  • Oversee and interpret lab work, including computer-aided design (CAD), geographic information systems (GIS), and DNA sequencing to determine information about artifacts taken from archeological sites.
  • Map out how sites might have looked in the past.
  • Write and publish field reports, academic papers, and other forms of research.
  • Oversee and maintain budgets and timetables.
  • Recruit, hire, mentor, and supervise the work of site and lab assistants, subordinate faculty, and graduate students.
  • Collaborate with other experts, including archeologists, anthropologists, historians, linguistic anthropologists, anthropological geneticists, and museum curators, as well as architects, city planners, and government regulators.
  • Teach courses, oversee student research, and advise and mentor students.
  • Take part in academic conferences, present findings, and maintain memberships in professional and academic associations.
  • Apply for grants, secure research funding, and maintain records about the use of funding for research purposes.

Work Hours and Benefits: Next, you’ll want to include the required hours and the salary range and benefits that come with this position. To determine a fair offer for your city or town, you can use a salary tool like Monster’s, which allows you to input the job title and location and calculate estimates for low, median, and high salary offers. Another source of in-depth information on academic salaries by specialty can be found via the American Association of University Professors’ Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession. One of the best ways to use this section is to emphasize benefits and perks that are most likely to appeal to the most qualified applicants: sabbaticals, tuition reimbursement, and bonus pay.

Archeologist Skills/Qualifications: Be aware that some candidates are less likely to apply for positions if they don’t think they have every qualification. Exhaustive lists of required skills and experiences can be especially detrimental if want to strengthen your DEI initiatives and attract women applicants or candidates from underrepresented groups. You may want to limit the number or required skills and requirements or divide your requirements between “required” and “optional” qualifications.

  • Attention to detail
  • Fine motor skills and dexterity
  • Physical fitness and stamina
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Exemplary presentation and communication skills
  • Data analysis
  • Critical thinking
  • Time management
  • Management or supervisory experience
  • Teambuilding and leadership
  • Collaborative skills

Education, Experience, and Licensing Requirements:

Call to Action: End your archeologist job description with a “call to action” that encourages qualified applicants to “apply now” by filling out an online application.

Before You Can Dig Into a Robust Stack of Archeologist Resumes, You’ll Need to Get the Word Out

By leveraging your carefully constructed archeology job description with a job post with Monster, you can extend your reach and attract top experts in the field.