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Summary Report for:
19-3091.02 - Archeologists

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

Sample of reported job titles: Archaeologist, Associate Director, Curator, Director of Research Center, Principal Archaeologist, Project Director, Research Archaeologist

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Study objects and structures recovered by excavation to identify, date, and authenticate them and to interpret their significance.
  • Research, survey, or assess sites of past societies and cultures in search of answers to specific research questions.
  • Write, present, and publish reports that record site history, methodology, and artifact analysis results, along with recommendations for conserving and interpreting findings.
  • Describe artifacts' physical properties or attributes, such as the materials from which artifacts are made and their size, shape, function, and decoration.
  • Present findings from archeological research to peers and the general public.
  • Compare findings from one site with archeological data from other sites to find similarities or differences.
  • Record the exact locations and conditions of artifacts uncovered in diggings or surveys, using drawings and photographs as necessary.
  • Assess archeological sites for resource management, development, or conservation purposes and recommend methods for site protection.
  • Create a grid of each site and draw and update maps of unit profiles, stratum surfaces, features, and findings.
  • Collect artifacts made of stone, bone, metal, and other materials, placing them in bags and marking them to show where they were found.
  • Consult site reports, existing artifacts, and topographic maps to identify archeological sites.
  • Teach archeology at colleges and universities.
  • Develop and test theories concerning the origin and development of past cultures.
  • Lead field training sites and train field staff, students, and volunteers in excavation methods.
  • Create artifact typologies to organize and make sense of past material cultures.
  • Clean, restore, and preserve artifacts.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Augers — Bucket augers
  • Bench scales
  • Binoculars
  • Calipers — Dial calipers; Digital calipers; Vernier calipers
  • Cold chisels
  • Compressed air gun — Pneumatic airscribes
  • Conductivity meters — Conductance meters; Conductivity probes
  • Dental burs
  • Dental probes — Dental picks
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
  • Digital cameras
  • Diving instruments or accessories — Scuba diving equipment
  • Drying cabinets or ovens — Drying ovens
  • Electron microscopes — Electron microprobes
  • Floor or platform scales — Platform scales
  • Forestry increment borers — Tree ring sampling kits
  • Freeze dryers or lyopholizers — Vacuum freeze-drying chambers
  • Fume hoods or cupboards — Fume hoods
  • Geological compasses — Directional compasses
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver — Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Goggles — Safety goggles
  • Hammers — Crack hammers
  • Heating or drying equipment or accessories — Drying racks
  • Inductively coupled plasma ICP spectrometers — Inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopes ICP-ES
  • Laboratory balances — Laboratory precision balances
  • Laboratory beakers — Glass beakers
  • Laboratory burets — Glass burets
  • Laboratory scalpels
  • Laboratory separators — Water screening devices
  • Laboratory sifting equipment — Mesh sifting screens; Shaker screens
  • Land drilling rigs — Hydraulic drilling rigs
  • Levels — Digital levels; Laser line levels
  • Loupes — Pocket loupes
  • Magnetic stirrers — Magnetic stirring bars
  • Magnetometer geophysical instruments — Geophysical magnetometers
  • Mass spectrometers — Inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopes ICP-MS
  • Measuring tables — Alidades
  • Metal detectors
  • Metallurgical microscopes
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
  • Picks — Rock picks
  • Plotter printers — Plotters
  • Plumb bobs
  • Pneumatic hammer — Pneumatic chisels
  • Pneumatic sanding machines — Sandblasters
  • Polarizing microscopes — Petrographic microscopes
  • Pullers — Slide hammers
  • Radarbased surveillance systems — Ground penetrating radar GPR
  • Resistivity geophysical instruments — Electrical resistivity instruments
  • Rulers — Precision rulers
  • Scanners — Flatbed scanners; Slide scanners
  • Scanning electron microscopes — Scanning electron microscopes SEM
  • Shovels — Flat-ended shovels; Round point shovels
  • Soil core sampling apparatus — Soil probes; Soil samplers
  • Sonars — Side scan sonars
  • Spectrofluorimeters or fluorimeters — X ray fluorescence XRF spectrometers
  • Stereo or dissecting light microscopes — Stereo zoom microscopes
  • Still cameras — 35 millimeter cameras
  • Tablet computers
  • Tape measures — Lufkin tape measures
  • Theodolites — Total stations
  • Triple beam balances
  • Trowels — Marshalltown trowels; Plains trowels
  • Ultrasonic cleaning equipment — Ultrasonic cleaning machines
  • Underwater cameras — Underwater digital cameras; Underwater still cameras
  • X ray diffraction equipment — X ray diffractometers

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Analytical or scientific software — SPSS Hot technology
  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology
  • Data base user interface and query software — Archeological Sites Management Information System ASMIS; Automated National Catalog System ANCS; Microsoft Access Hot technology
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat Hot technology
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop Hot technology ; Graphics software
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software
  • Map creation software — ESRI ArcView; Golden Software Surfer; Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE; Trimble Pathfinder Office (see all 6 examples)
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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Knowledge

  • History and Archeology — Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
  • Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Foreign Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Skills

  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

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Abilities

  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.

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Work Activities

  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Conduct anthropological or archaeological research.
  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Advise others about environmental management or conservation.
  • Inspect condition of natural environments.
  • Record research or operational data.
  • Prepare maps.
  • Collect archival data.
  • Instruct college students in social sciences or humanities disciplines.
  • Direct scientific activities.
  • Train personnel in technical or scientific procedures.
  • Clean objects.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 88% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 79% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 48% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 48% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Contact With Others — 39% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Telephone — 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 42% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 39% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Letters and Memos — 42% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Level of Competition — 39% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Physical Proximity — 50% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 42% responded “Moderate results.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 44% responded “Important.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 30% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 42% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 48% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Time Pressure — 55% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 42% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 36% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Public Speaking — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 42% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 27% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 38% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 44% responded “Important.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 30% responded “Important.”
  • Work Schedules — 63% responded “Irregular (changes with weather conditions, production demands, or contract duration).”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
Related Experience Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, surgeons, and veterinarians.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
48   Doctoral degree
42   Master's degree
9   Bachelor's degree

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: IRA

  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

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Work Values

  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
  • Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Anthropologists and Archeologists.
Employment data collected from Anthropologists and Archeologists.
Industry data collected from Anthropologists and Archeologists.

Median wages (2015) $29.43 hourly, $61,220 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 8,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Slower than average (2% to 4%) Slower than average (2% to 4%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 1,200
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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