Archaeology - A Career Overview

It is important to understand that employers hire people, not degrees. The skills and knowledge you develop as a result of your education, as well as in your work and community activities, have the greatest impact on hiring decisions. Listed below are some specific knowledge and transferable skills you will acquire as a result of your university education and your focus on Archaeology.

Specific Knowledge Skills

  • Knowledge of how to make detailed observations in order to gather accurate data and information
  • Techniques to uncover, study and preserve physical evidence and information
  • The ability to create detailed archives and documents based upon research and observation
  • An understanding of how to examine past events to interpret and understand culture and society
  • Awareness of how to identify and examine the differences between various cultures and societies
  • Skills to re-create historical incidents to facilitate a greater understanding of past events, comprehensive reports and presentations and educational resources
  • Knowledge of how to conduct and develop surveys, and interview and observe individuals, from different backgrounds, in order to gather key information to understand situations or events
  • Skills in the collection and cataloguing of individual, cultural and historical information and data

Valuable Transferable Skills

Information-gathering and Communication Skills

  • The skills required to identify and access a wide range of relevant information and resources
  • The ability to compile and organize facts and information and to comprehend and apply new and/or unfamiliar information to different situations and settings
  • Skills in preparing interesting, creative and informative presentations which target diverse audiences
  • The ability to develop attractive/effective reports, presentations and materials using current technology

Thinking, Planning and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to learn, understand and interpret information and apply knowledge to new situations
  • The ability to set priorities, meet deadlines and effectively plan/manage time, data and resources
  • Problem-solving skills and the ability to make well-reasoned decisions, think creatively and search for, identify and consider all sides of an issue
  • Skills to analyze and interpret a wide range of information and data to discuss, support and/or reject ideas, opinions, reports, theories and proposals

Teamwork and Management Skills

  • Skills enabling you to work effectively as part of a team by identifying your role and contributing, through leading, teaching, motivating and/or encouraging others, to the success of the team
  • An understanding of how to successfully identify, plan and contribute to the goals of a project
  • The ability to oversee, supervise and/or contribute to a project from beginning to end including determining outcomes, planning details, making decisions, assigning roles and completing task

Career Options (Samples Only. Additional education, training or experience may be required.)

Accident Scene Investigator
Archaeological Field Worker
Artifact Illustrator
Building Site Inspector
Community Relations
Crime Scene Analyst
Cultural Artifact Specialist
Cultural Needs Researcher
Developmental Consultant
Diversity Consultant
Documentary Writer/Producer
Environmental Impact Assessor
Event Planner
Exhibit Designer
Field Technician
Forensic Analyst
GIS Technician
Grant Fund Administrator
Health Records Supervisor
Heritage Assessor
Historical Interpreter
International Consultant
Laboratory Technician
Media Consultant
Media Researcher
Medical Administrator
Medical Technician
Principal Investigator
Program Director
Public Archaeologist
Public Educator
Public Opinion Analyst           
Public Policy Analyst
Resettlement Worker
Site/Land Surveyor
Technical Writer
Tour/Park Guide
Travel Writer
Underwater Archaeologist
Urban Planner
X-Ray Technician

Potential Employers

Construction Companies
Development/Non-Profit Orgs.
Educational Institutions
Heritage Foundations
Hospitals/Medical Centres
Insurance Companies
Market Research Firms
Media Organizations
Parks/Historical Sites
Public Relations Firms
Research Firms


Canadian Archaeological Association -
Canadian Association of Palynologists -
Society for Historical Archaeology -
Heritage Canada The National Trust -
Worldwide Email Directory of Anthropologists -
Society for Industrial Archaeology -
EarthWorks Jobs -
Canadian Museums Association -
Appraisal Institute of Canada -
Association of Canadian Archivists -
Society for American Archaeology -
Archaeological Institute of America -

Are you interested in learning first hand about the careers our alumni have successfully pursued? Connect with Laurier alumni through the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) program. Participating alumni represent a variety of disciplines, careers and industries.

In addition, the Career Centre has compiled Career Profiles from Laurier alumni. Read about their career paths and how their experiences have led them to their current roles.

This resource is available at the Career Resource Centre.

© 2019 Wilfrid Laurier University - Orbis Career / Co-op Portal Professional v3