Archaeologists study human activity in the past, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data left behind, which includes artefacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes (the archaeological record).
Uses aerial photography to locate sites that are suitable for excavation and/or digging (for artifacts).
Plans and organises surveys and excavations within a particular archaeological site.
Conducts field work (digging for artifacts) using tools such as pickaxes, brushes and bulldozers.
Carries out examination, documentation and preservation of artifacts.
Performs analysis and interpretation of archaeological data and findings.
Writes reports about the data and findings for publication.
Creates virtual simulations of how artifacts or archaeological sites would have looked in the past.
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Social Professionals, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 76% of people employed as Archaeologists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 10 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Archaeologists||All Jobs Average|
Around 74% of Archaeologists live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
New South Wales, Victoria and Victoria have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Archaeologists is 41 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.
Females make up 51% of the workforce. This is 3 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Archaeologists||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||3.8||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor degree in archaeology or another related field is needed to work as an Archaeologist. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Archaeologists||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||40.9||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.0||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Social Professionals who have good leadership and planning skills, with a strong ability to communicate.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Talking to others.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
55%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
55%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
54%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Teaching people how to do something.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
50%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Using maths to solve problems.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
97%History and archeology
Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.
90%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
71%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
61%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
59%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
52%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
50%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
44%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
42%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
35%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
33%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Communicate by speaking.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Read and understand written information.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
59%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
57%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
See details that are far away.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
86%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
85%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
84%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
82%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
81%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
78%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
77%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
76%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
75%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
75%Training and teaching others
Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.
75%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
74%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
70%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
70%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
68%Guiding and directing staff
Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.
61%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
58%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
57%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
51%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Use electronic mail.
Talk with people face-to-face.
87%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
83%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
82%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Talk on the telephone.
Work with people in a group or team.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
73%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
73%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
71%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
68%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
68%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
67%Outdoors, exposed to weather
Work outdoors, exposed to the weather.
67%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
Work to strict deadlines.
66%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
65%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
Talk to a group of people.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-3091.02 - Archeologists.