Peter and Victoria’s ten top tips for a career in Archaeology

As a companion piece to: 

Here are our tip top tips to give you a head start to a career in archaeology:

  1. Never be afraid to say you don’t know something – everyone starts somewhere!
  2. Attend conferences, they give you an overview of current research, you can network and meet the experts.
  3. Keep a diary, build a portfolio of your work, i.e any papers you have written.
  4. Volunteer – make it work for you, target your interest areas. i.e fieldwork, working with small finds, historic houses, conservation, archives etc.
  5. You may consider joining a volunteer programme such as PAstExplorers or The National Trust.
  6. Use your spare time to gain relevant experience such as summer digs, work placements, they all look great on your CV.
  7. Find a specialist topic that you enjoy researching and have a go at writing about it, this can be used to take to interviews. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Archaeology based. It is not only useful to show your work but also how you have varied interests and transferable skills.
  8. Have a look at job adverts for positions you may be interested in, you can see what relevant skills are needed and identify any gaps in your own experience.
  9. Take a look at websites such as CIfA that has advice on early career development.
  10. You may not wish to have a career in Archaeology but you can still have an interest and partake in activities such as joining local societies, attending open days at your museum or volunteering at a local dig site.

It’s not all like Time Team. You may have to work long hours in bad weather and you may never become a millionaire. However a career in Archaeology can be very rewarding and quite often no two days are the same. You will certainly get to work with like-minded people passionate about their past.

Peter Reavill at work   digging