Being an archaeologist is all about exploring the past and learning how current human societies came to exist. 

Interested in this career? Watch the video
Press play to see what an Archaeologist does
What the job looks like
Salary expectation
starts at $40,000 up to $100,000
The good
  • Travel to exotic countries and get to know the local language and culture
  • Constantly look at the world in new ways
  • Archaeology is often about discovering pasts that have been completely forgotten
The not so good
  • Applying for and successfully receiving funding to continue with your work

Going on field trips and carrying out excavations is a big part of your role, as well as researching and writing about your discoveries. You will need to make very accurate measurements when excavating a site so that items do not get damaged.

Field trips vary even on a day-to-day basis. Depending on an excavation schedule, you might need to do some research by looking at maps or analysing computer data about the site which all require a good understanding of maths.

After the trip, you analyse the items found on the dig, clean them up, conserve them and write reports on the discoveries made for consideration in the wider archaeological community.

A lot of research goes into analysis so you will need strong English skills to read information and write your own reports.

If you enjoy learning new things and studying history, then a career as an archaeologist could be for you.

The past is a mirror for the future.


Pathways to this career

Subject suggestions for the HSC

Choosing your HSC subjects from this list could really help with your career. Think carefully about what you want to study after school as you might need to choose specific HSC subjects for that course and to count towards your ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank). An ATAR is your academic rank in relation to other HSC students and helps with University admission.

HSC subjects 

Some subjects will count towards your ATAR, others will not. Check with your career advisor before making subject selections.

What can I do after I have finished school?

University degrees 

Studying one of these degrees can help with your career.


Start volunteering now and check out websites such as Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology and The Australian Archaeological Association for more information

  • Show your interest by volunteering for work experience while you're studying
  • Get involved with your local historical museum
  • Go to career expos and events like university Open Days for information about what you will study