A career in archaeology has to do with the study of the ancient and recent human past through material remains. These remains can be any objects that people created, modified, or used.  Archaeology is a diverse field of study. Pursuing a career in this field provides you with the potential to participate in historical discoveries.


An archaeologist is a professional who studies and analyses human prehistory to understand how human civilizations have evolved. They excavate and recover artefacts like building ruins, pottery, cave paintings and tools. Furthermore, they explain the evolution of living species through their research. A career in archaeology allows you to become part of uncovering some important discoveries in human history.


To become an archaeologist, ambitious professionals must attain the required qualifications. I will walk you through the educational requirements and steps needed to start a career in archaeology.


Steps to Start a Career in Archaeology

  1. Complete your Secondary School Education

    You must have a minimum of credits in subjects such as Mathematics, Science subjects, English and History in your O’level results. Additionally, you should develop excellent research and writing skills. You will be required to do more writing than digging in your career in archaeology.

  2. Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

    You need to complete an undergraduate program and earn a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, geography and history. You will learn the skills needed to make assessments of historical artefacts. Additionally, you learn how to participate in an excavation without harming any of the artefacts.

  3. Participate in Internships

    You must participate in actual excavation while studying. You can do this by participating in an internship, fellowship or a similar program. This will provide you with a supervised experience and enable you to decide if it is the right career choice for you. You can carry out internships in a museum, archaeological organisations and government agencies.

  4. Earn a Master’s Degree

    A master’s degree will provide you with a more in-depth understanding of this and help you improve your technical abilities. You can pursue a master’s degree such as M.A., M.Phil., Diploma and PG Diploma in archaeology or its related field.

  5. Earn a Doctorate Degree

    A doctorate usually takes three years to complete with several months of field research in a specified dissertation. You should consider earning a PhD degree in archaeology if you want to work as a professor to lead high-level projects.

  6. Join an Archaeology Association

    You should register and join an archaeology association. This will enable you to gain connections with colleagues and experts who are passionate about this field. Additionally, it can help you find better career opportunities, share your research and develop your skills.

  7. Choose an Area of Specialisation

    There are various areas of specialisation you can decide to form a niche under. Furthermore, this would help you streamline your skills and research and gain expertise in that niche.


Areas of Specialisation in Archaeology

  1. Environmental Archaeologists

    Environmental archaeologists answer questions about ancient people’s natural surroundings. These archaeologists study the interactions between ancient population and their natural surroundings.

  2. Industrial Archaeologists

    Industrial archaeologists focus on the exploration of material remains of industry-related artefacts and by-products. Furthermore, they utilise their findings to understand industries that were present and how people produced goods in a particular period.

  3. Maritime Archaeologists

    These archaeologists specialise in studying underwater remains such as underwater cities, shipwrecks and other underwater archaeological sites.

  4. Landscape Archaeologists

    Landscape archaeologists focuses on understanding the link between habitats and landscape with human behaviour. Additionally, they study the natural and artificial changes that occur in different landscapes.

  5. Aerial Archeologists

    These archaeologists use aerial surveys and photography to spot new dig sites. It deals with exploration from an altitude.

  6. Aviation Archaeologists

    Aerial archaeologists study historical remains of aircraft, abandoned airbuses and aviation history. They use their findings to explain the events that led to aircraft crashes.

  7. Commercial Archaeologists

    Commercial archaeologists explore ancient trade routes, harbours and ancient marketplaces. They study the different forms of transportation used in commercial activities. Additionally, they study the commodities which ancient groups of people traded and bartered.

  8. Bioarchaeologists

    Bioarchaeologists are experts who investigate the skeletal remains found at archaeological sites. This may encompass a variety of specialities such as human remains research, ancient illness research and genetic research.


Places to Work as an Archaeologist


  1. University
  2. Laboratory
  3. Dig site
  4. Museum
  5. Office


Universities to Study Archaeology in Africa


  1. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  2. Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
  3. University of Cape Coast, Ghana
  4. Mansoura University, Egypt
  5. University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  6. Cadi Ayyad University, Morocco
  7. University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  8. Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
  9. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  10. Cairo University, Egypt
  11. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  12. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  13. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science of Technology, Ghana
  14. University of Botswana, Botswana
  15. Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
  16. University of Nigeria, Nigeria
  17. Covenant University, Nigeria
  18. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  19. Rhodes University, South Africa
  20. University of Sousse, Tunisia


A career in archaeology will open up your mind to historical events and how humans lived in the past. Archaeologists use remains which can be portable or non-portable to learn how people lived in specific times and places. Portable remains are called artefacts which include tools, clothing and decorations. While non-portable remains such as pyramids and post-holes are called features. Additionally, pursuing a career in archaeology allows you to be a part of historical discoveries.


Good luck!

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