Archaeology Education Jobs
Whether it’s the idea of holding an object that was held by another person hundreds of years ago or understanding the historical past of one’s hometown as evidenced by material remains, much of the public entertains some degree of interest in the archaeological past. Through public archaeology and archaeology education, public education and outreach coordinators are able to share archaeological findings with wider audiences.
They explain the importance of these findings to the community (local, national, ethnic, etc.), and encourage members of the public to become involved in the protection of cultural resources.
In more recent years, public archaeology and archaeology education have found an important place within the field of archaeology. After all, in order to protect cultural resources, it is essential for archaeologists to raise awareness among the public. Because raising awareness of our cultural heritage is extremely important to the field, public education and outreach coordinators can find employment across most sectors of the archaeological industry, including education, museums, cultural resource management, professional organizations, and the federal, state, and local governments.
The duties of a public education and outreach coordinator in the field of archaeology depend on where one finds employment. For example, a public education and outreach coordinator working for a cultural resource management firm might have duties that are different from an archaeological educator working for a museum. Overall, however, the objective is generally the same, and these jobs typically involve such responsibilities as:
- Developing and implementing educational programs for a variety of audiences
- Leading tours and speaking at public events
- Writing press releases
- Creation of educational materials, such as programs and brochures
- Writing grants to secure project funding
Education and Training Requirements
Most public education and outreach coordinators have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in anthropology, archaeology, education, history, public history, museum studies, public relations, communications, or the advantageous combination of two or more of these disciplines. Experience with archaeological field work, lab work, and research methodologies are extremely desirable. In addition, most employers expect workers to have very strong verbal and written communication skills, and must demonstrate experience and aptitude in dealing with various public audiences.
Salary and Advancement Opportunities
Depending on experience and location, public education and outreach coordinators earn an average annual salary of $30,000 to $60,000. Since this is a relatively new career in the field of archaeology, the opportunity for advancement remains unclear. However, as this type of job continues to evolve, it seems likely that more opportunities will open up and allow greater room for movement within this type of career.
Since the discipline of archaeology is dedicated to the study and preservation of the human past, it has always entailed an intrinsically public component. In recent years, however, “public” archaeology has grown into something of a sub-discipline of the field with practitioners developing their own bodies of theories and methods for effectively reaching public audiences. Due to this development, the Society for American Archaeology contends that the field is “evolving exponentially,” and that with proper training and education, practitioners can expect regular job growth in the coming years.
The Society for American Archaeology: Archaeology for the Public
The Archaeological Institute of America: Outreach and Education
National Park Service: Public Archaeology in the United States and Interpretation for Archaeologists