Topic ID #27601 - posted 3/11/2013 11:58 AM

Rip off!



FireArch

Moderator
Being wise in a tight economy:

See the link below for a Crew Chief position in Barstow, CA. (if you've never been there, just know it rather sucks).


http://www.archaeologyfieldwork.com/AFW/Message/Topic/27529/Employment-Listings/crew-chief-barstow-ca

If you take the time to convert the advertised salary into hourly you will see that that rather important field position is paying $16.00/hour.

If you take some additional time and browse through the SCA wage determination for the area you will see that Arch Tech III pays $34.21/hour. That's a huge gulf. You will not even be making what an entry level field tech should be earning - see below.

  30021 - Archeological Technician I     23.33
  30022 - Archeological Technician II    24.00
  30023 - Archeological Technician III   34.21


Remember, the wage determination for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties is your pay rate, not your billing rate, which takes into account corporate overhead, taxes, rates, etc.

I have no idea if this is a federal project, but given the area, it probably is, and it may or may not be covered by SCA regulations (depends on the funding source), but you should know that all is not always as it seems. Corporations such as these can afford to pay you what you are worth, and it's up to you to know what you should be getting.




Post ID#19993 - replied 3/11/2013 12:03 PM



McBain05

This has been true of many temp tech jobs coming out.  Employers have been taking advantage of the downturn to really hammer tech and crew chief wages, none of which have kept up with inflation.

But, there are so many of us out there desperate to pay the bills that we will take anything (myself included).  I have a MA (12 years of supervisory experience) and I've been trying to land tech from 12-14 bucks and hour AND getting turned down..

Post ID#19994 - replied 3/11/2013 12:11 PM



Dwarmour


That sucks.  I haven't seen a company double-occ. people in a while either.  McBain, sorry to hear about your luck, hopefully it will change.  I know what you mean though, as much as I don't want to compromise, with children and bills eventually you have to take something.  I was scrounging for awhile and have no responses to the applications I submitted either.  Luckily, I got a little more time with my program but not enough to get comfortable.

Post ID#19995 - replied 3/11/2013 12:12 PM



whatamIdoing

I've never worked for that firm but I've been told by former employees the "S" actually stands for "Sadistic."

Sadly, the firm is probably not the primary contract holder and does not have to pay SCA rates. A lot of times an environmental consulting/planning firm takes the contract and subs out everything, ergo, nobody gets paid the SCA rate because the firms they work for don't have contracts with the feds. Still pretty piss poor for that region however.

Should also note that the firm is also well known for very low wages in general.

Post ID#19996 - replied 3/11/2013 12:43 PM



FireArch

Moderator
I too have heard the stories about this corporate example (I chose this one because it's particularly onerous and galling [there's no relationship between me and them, however]), and it's true that often times companies are subs, and therefore dont often pay very well to begin with (read No Logo or The Shock Doctrine to understand the tiering of corporations working for federal agencies and what that means for the people who do the actual work). Nevertheless, I know that this is no mom-and-pop operation, and that wage rate is pitiful for the responsibility requirements, the area of work, and the conditions of the situation. It's shameful really.

I believe BAJR posted a survey that showed (and I saw a corresponding chart at the recent SCA meeting in Berkeley this weekend) a steep decline in the number of students enrolled in university anthropological programs. To me, this suggest a possible feedback of interest in an anthro career based on the poor payrates we've been seeing for years.

Post ID#19998 - replied 3/11/2013 2:49 PM



Archaeovagrant

I have worked with people who are familiar with the company in question, and they weren't very complimentary. And don't get me started on double occupancy--just another way to make money off the people actually doing the work.

Post ID#19999 - replied 3/11/2013 3:12 PM



McBain05

<<To me, this suggest a possible feedback of interest in an anthro career based on the poor payrates we've been seeing for years.>>

I actively encourage anyone interested in archaeology to follow a different career path and volunteer to get their excavation fix.  It really isn't worth it, especially considering rising student loans and declining wages (with respect to inflation).
 


Post ID#20000 - replied 3/12/2013 2:39 AM



Jennifer Palmer

Webmaster
I deleted the original job listing. One of the great things about running this website as a personal project is that I can do so at my discretion. I usually forward jobs en masse to the website each morning and don't always have time to read all the details or crunch the numbers (sadly those wages wouldn't have raised any eyebrows in my part of the country). Please feel free to drop me an e-mail if you find anything that should be removed from the site (and of course, Richard, you can delete items as a moderator). I've always tried to post "everything" and then let the applicant sort through what's worth their time, but I'm honestly getting tired of helping to promote some of this.

Jennifer

Post ID#20001 - replied 3/12/2013 12:21 PM



FireArch

Moderator
Thanks for the context Jennifer. I considered my post carefully as I didnt want to cross the "no dissing the company" line you have established, but I needed a way to vent in this particular case as I am personally familiar with the physiographic environment in which the work was to have taken place, have posted links to the federal standards we should all aspire - at a minimum - and found that the level of expertise sought (which incidentally, as indicated in the advert, required taking on the role of field director in some cases, and which is a pay grade higher still) was being remunerated at a rate barely above first-season field techs. The company in question should be ashamed.

Since we dont have a specific responsibility = pay grade (ala the IfA) in the states I would be hard pressed to delete, based on arbitrary criteria, most job announcements. But now that we have set an example I'll be more conscientious of egregious postings. Perhaps we can sticky post some of those wage trends some of our colleagues have gathered. Should an announcement fall below the wage trend line for a particular region we could selectively delete it.

What do others think? Would you rather know about a poorly paying job rather than having it deleted because it was insulting to your talents?

Cheers,
Richard

Post ID#20002 - replied 3/12/2013 12:25 PM



FireArch

Moderator
Sadly, had I seen the announcement before last weekend I could have said something face to face with one of the principals of the company at the SCA meeting..... damn.

Post ID#20003 - replied 3/12/2013 3:54 PM



Dwarmour

"What do others think? Would you rather know about a poorly paying job rather than having it deleted because it was insulting to your talents?"

I like the idea of deleting them.  Granted these companies are probably seeded at shovelbums as well but it makes a point. 

Or you could put a low-ball icon beside their post ;-)

Post ID#20004 - replied 3/12/2013 11:27 PM



elynch03

I strongly prefer the idea of a "low-ball icon" or something like that. As a soon-to-be grad student looking down the barrel at a good amount of loans, I can imagine wanting to take a project tech job if I were already local, just for the tuition money. It's awful to see companies offering insufficient pay and less than ideal lodging, but, in the spirit of keeping honest, I'm at a point where any money is good money; if I'm in a seriously tight spot with, say, paying off loans, I think I'd just have to sell myself short and put up with whatever pay I could get. But, that's just me.

Post ID#20005 - replied 3/13/2013 1:07 AM



Jennifer Palmer

Webmaster
In the past I've let the low-paying jobs stay up, even if I had to cringe a little while doing so. Many were posted by nonprofits or entities advertising opportunities that were targeting students or entry-level folks looking to learn on the job and add a little experience to their resume. I can almost justify an absurdly low wage being offered by a tiny pop and mom outfit, but it's harder to do so for larger firms.

I understand, too, that some people are looking for work in their field, at almost any rate. Been there before. With that in mind, I'd like to keep this website an open option for anyone that wants to post their opportunity, as there are few other free venues remaining for advertisement. However, I won't be as quick to forward an advert from another site if it's offering a ridiculous wage.

Jennifer

Post ID#20006 - replied 3/13/2013 6:27 AM



KB

Should the company be reported for (potentially) not paying prevailing wages on a federal project?  I can only image a project in Barstow is at Ft. Irwin, since there isn't much else going on out there.

I actually had no idea prevailing was so high in California -- $34.21/hr for FTIII, what is that ~ $70,000/year?

Post ID#20007 - replied 3/13/2013 11:30 AM



scottyj432

I kind of like the low ball icon idea.

Post ID#20008 - replied 3/13/2013 2:28 PM



FireArch

Moderator
Thanks Jennifer, I suspected that that would be direction taken, as that's been the policy so far.

KB, ya, Riverside/San Bernardino federal schedule is pretty healthy, but the cost of living out here is pretty egregious as well - the price paid for sun and fun. Now, to only get those subcontractors to pay the prevailing wage, and have the project last for more than a couple of 10 day rotations.....

Scotty, I do too.

Post ID#20009 - replied 3/13/2013 3:25 PM



whatamIdoing

There is always going to be some slimy way to get around paying prevailing wage. Several years ago I worked for a large (rather self aggrandizing) private CRM firm. The firm had direct contracts with federal agencies and I worked on some of these projects. We (the crew) were making between $10-13 per hour per person, and double occupancy to boot, with a hilariously bad per diem scheme.

The reasoning was something along the lines of we were not "techs" but permanent salaried professional employees of the firm and the prevailing wage did not apply to us. I know of at least another firm that pulls the same crap. Coming up on unexploded ordinance on a test range for $11/hr? EFF that.

Post ID#20010 - replied 3/13/2013 3:37 PM



FireArch

Moderator
I hear you What. (There is language in the Labor Regs that parse the difference between salaried professional and technical people - if the company claims you are salaried professional, make sure you hold the company to the benefits you are supposed to get with that status! Otherwise, ya, they're not actually beholden to offer per diem etc, at least that's what I remember from the last time I read the regs).

I worked for a company that I call Sorry We Cant Afford, It, who scammed me out of over $3,500 in per diem, travel time, and mileage (seems to be a pervading issue with those AZ companies....). I called the CA labor board, who told me it was a federal problem. I called the Federal labor board, who told me it was a state problem. I called the Federal Contracting officer to get the contract facts. They blew me off too. But, I'm a wiser for the experience.

Post ID#20011 - replied 3/13/2013 6:50 PM



rkeyo

Moderator
A diplomatic way to post the slave-wage job adverts would be to post 'em as received, but add a list of prevailing/average wages for similar positions in a post below. That way, the uninformed can learn, and make the choice for themselves of whether or not they want to be exploited. As for double occupancy, I started turning down jobs that required that years ago. To even suggest we, as highly educated, trained, and experienced professionals do that is offensive and insulting. That it is making a reappearance is not at all a good sign. Resist.

Post ID#20012 - replied 3/14/2013 11:23 AM



Dmack89


I must be getting old - can anyone tell me when double occupancy became a problem rather than the norm? Before taking my current "desk" job I worked in the field for nearly 20 years, and never...NEVER... had a single occupancy room unless there was an uneven number of males on the project.  Even when I was a crew chief or PD I remember sharing a room to keep costs down and stay competitive.   I would also suggest that in the current economic situation, if the companies you are working for are shifting back to two in a room - its is more likely a way to help them even get the job rather than a way to make more profit at the expense of crews.  Think about how quickly room costs add up - and it is easy to see why cutting the number of rooms in half can save a huge chunk and give a firm a competitive edge (or just keep them in the game) when bidding on jobs.  With everyone scrambling for work these days (companies as well as individuals) this is really understandable.

BTW - another sign that I must be getting old - this thread started out talking about wages at $34+ per hour - heck I remember my first jobs being paid at $35-$40 per DAY.  How times change.

Post ID#20013 - replied 3/14/2013 11:43 AM



Dwarmour


I'd rather be given even half the amount they pay for a room to pocket and camp when the whether is fair, if its a fairly short project, than stay with another person.  Hell, I bet most people would probably take 3/4 of that money the company spends on a hotel and find their own place to stay.  More money for the field archaeologists and more competitive bid for the company.

That has always erked me.  For those who bust their ass for a company, you travel constantly to stay employed with a company who can't really guarantee that you will remain employed with them and at times make less money than you should.  Some people rarely seeing their families and children for months on end.  At least give them a room where they can rest, take a shower, and shit in privacy.  Better living condions = higher crew morale and consequently better work.

Post ID#20014 - replied 3/14/2013 12:36 PM



McBain05

Double occupancy may have been the norm (it was for me).  Don't we give them enough of a competitive edge by letting pay us less than any other professional in the work force other than Social Work (even then)?  I watched the company I worked for for the last five years (as part of the proposal and bid process myself) only look at screwing over the field techs as a way to cut costs on a bid.

I am never for the "I did it, so you should be happy and do it, too" mentality.  I doubled up for the first 10 years of my career and I was happy to see it go.... and I don't wanna see it come back.

34 bucks and hour is still really rare, particularly east of the Mississippi.  

Post ID#20015 - replied 3/14/2013 1:23 PM



KB

When I'm bidding on projects, we generally try single occupancy whenever possible but larger projects tend to be T&M, with the client dictating project minutia.  The big engineering firms and state agencies (at least the ones I've dealt with) are very fickle when it comes to housing.

For flat rate projects, there is more lead way.  The problem is going up against fly-by-night companies with no full time staff and very low overhead who are able to low ball projects enough, that the only way to competitively bid is to bid with razor thin margins.

There is more flexibility with clients who we have good relationships with, who typically don't competitively bid, or when they do, only push their RFPs to more established companies.  The problem is that this scenario is getting few and far between and it's all about cost.

The market is still brutal in my neck of the woods.  We've seen cases where firms are able to put in bids that are lower than just our transportation/housing/per diem.  It's crazy.

Post ID#20016 - replied 3/14/2013 6:05 PM



Archaeovagrant

KB: I wish you could let us know who the low-ballers are, so we would know not to apply to them!
(Or at least to go in with our eyes open.)

Post ID#20017 - replied 3/15/2013 2:07 AM



Jennifer Palmer

Webmaster
As tempting as it is, I won't put up low-ball icons. Already had some e-mails from upset folks who thought that the yellow stars beneath their username on a message were a rating of their job ad. :p

Double-occupancy seems to be rarer than in years past, but it is still out there for sure. I can understand that the competition for projects is tough, but still glad to see that having to share a room is now seemingly the exception rather than the norm. Too many nutty roommates/co-workers through the years, I guess...

Post ID#20018 - replied 3/15/2013 6:59 AM



Dmack89


I guess I was blessed to work for a great company - a real family with a core group that stayed together for a very long time.  I was there for 10 years, and others I worked with are still there, some for 20 or more years. It was a real family type business.  Of course new field techs were hired each year as others moved on, but if you were good, the owner would do whatever she could to keep people on - of course if you were not so good, your stay was more precarious.  I am sure we would not have objected to having singles - but doubles were not a problem when you knew the folks you were living with like we did.  We all had patterns we had worked out that provided private time as needed, but it also meant that you would never feel alone or lonely during time away from home, as there was someone from our second family nearby.

As for camping versus taking the rooms - we were always well taken care of, stayed in decent places, usually enjoyed group meals where we ate very well - all paid for by comany directly (did not have to worry about voucher or receipts).  This did keep us from working the system to save a per diem - but it also allowed the company to give us straight pay that was better than most of the competition, to offer health insurance for "long term" employees many years before anyone else did, and to keep many employed even when the work stream was nearly dry - whatever savings were made on a project stayed with the company to help cover the lean times - it did not disappear as profit for the owner that never came back to the crews.  I can recall days where crews cleaned barns, washed cars, and even got paid to do extra work to help not for profits - that were not paying - all so that we could stay employed unitl the next funded job came along. 

Again, I consider myself blessed to have worked for a great company - sorry to hear that so many have not had that type of experience.

Post ID#20026 - replied 3/21/2013 8:05 PM



Anneliesemae

Any company that has an IDIQ ("on call") with the Forest Service will be a low-ball bidder and therefore not pay their crews very well.

They have to be because the government requires such deep discounts in "regular" services in order to select a company for the IDIQ.  On top of that, the companies that are awarded the IDIQ have to compete for tasks amongst the other four or five companies.

In the end, only the companies promising less than a cost of $20 an acre (!) are awarded the work, at least in my region.

And those pay rates are crazy high to my eyes!  The Arch Tech I is just slightly higher than a GS-9, Step 1 and the Tech III is higher than a GS-11 (Step 9 and 10) and a GS-12, Step 1! (These rates are for the "rest of US category" that I fall under).

Post ID#20056 - replied 3/30/2013 9:02 AM



Career_reconsideration

I felt the need to add to this discussion and at the same time, am disappointed to see several people have had similar experiences to my own. 

Over the past few years, a large portion of job openings have been posted by engineering firms, (we all see the postings).  I would proceed with caution when applying to these jobs.  I have worked for two engineering firms over the past couple of years and each experience has been similar.  Plain and simple, I was screwed out of a lot of money!

A common theme is to pay straight time for anything over 40 hours a week for an hourly employee and salaried employees obviously receive no compensation for anything over 40 hours a week (the only exception is if you are a temp / seasonal employee).  During the field season, I worked 100 to 120 hours in a given pay period with no time and a half compensation.  Moreover, the responsibilities piled up fast with no raise in pay (I asked several times for a raise).  All I ever received was a simple thanks for a job well done.   

Another “scam” I have encountered is the corporate credit card vs. paying their employees per diem.  The credit card “scam” is very straight forward: they give you a credit card to use for food purchases then you turn in itemized receipts on a biweekly basis.  The catch is they tell you what you can and cannot buy (even at the grocery store), criticize if you tip anywhere near 20%, and if the receipt is not itemized they take the amount of the item(s) in question out of your paycheck without notice.  Try getting an itemized receipt from a gas station or restaurant in a rural community in the oil fields of MT or ND.  Simply put these stores do not have the technology in place to do so.

On top of this, the daily amount you are aloud to spend is well below the GSA rate and if you are frugal, you are screwing yourself and helping them make profits that will never be shared with you.  There is no way to pocket any per diem you may not use.

In addition, the HR recruiters at large engineering firms are silver tongued and will make it seem like you hit the jackpot during an interview / job offer given the fringe benefits they throw at you.  In my opinion, their true calling is a used car salesperson.  

Be wise and learn from others when accepting a job offer.  Times are hard but that does not mean you should be taken advantage of.  

Post ID#20058 - replied 3/30/2013 2:01 PM



Archaeovagrant


The only major problem I ever had with a big engineering company was one that was just starting up thier own CR department--they had no idea how to handle out of state temporary employees. They expected me to be like an engineer and charge everything on my credit card, then expense it, like their engineers did. Problem was, as a poor archaeologist, I didn't have a credit card. Nor did I have a big fat bank account I could live on until they got around to paying me. It made for interesting times, including sleeping in the truck one night.

Other than that I've done OK with them. There tends to be a huge heirarchy to wade through, and their in-house computer networks require an EE degree to navigate, but they usually pay well.

Post ID#20061 - replied 4/1/2013 6:23 AM



Archaepelago

I've had my per diem reduced or eliminated well into a project...I've also started out in a hotel, only to be told I'm camping and I will not be receiving any difference in per diem despite camping in the middle of nowhere (maybe that's common, but my per diem was always increased to account for the lack of hotel room when I was told I'd be camping).

I don't mind knowing what I'm getting into...if there will be no lodging/per diem paid out, etc. so I can make an educated decision on whether or not to take a job.  But to have the "deal" changed while I've already committed, just irks me.  Yet, I know that's business I guess.  Needless to say, I learned not to take a job from that company again.  Turns out on a later project the following year, they covered some techs for per diem and lodging (sweet deal, actually), but made others pay for everything...on the same project.  It was interesting how NO one talked about it to each other while on the project, from what I understand those who were shortchanged found out about it after the project ended.

When I first started 7 years ago, there was enough work that techs could be picky with the jobs they took.  I was a permanent staff arch for a company and we had to turn down projects because we couldn't get local techs (so many projects in town!) or we couldn't fill our temp ads even with per diem and lodging offered.  I cannot fathom anyone being able to turn down projects at this point as it is SO cutthroat getting projects (in my area), especially at the local level in smaller towns/areas (think Hunger Games, CRM-style!)...amazing how fast it tanked within a few short years, and has been oh-so-slow to recover.

Post ID#20075 - replied 4/5/2013 5:45 PM



Archaeovagrant


There is a new one over on Jobs--this time it's the feds. They are looking for a master's degree to do pretty much everything cultural, and are reluctantly parting with less than 17/hour. I've made more than that as a tech, and not in CA either..

Post ID#20076 - replied 4/6/2013 1:40 PM



rkeyo

Moderator
The federal agency I have been working for has been re-organizing, which means they are trying to hire new people into old jobs, but at the next grade lower. I think we are seeing a growing realization on the part of employers that the market is way glutted with archaeologists, desperate for work. I don't see it getting better for quite some time...

Post ID#20078 - replied 4/8/2013 11:03 AM



FireArch

Moderator
Archeo, you mean this one?

Ya, that is pretty flagrant. I think State Parks pays better than that, and the State is bankrupt!

Rkeyo, that is a sad observation, but it's been that way for years now, yes?. With the government's focus being on austerity for the next few cycles, it will get worse I'm afraid. I also dont see the Fed making the situation any better with their ultimately inflationary strategy.

FA

Post ID#20079 - replied 4/8/2013 11:45 AM



Archaeovagrant

You guessed 'er, Chester. I understand that CA is bankrupt, but please--who's gonna take that kind of pay cut for a short-term job?

(Who am I kidding--I would, just for the money, since I don't have any.)

Post ID#20087 - replied 4/10/2013 1:22 PM



KB

Talk about a depressing thread.

When I first started my career, it seemed like engineering companies were the way to go.  The ones I worked for were so unfamiliar with the seedy world of CRM, that the archaeologists typically fell under the same policies as the rest of the company -- It usually meant better per diem, higher budget for lodging, benefits kicking in for everyone, pay scale that was inline with the rest of the company, etc.  It was the smaller CRM firms that I always tried to avoid.

Years ago, I worked for a CRM firm that did the credit card per diem trick mentioned above.  They had a conniption if you went over, so you always had to go under, with no option of grocery shopping, eating by yourself, etc.  I vividly remember getting into an argument with my supervisor on the shopping issue -- I bought $14 worth of soda that they refused to accept, since it wasn't a "meal".  It just seemed funny that they were evaluating dietary choices of their employees :-)

It does seem like there is a certain race to the bottom going on and things are gradually getting worse.  I do think there's a certain irony that in the beginning of my career, the excavations at Caesars were bad enough to result in picketing and the formation of a union but looking back, the conditions/pay were probably better than 90% of the job postings I see on a regular basis.

Post ID#20088 - replied 4/10/2013 4:05 PM



Archaeovagrant


Per diem scams can work both ways--I once worked for a company back east that, at the end of a work week, would hand out blank receipt books (the kind restaurants use) so that the crew could fabricate extra receipts in order to reach the maximum per diem allowed by the client (a state DOT). Needless to say, I didn't stay long at that job.

Post ID#20127 - replied 4/26/2013 9:52 AM



Christensen74

I notice that the job announcement that kicked this conversation off was posted on the other popular archaeological job site, but the wage cited was indicated in terms of an annual salary so it sounded a bit better.

But, usually, salary indicates no pay for OT. So it just gets worse and worse.

I simply don't bid on projects where I have to pay people bottom dollar. It makes no sense to me. Unfortunately, this puts me at a distinct disadvantage going after some contracts, but the quality of people we can get does help to attract the right clients. The recession has been difficult for us, though, in terms of competing in a lean market. What I notice, however, is that the low-bid companies are not exactly "busier" than we are. They have to downsize, just like anybody else. What it boils down to is what market a company wants to occupy, and whatever path they decide to take will likely be where they are stuck for the long haul.

Post ID#20131 - replied 4/26/2013 5:29 PM



Dwarmour

Christensen74, you brought up an interesting observation, and one I feel is often overlooked and not thought of by a lot of field archaeologists unless they are directly involved in the business-end of the house.  What market niche a firm wants/chooses to occupy.  I feel you may be referring to whether a company may prefer to deal entirely with a certain phase of work,or try to occupy a specific region/"territory."  I have not directly been exposed to this side of the business though, and would love to hear some responses from those who are about marketing within CRM, or rather bidding strategies.  I am also sure there are many lurkers and readers, who being in a "technician" position, would love to be enlightened a bit on matters concerning the "dark side of the moon," as it were.

Post ID#20162 - replied 5/13/2013 12:35 PM



Archaeovagrant

FYI, they're at it again over on Shovelbums. Same company, same double occupancy, same federal installation at far under SCA wages.

Post ID#20190 - replied 5/21/2013 12:58 PM



Ngoldwe

This is a very depressing thread indeed for a fellow like me who wants to get into archaeology and is 49 years old, with a recent arthritic knee, and lives in the South.

So is there no hope whatsoever?  Are there not any jobs anthro/archaeo related beyond CRM that are worth looking into?  Museum related?  Parks related? Academically related?

Any thoughts on what would be the trends for archaeology if and when the economy improves?

Post ID#20194 - replied 5/21/2013 3:39 PM



KB

Ngoldwe -

In general the quality of jobs improve with the more education that you have but at the same time, so does the level of competition.  I don't think things are hopeless but it's definitely a tough, highly competitive field, and very difficult to break into.  Also, keep in mind that it's very easy for people to dwell on the negative, especially when there's an audience.  In a lot of ways, archaeology reminds me of my time in the service.

Post ID#20195 - replied 5/22/2013 4:08 AM



Veliocasse

Sorry for this aside, but I would like to respond in part to Ngoldwe.

If there is a concerted effort on politicians to actually go through with their promises of spending on infrastructure, I believe that archaeology jobs will pick up. I don't know where the Obama administration is at on fulfilling that 2008 campaign promise. I heard fairly recently that he was interested in getting the ball rolling on it but I haven't heard anything new, probably because I am in Europe. Seeing as spending on infrastructure would be helpful and also create jobs, I hope that it gets going as soon as possible and I wonder why it hasn't already. So to respond to your question about no hope, I think there is. Once those kinds of large-scale projects start up, you can get your foot into commercial archaeology more quickly.

That is all the while understanding that it is a physical job if you become a field technician and you will be doing a lot of walking, shoveling, pushing, pulling, lifting, and kneeling. If your knee has serious issues, becoming a field technician is probably not for you, but there are other areas of archaeology and heritage that do not involve excavation. Have you volunteered on a dig yet ?

Getting back to the discussion on hand, and taking into consideration the threads on per diem and using paid labourers rather than trained archaeologists on site, it sounds to me like the companies involved are in bad straits financially and that they are trying to cut corners any way they can. This seems to me to indicate that perhaps the US recovery is not going as well as the media try to make it out to be. After all, when business is booming, so is development and therefore archaeology.

I am not sure what to propose as a solution. At one time some of my colleagues thought that a union would be great, but I am not sure if such a union would have much clout. Right now it seems that it is mainly about individuals informing themselves and deciding on whether to take a job that is underpaid or not.

(c)1996-2014, archaeologyfieldwork.com

Visit our Employment Network websites: archaeologyfieldwork.com - museumjobsonline.com - For information on advertising on this website, contact webmaster@archaeologyfieldwork.com