Topic ID #30898 - posted 1/30/2014 9:50 AM

field school as specialized experience


Hello everybody, 

I am a recent graduate searching for jobs primarily as an archaeological technician and many of the minimum qualifications require at least one year of specialized experience in the field. I have completed a field school and was told by fellow students and a professor that many times employers are willing to substitute a field school for one year of professional archaeological work. 

I just wanted to check to get some opinions on how this works before I apply to jobs I am potentially not qualified for. Should I classify my experience with a field school as being equivalent to one year of professional experience in the field?

Thank you for any help!

Post ID#20412 - replied 1/30/2014 10:00 AM


Someone told you wrong.

Unless you had a year long field school, then it doesn't equate.  Not exactly.  And it depends on the type of field school it was -- excavation units, survey, pedestrian....

For me, if you had a three month field school... then you have three months experience.

That being said, I wouldn't think twice about hiring someone with only a field school for a job requiring only 1 year of experience.  But, I often go out of my way to hire newbies when I can particularly on large projects when I can sprinkle them in with the vets..  So, go ahead and toss in an application for those gigs.

Post ID#20413 - replied 1/30/2014 11:34 AM

Jennifer Palmer

I agree with McBain. I'm not sure what the average length of most field schools are, but I would venture a guess it's 5-8 weeks, and that can't compare to a year of professional experience.

What you will find is that most entry-level field tech positions call for folks who have had a field school as the basic requirement.  There are instances where companies will hire individuals without a field school (or experience) if they have a large project and many field positions to fill (and as McBain noted, more experienced archaeologists who can mentor the newbies).

You may want to consider volunteering to augment your experience and fill out the resume. It's also a good way to make professional contacts and possibly find a position on a future project. In the past I volunteered on several projects that later led to job offers. It's only reasonable that someone would want to hire (or recommend the hiring of) someone they know and have worked with before. You may also want to consider attending conferences in your area. Networking is really important in this field and most field positions are never actually advertised.

Good luck!



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