Topic ID #37769 - posted 12/9/2016 6:03 AM

Just need some guidance (new)


So here is the long and short of it. I am 37 years old, and will be going back to school for Archaeology in 2017. My wife is extremely supportive and knows that if I am going to follow my dream, it may take me away from home for a while. That being said, I need to gain some experience that will set me apart from the flood of incoming freshman, that will provide some sort of income, and will also cover travel expenses.I know it's a long shot but, I am willing to do anything from shoveling all day to filing papers to cleaning, whatever needs to be done, I'm your man. I have been a member of the Trust for Historic Preservation for 5 years, I have helped restore a 19 c. Gothic asylum, and I am 100% dedicated to the field. I am finally able to make this happen I just need some guidance on where to look and how to write up a resume that will stand out with relatively no experience but with an emphasis on my determination.  Any advice would help. Thanks guys!

Post ID#20822 - replied 12/14/2016 10:53 AM


As you can see from the lack of response to your post, there is no magic solution to getting into this most peculiar profession. The best advice I can give is to go back through past threads and read the posts on ones similar to yours. Good luck!

Post ID#20826 - replied 12/21/2016 5:38 PM


There is no quick way to get into the business and begin working.  My experience breaking into archaeology was through internships in museums, archaeological study centers, scientific labs, and completing a field school.  These will all cost time and money but will be the best thing for your career long term.  Wherever you go to school, work with the faculty to push their papers, work on their field projects, work in the lab doing analysis.  Then find your state SHPO and intern or volunteer there to get access to reports and other CRM documents. You resume will shine from these experiences and land you your first paid job.  

If you are looking into getting some field experience and techniques quickly look into volunteering with US Forest Service Passport In Time projects.

Good luck and enjoy the new career path.

Post ID#20827 - replied 1/11/2017 6:12 PM


I am in my early career as well, so understand that my advice is based on limited experience. I am currently working on my MA after over three years of being in a supervisory position, while still working full time.

First, find a mentor in the field. The advice I received from my mentor was to start going to conferences, network ALOT, and volunteer. The networking is hard to start, but once you get the ball rolling you'll find it starts to just happen.

I was a history major for undergrad, and have had a lot of catching up to do.

Try to work with professors on their papers, learn GIS!!!, volunteer for any nearby lab hours, see if professors are conducting any local digs as pet projects. Create your own internships if you have to. I will say, its a lot of work on top of regular school work, so be careful not to burn out. At the very least see if there are any living history museums that you might be able to get a job at as an interpreter.

If you are applying for the fall, see if you can get a field school lined up in the late spring or early summer so that you might be able to show you are already one step ahead.

Also there is a pretty large and growing social media presence in historical preservation and archaeology (particularly on Instagram). That might provide a good place to see what others are doing, make quick and dirty connections, and show what you have to offer as your experience grows. 

Goodluck on your adventure! And do not let talk of jobs being hard to find get you down or deter you.


Visit our Employment Network websites: - - For information on advertising on this website, contact