Getting started in archaeology

Archaeology is a rewarding career. We have produced a factsheet on becoming a professional archaeologist, highlighting some of the essential things you need to consider if you want a career in archaeology.

  • Becoming a professional

  • Writing a CV

  • Careers in aerial archaeology (poster reproduced by kind permission of Air Photo Services)

  • Apprenticeships are being developed by Historic England in association with representatives from across the sector. They are not available yet but further information about apprenticeships is available here

  • NVQ in Archaeological Practice - the qualification is available through CIfA to everyone working in archaeology, on a paid or a voluntary basis, or anyone seeking to develop a career in archaeology who can gather appropriate evidence and helps to demonstrate that they have particular set of skills, competencies or experience which will be of benefit when applying for jobs, promotion or CIfA accredited membership at Practitioner grade. For more information about NVQs contact Anna at anna.welch [at]

  • Accredited Degrees - Accreditation of degrees in the UK is offered jointly by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and the University Archaeology UK group (UAUK).

  • Pathways - this scheme provides structured resources to support Student and Affiliate members to upgrade their membership to Practitioner and to support career entrants in gaining Practitioner-level membership. For more information about Pathways contact Anna at anna.welch [at]

  • Student/Affiliate membership of CIfA - If you are just starting out a Student or Affiliate membership of CIfA is valuable for training and networking opportunities and keeping up to date with the latest guidance and job vacancies. For more information about membership contact Lianne at lianne.birney [at]

  • Employer training schemes Many archaeology companies and organisations offer training. Some of these are approved by CIfA and include Allen Archaeology Ltd, Archaeology Wales, Archaeology Warwickshire, Cotswold Archaeology, GUARD Archaeology, Headland Archaeology, John Moore Heritage Services, MOLA, Pre-Construct Archaeology, Oxford Archaeology, University of Leicester Archaeological Services and Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Services (Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service are not currently advertising any training posts, but if any positions become available, adverts will appear in the CIfA Jobs Information Service, BAJR, and here )

Other sources of archaeology career and jobs information

Information on the latest job and training opportunities can be found here. The Council for British Archaeology(CBA) maintains a directory of UK archaeological employers and links to the Training Online Resource Centre for Archaeology, and also facilitates the Young Archaeologists Club The Education section of the CBA website also has a great deal of useful information about training and working in archaeology. FAME (Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers) has useful career information on their website.

Creative and Cultural Skills is the Sector Skills Council for the creative and cultural sector and provides tools, knowledge and networks about careers in the historic environment.

Further information