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Career and Education Opportunities for Archaeologists in Chicago, Illinois

Archaeologists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Chicago, Illinois area. The national trend for archaeologists sees this job pool growing by about 28.1% over the next eight years. Archaeologists generally conduct research to reconstruct record of past human life and culture from human remains, artifacts, and structures recovered through excavation, underwater recovery, or other means of discovery.

The income of an archaeologist is about $24 hourly or $50,090 annually on average in Illinois. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $25 hourly or $53,910 yearly on average. Incomes for archaeologists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Social Sciences in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Social Sciences category nationally. Archaeologists work in a variety of jobs, including: egyptologist, research archaeologist, and archaeology professor.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as an archaeologist. Archaeologists usually hold a Master's degree, so it will take about six years to learn to be an archaeologist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.


Archaeologist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, archaeologists conduct research to reconstruct record of past human life and culture from human remains, artifacts, and structures recovered through excavation, underwater recovery, or other means of discovery.

Archaeologists write and publish reports that record a site's history and artifact analysis results, along with recommendations for conserving and interpreting findings. They also compare findings from one site with archeological data from other sites to discover similarities or differences. Equally important, archaeologists have to research or assess sites of past societies and cultures in search of answers to specific research questions. They are often called upon to study objects and structures recovered by excavations to pinpoint and authenticate them and to interpret their significance. They are expected to lead field training sites and train field staff and volunteers in excavation methods. Finally, archaeologists develop artifact typologies to organize and make sense of past material cultures.

Every day, archaeologists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to write clearly and communicate well. It is also important that they piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation.

Somewhat less frequently, archaeologists are also expected to consult site reports and topographic maps to pinpoint archeological sites.

They also have to be able to develop a grid of each site and draw and update maps of unit profiles and findings and clean and preserve artifacts. And finally, they sometimes have to lead field training sites and train field staff and volunteers in excavation methods.

Like many other jobs, archaeologists must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Economist. Conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to aid in solution of economic problems arising from production and distribution of goods and services. May collect and process economic and statistical data using econometric and sampling techniques.
  • Geographic Information Systems Analyst. Study nature and use of areas of earth's surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena. Conduct research on physical aspects of a region, including land forms, climates, soils, plants and animals, and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area, including social characteristics, economic activities, and political organization, as well as researching interdependence between regions at scales ranging from local to global.
  • Historian. Research, analyze, and interpret the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.
  • Industrial Psychologist. Apply principles of psychology to personnel, administration, and marketing problems. Activities may include policy planning; employee screening, training and development; and organizational development and analysis. May work with management to reorganize the work setting to improve worker productivity.
  • Market Research Analyst. Research market conditions in local, regional, or national areas to determine potential sales of a product or service. May gather information on competitors, prices, and methods of marketing and distribution. May use survey results to create a marketing campaign based on regional preferences and buying habits.
  • Market Survey Representative. Design or conduct surveys. May supervise interviewers who conduct the survey in person or over the telephone. May present survey results to client.
  • School Psychologist. Investigate processes of learning and teaching and develop psychological principles and techniques applicable to educational problems.
  • Urban Planner. Develop comprehensive plans and programs for use of land and physical facilities of local jurisdictions, such as towns, cities, and metropolitan areas.


Wheaton College - Wheaton, IL

Wheaton College, 501 College Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187-5593. Wheaton College is a small college located in Wheaton, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,915 students and an admission rate of 62%. Wheaton College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Archeology.


Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.