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Career and Education Opportunities for Archaeologists in Columbia, Maryland

If you want to be an archaeologist, the Columbia, Maryland area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. 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.

A person working as an archaeologist can expect to earn about $14 hourly or $30,200 per year on average in Maryland and about $25 per hour or $53,910 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Social Sciences, people working as archaeologists in Maryland earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Social Sciences nationally. Jobs in this field include: archaeology professor, project director, and curator.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be an archaeologist, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Given that the most common education level for archaeologists is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years training to become 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 Columbia 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.
  • Park Ranger. Plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.
  • 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.


George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has a bachelor's degree program in Archeology which graduated two students in 2008.


Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.