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Career and Education Opportunities for Archaeologists in Columbia, Missouri

Archaeologist career and educational opportunities abound in Columbia, Missouri. The national trend for archaeologists sees this job pool growing by about 28.1% over the next eight years. 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.

The average wage in the general category of Social Sciences jobs is $29 per hour or $59,856 per year in Missouri, and an average of $33 per hour or $68,239 per year nationwide. Archaeologists work in a variety of jobs, including: research archaeologist, egyptologist, and project director.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career 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 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.


University of Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO

University of Missouri-Columbia, 105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. University of Missouri-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,130 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Missouri-Columbia has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Archeology which graduated twenty-one, seven, and one students respectively in 2008.


Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.