Dec 1, 1999
Outside Magazine

The Work: Tough it out on campus for nine months a year, then morph into Indiana Jones and supervise summertime digs around the world. Or work as a contract archaeologist for a private company or the government, surveying and excavating building sites and federal lands.

Time Outside: 30 percent.

Payback: Academics, $35,000-$100,000; contractors, $60,000.

Prerequisites: A B.A. in archaeology, history, or anthropology for contract work—but you'll need a Ph.D. from a school like the University of Pennsylvania (215-898-7461; for the rest.

Networking: The Society for American Archaeology (202-789-8200; posts private and academic job openings.

Peon to Pro: 15 years to tenured prof or chief investigator.

Drudge Factor: Think highbrow blue collar: digging with axes.

Outlook: Jobs are scarce in academia, but the National Historic Preservation Act, a law that requires archaeological surveys be conducted on federal lands before ground can be broken for construction, has created a steady market for contract work.

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