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

  • Apprenticeships are being developed by Historic England in association with representatives from across the sector. They are not available yet but further information will be added soon. For more information about apprenticeships contact Anna at anna.welch [at]

  • 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 Lianne at lianne.birney [at]

Watch our short videos from two of our NVQ candidates about their experiences here

  • Pathways - this new 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.

  • 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 Pathways contact Lianne at lianne.birney [at]

Other sources of archaeology career and jobs information

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.

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

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
Miller Building, University of Reading
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AB

0118 378 6446
admin [at]