Archaeology is a very popular choice for people looking to change career but they are unsure how to translate their existing skills into those looked for by archaeological employers. Taking time out to study archaeology at university is often not an option for career changers but there are other routes into the profession.
There is general information to help people entering the sector here https://www.archaeologists.net/Gettingstarted.
To join CIfA go to https://www.archaeologists.net/join. The process has been streamlined and improved, so if you have looked at applying in the past, please go back to the pages and look at the process now. You may find there is considerable change and assistance. Once you are a CIfA member you might find it useful to sign up to Professional Pathways to receive bulletins with extra information about progression through CIfA’s professional grades. You can find out more about Professional Pathways here https://www.archaeologists.net/join/pathway
There is a shortage of staff in the sector post-Brexit and many companies are very willing to take non-traditional entrants. Some have developed structured employer training schemes, are using Traineeships and taking on apprentices to increase staff numbers. It is always worth contacting archaeology companies directly to ask if they offer training for non-archaeology graduates. Don’t be put off if you don’t get a response first time or get a rejection.
You will have gained a lot of transferable skills from your previous employment and they underpin the technical skills which can be learnt once you are in work. Look at the job descriptions and person specifications of archaeological jobs and note those competencies you already have.
Take every opportunity for networking, volunteering and taking part in training workshops. Take advantage of CPD opportunities through CIfA or free training available through Historic England https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/training-skills/ or FAME https://famearchaeology.co.uk/fame-webinars/ We run regular break time and evening discussion sessions to combine the networking of live events with archaeological topics and help people keep in touch. Dates for upcoming break time discussions are outlined in our events calendar.
[FAQs to be created from feedback and career changers/returners group]
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