The average salary for an archaeologist who has several years of experience and an advanced degree is about $45,000, as of 2015. The actual salary depends on a number of factors, including years of education, level of expertise and where the person is employed.
Someone who is just starting out in the archaeology field may have a bachelor's degree and work as a field assistant to a more seasoned archaeologist. This person usually has a salary of $10 to $12 an hour. On the other end of the spectrum, a museum curator or professor with a PhD in archaeology may earn up to $100,000 a year, especially if she is highly experienced and has published.
A professional archaeologist works in many settings and may be employed by federal or state agencies. Other places where a professional archaeologist may work include colleges and universities, museums, engineering firms and historic sites. Some may also work as consultants or own a company. Most archaeologists are employed in the cultural resource management field, which primarily is focused on historic preservation. These people often direct lab and field work, write reports, manage staff and share results of excavations and surveys.
Many archaeologists also work in public education and outreach in order to share the results of research. Some also work with the public through tours, historic sites, exhibits and brochures.