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Asunto:[TA] ¿cuánto gana un arqueólogo?
Fecha:Lunes, 24 de Mayo, 2004  13:34:59 (+0200)
Autor:Alberto Ocaña <larochepont>

Por si hay algún estudiante que todavía esté a tiempo
de ser una persona respetable y estudiar
empresariales. Como dijo Gandalf, "corred insensatos"

How much do archaeologists earn? 


This survey was published in Current Archaeology 166
(December 1999) 
How much do archaeologists earn? 

A new estimate has just been provided in a survey of
archaeological jobs in the UK entitled Profiling the
Profession funded by English Heritage and published
jointly by them, the Council for British Archaeology
and the Institute of Field Archaeologists: it is
available for download on the web at www.

The first question is: how many professional
archaeologists are there? Or rather, how many people
are there employed by organisations in the UK that
employ professional archaeologists (the survey was of
organisations, not individuals)? The result is 4425
professional archaeologists. The returned
questionnaires, in fact, only contain information
about 2829 people, but the figures were then grossed
up, to allow for organisations that failed to respond.
And how much are they paid? The average is £17,079, as
compared to the national average of £19,167. The
median figure is even worse - only £15,905 -
archaeologists are badly paid. 

There are some obvious problems. The quoted averages
are probably too high since the lump of temporary
workers is probably not included; similarly only 5%
are part-time workers - surely too low. A quick
adjustment of the figures in the English Heritage
annual report suggests that perhaps a third of their
workers are part time. 

Your pay however depends on where you work. The
majority of archaeologists are employed in the private
sector as contractors, 30%, or consultants, only 3%
(an underestimate?) Then three further categories
employ around 15% each: the curators in local
government, academic archaeologists, and those working
in the National Heritage Agencies, including the Royal
Commissions. 4% are employed by National Museums but
only another 4% by local authorities, presumably in
Museums, again surely an underestimate.

The two places to work however are Universities, and
English Heritage and its brethren. The average salary
for an academic in permanent employment is £25,310;
next come the National Heritage agencies on £23,081
and the National Museums on £22,570. We then come down
with a bump: curators average £17,000, contractors
£16,600, and consultants only £14,500. (These figures
are for permanent posts - temporary staff are
considerably lower). The average age of an
archaeologist is 36, 40% of the total being between 30
- 39. It appears that 35% are female, but whilst women
comprise 42% of all archaeologists between 20 - 29, by
the time the 40 - 49 age bracket is reached, women are
only 29% of the total. 

Nearly half the book is taken up with ‘Post Profiles’,
and it is these that most archaeologists will study
most keenly. Archaeologists describe themselves in a
myriad of different ways: 455 separate post titles
were recorded - nearly one title for every 5
archaeologists, but these were boiled down into 34
‘Post Profiles’. We immediately turned to the profile
of ‘editor’ of whom there are 26, ¾ of them female:
the average salary is £17,764, though one editor in
the Eastern region, earned £28,000 bumping the average
up. The highest paid British archaeologist is an
‘Inspector’ who earned £58,086, though there was an
academic who earned £50,809. (By comparison the Chief
Executive of English Heritage earned £100,00, made up
of £87,000 basic and £13,00 performance bonus).

The heart of the PPG 16 system are the project
managers, the post to which every ambitious
archaeologist should aspire. They are the ones who
have the delightful job of negotiating with planning
officers on behalf of developers; they are 79% male
and earn on average £19,434. At the other extreme, the
finds assistants, who really do the important (and
often actually archaeological) work, are 73% female
and earn on average £14,996. Directors (75% male) earn
£22,629, conservators, (often highly qualified, 68%
female), average £16,379, computing officers (64%
male) average £15,918, though considering that
computing officers are like gold in today’s society,
it is not perhaps surprising that at this salary,
there are only 12 of them in archaeology. 

It is interesting to compare this with a similar
American survey: The American Archaeologist which we
summarised in CA159. The two are not strictly
comparable in that the American profile was simply
based on a single American organisation, the Society
for American Archaeology, which has around 5000
members of whom a similar number, nearly 1700
completed a census in 1994; however one cannot tell
what proportion of American archaeologists are
represented as a whole. The British data is much
easier to handle in that it is quoted in tables and
hard figures and firm averages, whereas the American
data is mostly quoted in graphs and is very woolly. 

However the Americans asked some additional questions
notably on educational levels, on job satisfaction and
fascinatingly, though perhaps irrelevantly, on marital
status. American archaeologists are inevitably rather
better paid: no overall average is quoted; perhaps the
most tangible figure is that 61% of male
archaeologists earn over $40,000(= £25,000). The
interesting difference is that, whereas in Britain
academic archaeologists are well ahead of the
contractors, in America, what they call ‘private
sector’ archaeologists have salaries that are at least
equal to, and in places edging ahead of, academic
archaeologists and are also well ahead in job
satisfaction. Will British contractors now begin to
catch up with their academic counterparts? 

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