Ship reconstruction in a museum. Photo courtesy of CNANS.
Underwater archaeologists are typically employed by government agencies, museums, universities, and private consulting firms. It is an exciting career for talented, motivated individuals with a great love for studying and preserving the past, outdoor activity, and travel. Underwater archaeology requires individuals with technical abilities such as scientific writing, drafting, conservation, model building, photography, electronics, remote-sensing, diving, vessel operations, and chemistry. Form an up-to-date list of universities offering training visit the SHA web page Guide to Graduate Programs in Historical and Underwater Archaeology. Opportunities for full-time career employment may be limited, but participation in professional and avocational organizations offers additional occasions for selective involvement.
Conferences and meetings, such as the annual SHA Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, provide professionals, avocational archaeologists, and students with a forum for presenting research results, communicating with colleagues, meeting new people, and learning about new findings and technology.
Additional opportunities may be found in the many organizations that train and lead volunteers and avocational archaeologists. Working under the supervision of archaeological professionals, volunteers participate in nearly every facet of archaeology: archival research, field survey and excavation, boat handling, diving, laboratory work, project planning, logistics, and fund raising.