The aim of UCC Archaeology is to provide students with academic training and technical skills that are essential to develop a viable career in our subject. Archaeology is an internationally recognised area of professional employment, with opportunities for those with university-level qualifications and relevant work experience. As in other countries, Irish archaeologists work in many different areas in the State or private sectors. Some of these are connected directly to our discipline, such as field survey and excavation, while others use our expertise in an applied way, as in tourism. A training in Archaeology provides important skills that are transferable to other areas of employment, including the ability to think critically, to problem solve and carry out research, as well as practical ability in fieldwork and computer applications.
The State is a major employer of archaeologists in Ireland, at both central and local government level. The National Monuments Service and the National Museum of Ireland employ archaeologists to assist in the discovery, recording and protection of archaeological artifacts, sites and monuments, and to promote public appreciation of cultural heritage. Local authorities employ city and county archaeologists to assist with the management and promotion of heritage, and to support the operation of the planning process. Archaeologists are also employed by city and county museums, and work on tourism attractions such as heritage parks and major monuments. They are employed by semi-State bodies, including large development agencies such as Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Gas Networks Ireland, Bord na Mona, and Coillte, and heritage organizations such as The Heritage Council and the Discovery Programme. Archaeologists work in many of our universities and institutes of technology, where they are engaged in teaching and pure or applied research.
In addition to State employment, there is a strong commercial sector in Irish Archaeology, with as many as 50 private consultancies offering a range of services to various government bodies and private developers. These are mostly connected to planning conditions attached to developments, from new roads and pipelines, to housing, agriculture, forestry, telecommunications, wind energy, and others. Archaeologists play a critical role in facilitating such modern developments, where our expertise ensures they comply with national and EU laws on the protection of cultural heritage. This includes contributions to environmental impact assessments, pre-development assessments and site testing, right up to full excavation that ensures preservation by record of threatened heritage. Private archaeologists provide these services on a contractual basis, operating as individual consultants or as companies, with varied work schedules in the office and field. They are supported by other archaeologists who provide specialist services, such as site survey and remote sensing, environmental archaeology, building conservation, artefact studies, underwater archaeology, and forensic osteoarchaeology.
Some archaeologists in Ireland work in areas of cultural heritage tourism, running their own tour companies or heritage centres. Many archaeologists work with local community groups, on tourism and education projects connected to rural and urban development. Whatever area of Archaeology you choose to develop as a career, you will develop a life-long interest for this most exciting and interesting of subjects.
For further information, please see the following links:
GradIreland jobs and career advice:
Archaeology jobs in Ireland public Facebook page:
Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (IAI):
Archaeological employment across Europe:
British Archaeological Jobs Resource (BAJR):
A day in the life of an archaeologist: