Archaeology labour market intelligence: market surveys and profiling the profession

CIfA works with a range of partners, including Historic England and FAME to ensure that accurate labour market intelligence is available for the sector. Initiatives include Profiling the Profession, designed to gather information about everybody working in archaeology and the historic environment and the Archaeological Market Surveys, which provide a snapshot of the market for archaeological services on an annual basis.

Market surveys

This series of Archaeological market surveys collects data on the market for archaeological services on an annual basis. The surveys are undertaken by Landward Research Ltd on behalf of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, FAME, Historic England (to 2019) and Historic Environment Scotland (from 2020) and provide invaluable information on the nature of the archaeological market and its contribution to the UK economy.

Profiling the profession

This series of Profiling the profession are undertaken by Landward Research Ltd.

The economic transformation since 2007-08 significantly affected employment in archaeology, resulting in the sector being considerably smaller in 2012-13.

Over 2000 employers and individual archaeologists were asked to submit data for their organisation as it related on 13 August 2007.
The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists was funded to undertake this project by the European Commission’s Leonardo da Vinci II fund, English Heritage, Historic Scotland, Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments and the Environment and Heritage Service (DoE Northern Ireland).

It was part of a wider project, Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe, which collected data on archaeological employment in ten European countries, with funding from the Leonardo da Vinci II fund.

This report addressed the whole of the archaeology profession and included volunteers (unpaid staff) along with those in paid employment.

The first profiling the profession was the first comprehensive survey ever conducted into archaeological employment in the UK. It was undertaken with seven objectives:

  • to identify the numbers of professional archaeologists working in Britain
  • to analyse whether the profession is growing, static or shrinking
  • to identify the range of jobs
  • to identify the numbers employed in each job type
  • to identify the range of salaries, and terms and conditions, applying to each job type
  • to identify differences in employment patterns between different geographical areas
  • to help those seeking to enter the profession