While I was examining job postings to get an idea of how much archaeology field technicians made in in 2011 I also collected additional data on what requirements were listed to obtain a archaeology technician job (US only other countries to follow in a few months). The same methodology was used to collect posts. There is some overlap between responses e.g. a requirement is that a person have 1-2 yrs. experience in which case both the 1 and 2 yr categories were checked. The results were-
The % taken using only the number of job postings that mention any requirements as seen in the table there is a high number of jobs that do not list any requirements. 2011 seems to be following the trends of the last few years with most, around 80% of jobs, requiring at least a BA/BS in archaeology/anthropology or related field. The number of jobs requiring a field school is declining. Why is unknown- maybe it has become redundant as most prospective archaeologists take field schools or it could be that people feel the benefit of field schools is going down?
There has been a slow down turn, over the last couple of years, of jobs requesting a un-specified amounts of previous experience being replacde by more posts requesting specific periods of previous experience, usually one or two years. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues or is simply a blip in the data.
Even though there has been a drop in the number of jobs requiring local or regional experience in the area of work the long term trend still shows slow growth in this requirement. Again, long term trends will need to be examined for the next couple of years.
The results show that, as mentioned before, an undergraduate degree, some previous experience, and a field school, though increasing less important, are what is needed to obtain a job as an archaeology technician. That experience being in the region you are trying to work in would not hurt either.
Will meeting these requirements get you the job? NO, there are no guarantees. Most of these requirements are check boxes of the bare minimum. Meaning you must have at least these qualifications to be considered for a job.