The College Payoff- Archaeology Edition (3)

Posted on August 18, 2011

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The Georgetown university report on degree payoffs, used so far in this review, (seen here http://cew.georgetown.edu/collegepayoff/) listed the median life time earnings (40 hrs a week, 52 weeks a year, 40 years) by degrees is as follows:

Associates:
25th percentile- $1,177,100
Median- $1,727,000
75th Percentile- $2,426,300
BA:
25th percentile-$1,490,600
Median-$2,268,000
75th Percentile-3,388,700
MA:
25th percentile- $1,864,400
Median-$2,671,000
75th Percentile- $3,835,600
PhD:
25th percentile- $2,150,400
Median-$3,252,000
75th Percentile- $4,743,400

I wanted to see how archaeologists fit into this. BA, as established before, will probably only be a field tech, senior fieldtech/crew chief, or a project supervisor/director. Though a MA can make it all the way to Owner or Principle Investigator (PI). So using the 2009 ACRA salary data I plugged in the different results to see how archaeologists compare against other fields by degree obtain. I have also made some estimates assuming 5 years field tech., 10 years project supervisor/director, 15 years as a PI, and 10 years as a manager of division/department as a natural progression of a archaeologists career in the non-academic sector with an MA.

Field Tech(only)- $ 1,158,000
Associates: 25th percentile- $1,177,100
Senior Field Tech (only)-$1,367,000
BA:25th percentile-$1,490,600
Associates:Median- $1,727,000
MA:25th percentile- $1,864,400
Field/project director (only)$1,891,000
Hypothetical Career in CRM with MA $2,048,000
PhD:25th percentile- $2,150,400
BA:Median-$2,268,000
Associates:75th Percentile- $2,426,300
Principal Investigator (only)- $2,544,000
MA:Median-$2,671,000
PhD:Median-$3,252,000
BA:75th Percentile-3,388,700
Owner of a Archaeology Compony (only)-  $3,613,000
MA:75th Percentile- $3,835,600
PhD:75th Percentile- $4,743,400

Overall a career in archaeology with higher degrees does not pay to well. A hypothetical career in archaeology with a MA actually pays less then the Median earnings of someone with a BA in other careers.

BUT

It is above the 25th percential of other careers with a MA and owners of CRM componies could potentially be in the top tier of earners above that of the median of PhD’s

Of note- the numbers from the ARCA survey are means while the GT are median. This could make a difference but without the raw data it is impossible to know.

Archaeology Data sources: 2009 Vernon Research Group
ACRA 2009 Trending Study prepared for the American Cultural Resources Association