Fair Wages in US Archaeology

Posted on June 5, 2012

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A few weeks back a survey was posted in the Archaeo Field Techs Facebook group asking what people though a “fair” wage was. A total of 54 field techs responded to the survey and here is what they thought (note- not my survey):

(Note: responses frequently included a range of values. I used the lower value only)
Question 1: What do you think is a fair hourly wage for entry level, temporary field
technicians (e.g., supervised crew)?
Mean 15.6
Median 15
Mode 15 (n=12)
Range 10‐25
Question 2: What do you think is a fair hourly wage for mid‐level, supervisory temporary
field technicians (e.g., lead field tech, crew chief)?
Mean 20.7
Median 20
Mode 20 (n=11)
Range 12‐35
Question 3: What do you think is a fair hourly wage for senior temporary field technicians
(e.g., site supervisor)?
Mean 25.4
Median 24.5
Mode 25 (n=8)
Range 15‐60
Question 4: What do you think is a fair hourly wage for temporary field technicians working
as construction site monitors (no supervisor onsite)?
Mean 20.3
Median 19
Mode 18 (n=6)
Range 12‐35
Several respondents made comments instead of or in addition to rates. These include:
“… regionally plus $3.50/hr benefits in kind”
Federal wage standard for area
Plus per diem and travel time
Depends on experience
Very poor
With B.A. and Field School

None of these numbers are very close to what I found people advertise rates for but that is to be expected as what one wants to get paid and what one does get paid are two different things. Anyways here are the numbers I have for what people are actually paid for field tech, crew chief, and site supervisor positions.

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