It is that time of the year again, I have done the calculations for wages in British Archaeology based on job adverts. This is an article I will be submitting to The Archaeologist magazine. Though it will take several months before it is published so I will post it here so you can see it sooner. It will be a little while before I submit it, so as always, any feedback you have (typos, mistakes, I could do something better, etc.) is much appreciated.
Jobs in British Archaeology 2013-14
As we move on to the 20th year of tracking wages through job postings in the Jobs in British Archaeology series we are starting to see signs that professional archaeology is finally started to come out of recession, in terms of job demand. However, that does not appear to have helped increase wages significantly. Most estimated salaries stayed relatively flat and no one position appears to be seeing significant increases in wages.
As in previous years, estimated salaries are calculated by looking at wages in job advertisements. It has been found that taking the wages from job advertisements and averaging them together produces a very accurate portrait of the salaries most archaeologists receive (Aitchison and Rocks-Maxqueen 2013) . That is for archaeologists employed by others, freelance and self-employed archaeologists are not covered by this research. The data was gathered from both the IfA’s Jobs Information Service (JIS) and BAJR’s job postings from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014. A special thanks to Lianne Birney, at the IfA, and David Connolly, from BAJR, for providing the data. Each job advertised was treated as a single data point, those adverts without pay rates were not counted. Jobs were categorised based on the description of the position given. In some cases, no descriptions were given or were vague, resulting in attempts to hunt down a description of the job. In many cases, this was sufficient enough to determine how a job should be characterised but at times jobs were categorized by their titles alone.
When a salary range was given in a job advert the middle point was used for general averages. For example a salary advertised at £15k–16k would have an average of £15,500. In the case of starting wages only the lowest wage was taken into account. All calculations are done on pro rata basis of a full year’s salary. Yearly, hourly and weekly rates are given so that comparisons can be made in whichever rate is most convenient for you.
Changes to Methods
Job titles, job requirements and host of other factors have changed over the years. As such this series has adapted to changing times. For example, new categories were added last year and titles changed to better reflect working conditions, and the job titles, that archaeologists now hold. Changes for this year are minor and involve adding a median for average wages and additional calculations for starting wages, average and median. This was done because for short term contract positions, like that of technician, most workers are not employed long enough to progress up the company pay scales. While some companies do compensate for experience, in many cases this is not done for technician wages. As such, the starting wages for Technicians is a more accurate portrayal of real wages. While averages would be a more accurate representation of wages for permanent contracted staff, those that have the opportunity to move up the advertised pay scale.
Future Issues- Not Meeting the Minimum.
The IfA no longer advertise positions below the IfA salary minima and BAJR has moved its minima in line with the IfAs. This means that positions that do not meet the IfA/BAJR minima will now not be advertised in JIS or BAJR. Before this year most job adverts, regardless of wages advertised, were published in JIS. Because of this decision to not advertise below minima jobs there is the potential that some employers my advertise jobs on their own, outside of the IfA JIS and BAJR. This data would not be picked up by this study and potentially this series could become less accurate in representing sector wages.
Already in the new financial year there has been advertisements, on companies own websites, of technician jobs below the BAJR/IfA minima (see Oxford Archaeology 2014). It is outside the scope of this paper to comment on the moral and professionalism ethics of an organization both asking that the prospective employees be a PIfA level members of the IfA in an advert and then listing below the IfA minimum wage for that same PIfA level positions. What can be said is that an examination of these below minima wages shows that they are just below the required minima when violating IfA professional ethics. It should be noted, while other positions have been filled the advertisement for the below minima positions is still up, as I am currently writing this (July), and has been up for several months. It would appear that offering below minima pay has not resulted in enough applications to warrant taking down the advertisement.
At the moment, the ban on below minima postings has not greatly skewed the data that this work relies on. Except for a few outliers most employers are meeting the different minimas. Furthermore, the ‘More Than Minima’ campaign that BAJR has instituted has shown a willingness, and financial viability, of many employers to pay above the minima. Furthermore, this and past years articles have shown that most employers offer at or above the IfA/BAJR minima pay. Even in years were such a violation could still see a job advert posted. This situation will continue to be monitored into future years to see if it will change the outcomes of this job advert study.
Future Issues- Proliferation of titles.
A noticeable trend in the last few years is the proliferation of different job titles and job descriptions. Each year it becomes a little bit more difficult to discern what category each job advert should be placed in. Instead of a consolidation of terms it appears that we have that same amount or an increase in the different names for the same position. The same goes with what work a position entails, descriptions of work are now covering more tasks. Possibly closer collaboration with the IfA and BAJR could allow employers to identify categories when placing ads and solve this issue.
528 positions were recorded for 2013-14, an increase over the 430 positions were recorded for 2012-13. It should be noted that these are positions that gave wages, several additional positions were advertised on JIS and BAJR but wages were not given e.g. listed as ‘competitive wages’. Looking at trends in the number of jobs advertised over the last few years it looks as though employment is rebounding and archaeologists are being hired again.
When reading the results, for most positions, it is best to look at where jobs are clustering in terms of average and median pay and to keep in mind the London wage. Many of the highest wages in every category are based in London and thus require a higher wage. For Technician and other temporary positions it would be best to look at starting wages to get an idea of what most people are paying.
Doug Rocks-Macqueen is a Researcher at Landward Research Ltd. You can find out more about some of his research at his website https://dougsarchaeology.wordpress.com/ or contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Tables broken up so they fit in this post-
|Calculation||Year||Technician||Supervisor||Project Officer||Senior Manager|
|Calculation||Year||Junior CRM/SMR||Senior CRM/SMR||Consultants|
Table 1: Pay conditions for 2012-2013 and 2013-14 for commercial and SMR/CRM positions.
|Calculation||Year||Curator||Arch Science||Misc.||Community and Education|
Table 2: Pay conditions for 2012-2013 and 2013-14 year for specialist positions.
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Figure 1: Pay conditions for 2013-14 year for commercial and SMR/CRM positions. The number of jobs advertised in each range of pay (e.g. £20,000-20,999), by averages, are shown. This is to give an idea of what most jobs are paying.
Figure 2: Pay conditions for 2013-14 year for specialist positions. The number of jobs advertised in each range of pay (e.g. £20,000-20,999), by averages, are shown. This is to give an idea of what most jobs are paying.
2013 Aitchison, Kenneth and Rocks-Macqueen, Doug. Archaeology Labour Market Intelligence: Profiling the Profession 2012-13. Landward Research Ltd.
2014 Oxford Archaeology, OA_Field_Archaeologists_Advert_May_2014
http://oxfordarchaeology.com/images/pdfs/OA_Field_Archaeologists_Advert_May_2014.pdf . Last Accessed July 8th 2014