Average Salary: $57,420
Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,397,000
Shovel bums in California make an average hourly wage of $15 as archaeological technicians and can work their way up to $20 per hour as crew chiefs or construction site monitors. You might make less if you’re doing fieldwork for a CRM firm in another state, and the weather probably won’t be as sunny all year-round. Your health benefits might be a first aid kit that you keep in the rental truck you’re given to use, but you’ll usually get paid for driving between the head office and the motel room you’re sharing with another transient coworker. Best of all, you’ll get about $40-50 per diem, which is Latin for “beer money”… although you might want to save some of it to buy food. Just sayin’.
If you’re a PhD (“Professional Hole Digger?”), you have the luxury of living in one place and can usually afford it. The average salary is 54k, more (if you’re a fed managing a national park) or less (if you’re an adjunct professor at a community college).
If you work for a museum, you could make between 34k and 100k a year, depending on the museum’s size and budget. If you work for The World’s Smallest Museum in Superior, Arizona, you probably won’t make as much as a curator for the Smithsonian.