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Salary

Average Salary: $57,420

Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,397,000


 
Can't I just keep the goatee? (Source)

You may be discovering treasures untold, but for the professional expert on all things Egypt, your income will feature a lot less gold. At around $50,000, academic Egyptologists make as much money as other professors do (source). It should be enough to have a nice place to live but much less than you'd make in sciency-er fields. Or mathy-er fields. Or even just fields with a lot less sand.

Museums may seem like a safe bet but are usually nonprofit organizations, and while nonprofit doesn't actually mean "no money," the reality is it often feels like it does. Many museums won't hire Egyptologists, preferring to be staffed with interns and students who can be paid very little. 

They may occasionally give out consulting or short-term contract jobs to an Egyptologist for a specific exhibit or issue with Egyptian materials in their collections, but you might become a fossil yourself while waiting for that to happen.

Universities and colleges have more opportunities. These are the places that like to make the discoveries, while museums usually just want to hold the discoveries for a little while. At an Ivy League school, you might start out at $45,000 and end up in the $60,000-70,000 range, while at state schools you make a bit less. 

Those Egyptologists who sell books and do lectures and tours make some money on the side, but it's not exactly Harry Potter book tour kind of money.

Egyptian archaeologists seem to do well financially but this might have to do with the fact that it's fairly cheap to live in Egypt. Egyptian archaeologists may also be independently wealthy and fund their own digs—good work if you can get it. Otherwise there's not much more money in digging holes and writing reports about what you find in them.

Sure beats the professions that actually fill in the holes.

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