How to Become an Underwater Archaeologist

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An underwater archaeologist is someone who studies human history in relation to the sea. As the job title implies, underwater archaeologists spend most of their time underwater exploring.

You might be interested in this sort of career or maybe you are just wondering how a person becomes an underwater archaeologist. There’s a handful of things a person needs to be and needs to do in order to become good at something.

There are specific character traits, skills, passions, and technical things a person who wants to become an underwater archeologist has to have. So let’s dive into the basics.

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Character Traits

Anybody who is interested in this job might be good at it, but there are certain characteristics that make other people stand out more for positions like this. Being a curious person and being able to think critically about your discoveries would be at the top of the list.

Be a Curious Person

A person who would like to become an underwater archaeologist would need to have a sense of curiosity. If they catch a glimpse of something shiny or interesting underwater, it would be in their nature to go and explore what that thing might be.

If you aren’t a curious person, this job might not be best for you. If exploring the unknown worries you, then chances are you might not enjoy this job one bit.

Think Critically

This job also requires critical thinking skills. When going into the ocean, you don’t just necessarily want to go diving in random places. They have to think about what type of creatures could be lurking in the area and what to do if they encounter one.

Once they find an artifact, they should also think about the steps they need to take in order to share their discovery.

Skills Are Important

In order to thrive as an underwater archaeologist, there are a handful of basic skill sets one needs to have. Skills are similar to character traits, but not quite.

There are many different skills that underwater archaeologists would need to have, some are more important to have than others. Being a good writer and being bilingual can be two super helpful skills!

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Be a Good Writer

After a long day of exploring and discovering it is important to be a good writer. Why do they have to be a writer if all they are doing is exploring and discovering? Well, once they make their discoveries they need to write about what they found.

They need to have good writing skills so that other people can understand the things that they found and why their discoveries are important. Some people don’t see the need for exploring, they think we have already found everything we need. Writing things down can show the world how important a job like underwater archaeology is.

Learn More Than One Language

Underwater archaeologists work with a variety of different people and sometimes there can be a language barrier stopping people from working together more effectively. If a person would like to become an underwater archaeologist, being willing to learn a variety of different languages would be beneficial.

At times there are translators nearby, but being willing to pick up on a different language would create more connections for you in the future.


Being passionate about something is important in general. When we are passionate about something we are more willing to succeed at it in the long run. Some people might be super successful, but if they don’t have a passion for what they are doing then it might seem entirely pointless to continue with that life path.

Underwater archaeologists are the same way, there are some people who just naturally thrive in this career field. However, the people who are passionate about things like history and the ocean are the ones who might stick with this job and become successful.

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History Matters

Some people don’t see the point of studying history because it’s in the past and it’s not as relevant to today.

However, a person who is passionate about history might be inclined to think the opposite. We can learn from the things that happened in the past and we can uncover the hidden truths about the world we live in today.

There have been many times where history has been covered up, whether it was from people who didn’t want the truth to be out or that it just got lost in all the chaos around that time. There is always going to be something new to be discovered and finding a passion for history is going to help any type of archaeologist.

The Ocean is Amazing

There are so many things within the ocean that have yet to be discovered. 71% of the earth is covered in water and oceans take up the majority of that percentage. Only about five percent of the ocean has been discovered which is largely due to the lack of advanced technology.

Exploring the ocean might not seem as relevant as discovering things on land. However, there are many ships that went out to sea and never came back that are waiting to be discovered. There’s also the chance that the lost city of Atlantis is out there, ready to be discovered!

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Technical Things

There are certain things a person has to do in order to become an underwater archaeologist. Going to university and finding connections within the field is a major part of attaining that position.

Go to University

In order to become an underwater archaeologist, you should have a bachelor’s degree. There is a handful of degrees you could attain that would help you succeed in your career field. It would make the most sense to pick a major that fits the type of work you will be doing. Any earth science-related majors would be good options!

Make Connections

Sometimes when you are attending university you can make some good connections. Connections can help you get into your career field of choice and can help you advance. It’s also nice to have some friends in the same field of study as you.

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Where to Work

Another important part of becoming an underwater archaeologist is knowing what company you would like to work for. Think about your end goal, where do you want to end up, what environment do you want to be in?

“Sea” How Cool Underwater Archaeology Can Be

Becoming an underwater archaeologist isn’t too hard if you have the right character traits and passions for it. You can learn and practice the skills that you need and become better at what you do.

Getting a bachelor’s degree in something earth science-related can help you develop your skills and understanding of the importance of underwater archaeology. You can make some nice friends and start connecting with people who will help you succeed in your career path.


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