Graduate Trainees - Oxford

Salary: £23,355 rising to £23,930 after 12 weeks  

Closing Date: 30th September 2023

Applications will be considered on receipt and we are looking to make immediate appointments. 

Oxford Archaeology is one of the largest independent archaeological practices in Europe. Our size and reputation ensure that we work on the most exciting and varied projects and can offer real opportunities for long-term employment and career development. We have offices in Cambridge, Lancaster and Oxford and are a registered heritage charity.

Oxford Archaeology is at the forefront of training the next generation of archaeologists. We have recently launched our new CIfA approved Graduate Trainee to Supervisor Career Pathway; if recruited you will be automatically enrolled at the level appropriate to your experience and ability. For more information see here

Due to very busy field work programme extending through summer and beyond we are looking to recruit keen and enthusiastic Graduate Archaeologists to become part of our team. You will be predominantly working on trial trench evaluations and open area excavations where you will be excavating and recording archaeological remains from all periods. Based in our Oxford office, our work could take you anywhere in the country; currently we are deploying staff to sites across a wide geographical area and have a project on the east coast which we expect to run for all of this year where 7-day accommodation can be made available.

Who is OA’s Graduate Trainee (GT) Programme for?

Our programme is ideal for Graduates with a degree in archaeology, or a related discipline, and presupposes little in the way of archaeological fieldwork skills. You will learn all of this on site under the watchful eye of your experienced mentors. It also helps if you have a full clean driving licence and are based near, or can relocate within a daily commutable distance of, one of our offices.

How long is OA’s GT Programme? What will I be paid and what length of contract will I have?

Our comprehensive Graduate Trainee Programme lasts for 6 months and is split into two 12 week modules. You will be offered an initial 12 week contract starting on an annual salary of £23,355. Your progress will be regularly reviewed with scored milestones every six weeks to ensure you are on track for the next stage of the programme. When, after 12 weeks, you earn the scores required to pass onto the second half of the programme, you will be rewarded with a pay rise to £23,930.

What will I learn on OA’s GT Programme?

There are nine core Learning Goals in the programme: 

  • Health and safety, including manual handling
  • Recognition and understanding of context
  • Safe use of hand excavation tools 
  • OA recording systems (including our Digital Recording System and Webmap)
  • Producing accurate drawings
  • Basic survey methods
  • Artefact recognition
  • Environmental sampling
  • Site photography

What happens when I finish the GT Programme?

Staff who successfully complete the scheme will, (subject to the availability of work), be offered permanent or fixed-term contracts at Archaeologist level with an annual salary of £24,517 and will automatically be enrolled on our Archaeologist to Assistant Supervisor Programme, which provides a clear path for career development once you have reached the required level of experience. You will also have attained the necessary experience to obtain PCIfA accreditation with CIfA and OA will support you with your application.

Employee benefits:

  • 24 days holiday including concessionary days at Christmas plus Bank Holidays. 
  • Subsistence payment of £22.50 per night (tax free) and free, single room accommodation (usually B&B or self-catering) for away-based projects.
  • 37.5 hour (basic) week with optional paid overtime at time and a half for hours in-excess of 37.5 hours Monday-Friday and on Saturdays, and double time on Sundays and bank holidays.
  • Paid travel time for journeys to site that take longer than one hour from the office.
  • A company pension scheme with 6% employer contributions. 
  • Additional training including placements, and opportunities for career progression. 
  • Free transport from regional offices to sites. 
  • Free high quality personal protective equipment (inc. full breathable waterproofs, fleece etc). 
  • We pay 100% of CIfA subscription fees.
  • Cycle to work scheme. 

You can find out more about all the benefits we offer on BAJR’s Compare the Contractor.

To apply

If you would like to be part of a friendly, respected, and established organisation, please apply by completing the application form below.

Due to the anticipated high volume of interest, it may not be possible for us to respond to all applicants. If you have not heard from us four weeks after the closing date, please consider that your application has been unsuccessful in this instance. 

Oxford Archaeology is an Equal Opportunities employer. All applications are judged on the relevant skills and experience of the candidate, and not by gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, belief, age, nationality (other than where work permits may be required), or ethnicity. You must meet the requirements to live and work in the UK, as set out by UK Visa and Immigration - see

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