Become a Registered Professional Archaeologist (RPA)


Registration is a voluntary act that recognizes an individual’s commitment to be accountable for their behavior as a professional. Formal acknowledgment of the essential connection between personal responsibility and professional integrity across the discipline of archaeology is what sets RPAs apart.

You are invited!

Join nearly 4,000 leading archaeologists in 16 countries who are making a commitment to disciplinary advancement through professionalism and accountability!

Benefits of Registration:

Your professional home – The Register is international and the largest archaeological professional registry in the Americas—and we have a place for you!

Get paid more – RPAs generally receive higher salaries and greater job responsibilities than archaeologists who are not registered.

Work in more places – Registration as an RPA is required to do archaeological work in many jurisdictions, and the list is growing every day.

Support for good behavior – The Register’s grievance process protects RPAs who follow the Code of Conduct (Code) and Standards for Research Performance (Standards). The Register supports RPAs against frivolous allegations when an investigation shows they upheld the Code and Standards.

Education – The Register screens and certifies continuing professional education programs and notifies RPAs of these opportunities to improve their professional practice in diverse and dynamic discipline.

Marketing –  The Register promotes the use of RPAs through advertising and outreach to industry associations and the public. We increase the demand for RPAs by promoting the advantages of the use of registered, accountable professionals to those who hire archaeologists.

Archaeologist Maren Hopkins looking out over archaeological site, with large ceramic vessel in foreground.
Photo Credit: Michael Spears, RPA 17067.

Requirements for Registration:

  1. Accept the RPA Code and Standards. The applicant must accept and agree to abide by the standards the Code of Conduct, Standards of Research Performance, and Grievance Procedures of the Register of Professional Archaeologists.
  1. Hold an advanced degree in archaeology or a related field. The applicant must have an advanced degree (such as an M.A., M.S., Ph.D., or equivalent) from an accredited institution and submit their official transcript with their application. The degree must be in archaeology, anthropology, classics,  or another germane discipline with a specialization in archaeology.
  1. Design, execute, and report on archaeological research and analysis in a thesis, dissertation, or equivalent documents.The report must include substantive data analysis by the applicant directed towards an explicit archaeological research problem.