Dig In! If you want to be a real archeologist, and I don't mean an unpaid (or, worse, paying) volunteer, all of the information about getting to be one and about finding a job after you are one is in one place on the Internet: the About.com Archeology site. The education requirements are rigorous (an appropriate graduate degree and probably several years of internship as an itinerant "shovel-bum"), but most of the folks who do it have loads of fun and interesting experiences in the process -- if you don't think it's fun, it's just not for you. There are lots of sub-specialties ranging from archeological management through digging and scraping to highly technical archeometry areas. Take your pick, but here's a hint: at summer archeological digs in really hot places, the only air conditioning is in the tent where the archeometrist keeps his computers.

Changes in US laws and, more recently, in European laws that require construction project "Cultural Resource Management" have dramatically improved job prospects for trained archeologists. Most working archeologists are now employed in CRM, and many work for CRM companies that have long-term government contracts or contracts with major construction firms. You also no longer have to teach to be an archeologist -- you can do archeology all year! It's not Schliemann at Troy, but its steady work in a field that was formerly notorious for underemployment (and Schliemann was a fraud anyway). There are now more jobs than trained people, and it's likely to stay that way for a while -- long enough for anyone starting now to get through the education process.

The Internet link for Archeology Employment and Job Hunting is at:

http://archaeology.about.com/education/archaeology/msubjobs.htm. You can connect to other About.com Archeology categories, including Graduate Schools, on the left side of the same page.