Anthropologist Career

anthropologist-500Broadly speaking, anthropologists study humanity. From the earliest ancestors of humanity to the ways that we organize, govern, and even feed ourselves, anthropologists help to explain what it is to be human. In fact, many anthropologists also double as archaeologists, helping to explain the world of the past without the benefit of written records.

Due to the theoretical elements at play in a great deal of anthropology, that means many anthropologists are college professors. However, do not think that anthropology is only for the ivory tower – plenty of other anthropologists work to help explain even modern cultures to people.

Anthropologist Career Snapshot

Most anthropologists will work in an office, with many coupling those office hours with extensive time teaching students. Presentations and seminars are also common for anthropologists. That said, many anthropologists find time to do field research, which could take them to remote villages or on archaeological digs.

Further details on a career as an anthropologist are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average yearly salary for anthropologists.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Master’s degree while 39% have a Doctoral degree.

Anthropologist Education

Due to the specialized work that anthropologists do, this is a highly educated group. The minimum to teach at a community college level, or to do any low-level anthropological work, is a master’s degree. More often than not, anthropologists have PhDs and years of research experience. Depending on their field of work, anthropologists have other fields of knowledge that they have to master. A cultural anthropologist may need to speak a number of different languages, both to read research in different libraries as well as to speak to people in the communities that they study. Meanwhile, a biological anthropologist will need to master some of the same scientific tools and methods as a chemist.

Anthropologist Job Duties

In addition to very often lecturing in a college setting, anthropologists also work for non-profit organizations and governmental entities. This work could have them spending time in libraries, traveling to foreign countries, or very often a combination of both.

Anthropologist Salaries

Anthropologists are well paid for their education, but not the point of riches. The average anthropologist makes $61,220 per year according to 2015 reports. Meanwhile, the highest paid in the profession clear just under $100,000 a year.

Anthropologist Job Outlook

While anthropology will always be necessary to help explain humanity, that does not mean that it is a booming field. The sector is only expected to grow by about 4% over the next ten years, compared to 6% for jobs across the economy. As such, if you want to be an anthropologist, it is important to make sure that your credentials are stellar.

Anthropologist Skills & Traits

Anthropologist Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Anthropologists:Typical Work Activities:
• Speaking
• Active Listening
• Critical Thinking
• Reading Comprehension
• Science
• Deductive Reasoning
• Inductive Reasoning
• Oral Comprehension
• Oral Expression
• Written Comprehension
• Calipers
• Deoxyribonucleic sequence analyzers
• Radarbased surveillance systems
• Scanners
• X ray radiography examination equipment
• Getting Information
• Analyzing Data or Information
• Processing Information
• Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
• Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

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