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Life As an Anthropologist

Example of an Anthropologist Job Research, evaluate, and establish public policy concerning the origins of humans; their physical, social, linguistic, and cultural development; and their behavior, as well as the cultures, organizations, and institutions they have created.

A Day in the Life of an Anthropologist

  • Collect information and make judgments through observation, interviews, and review of documents.
  • Write about and present research findings for a variety of specialized and general audiences.
  • Plan and direct research to characterize and compare the economic, demographic, health care, social, political, linguistic, and religious institutions of distinct cultural groups, communities, and organizations.
  • Observe the production, distribution, and consumption of food to identify and mitigate threats to food security.
  • Identify key individual cultural collaborators, using reputational and positional selection techniques.
  • Participate in forensic activities, such as tooth and bone structure identification, in conjunction with police departments and pathologists.

What an Anthropologist Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Anthropologists say are important on the job.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Types of Anthropologists

  • Applied Cultural Anthropologist
  • Research Director
  • Scientist
  • Ethnologist
  • Physical Anthropologist

Anthropologist Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 7,600 jobs in the United States for Anthropologists and Archeologists.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 4.5% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 300 new jobs for Anthropologists by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 700 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Anthropologists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Anthropologists and Archeologists are California, Washington, and Colorado.

Watch out if you plan on working in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, or West Virginia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Anthropologist Salary

Anthropologists and Archeologists Make between $36,840 and $97,170 a year. An Anthropologist median salary is $62,410.

Salary Ranges for Anthropologists

How much do Anthropologists and Archeologists make in each U.S. state?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary
Massachusetts $91,140
Hawaii $82,550
Washington $74,300
Nebraska $74,280
Virginia $72,480
Texas $71,590
Idaho $71,520
Pennsylvania $70,770
Louisiana $68,690
New York $67,860
Georgia $67,550
Wyoming $67,400
California $67,030
Utah $66,410
New Jersey $64,950
Arizona $64,660
Colorado $63,940
North Carolina $63,690
Ohio $63,280
Oregon $63,090
Montana $62,690
Illinois $62,650
South Carolina $62,230
North Dakota $62,110
Nevada $60,480
Kentucky $59,740
Tennessee $59,690
New Mexico $58,300
Arkansas $58,240
Missouri $56,880
Oklahoma $56,150
Wisconsin $55,720
Alabama $54,390
Florida $54,130
Maryland $53,680
South Dakota $52,340
West Virginia $50,550

Tools & Technologies Used by Anthropologists

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Anthropologists may use on a daily basis:

  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • SAS
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Excel
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Word

Where Anthropologists Work

Anthropologist Sectors

Similar Careers

Those interested in being an Anthropologist may also be interested in:

  • Poets, Lyricists and Creative Writers
  • Environmental Science Professors
  • Agricultural Sciences Professors

Are you already one of the many Anthropologists in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

  • Foreign Language and Literature Professors


Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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