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Anthropology Major

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Anthropology

9,355 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,182 Master's Degrees Annually
#54 in Popularity
$94,080 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Anthropology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many anthropology graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 9,359
Master’s Degree 1,182
Associate’s Degree 819
Doctor’s Degree 543
Graduate Certificate 38
Undergraduate Certificate 36
Basic Certificate 31

What Anthropology Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to anthropology and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Anthropology Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in anthropology should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills for Anthropology Majors

anthropology majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Anthropology Majors

A major in anthropology will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Anthropology Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with anthropology:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Anthropologists 3.9% $62,410
Anthropology and Archeology Professors 9.9% $83,940
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology?

9,359 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
73% Percent Women
36% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 9,355 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology in 2018, making it rank #54 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 73% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of anthropology majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Anthropology Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 646
Black or African American 467
Hispanic or Latino 1,681
White 5,537
International Students 186
Other Races/Ethnicities 842

Geographic Diversity

Anthropology appeals to people across the globe. About 2.0% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • Canada
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Turkey

How Much Do Anthropology Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology have a median salary of $23,750 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $20,825 (25th percentile) and $26,775 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a anthropology degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $65,310 to $115,590 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to anthropology. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Anthropology Major  ( 65310 to 115590 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with anthropology may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to anthropology have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 2.0%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.5%
Some College Courses 0.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 34.3%
Master’s Degree 20.9%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.9%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.9%
Doctoral Degree 34.8%
Post-Doctoral Training 2.8%

Online Anthropology Programs

In the 2017-2018 academic year, 575 schools offered some type of anthropology program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 9 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 1
Associate’s Degree 117 10
Bachelor’s Degree 19 2
Post-Baccalaureate 9 1
Master’s Degree 176 3
Post-Master’s 4 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 109 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Anthropology Worth It?

The median salary for a anthropology grad is $94,080 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 136% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,083,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to anthropology.

Major Number of Grads
Economics 47,528
Political Science & Government 44,651
Sociology 37,615
General Social Sciences 19,123
International Relations & National Security 14,908
Criminology 9,624
Geography & Cartography 8,717
Other Social Sciences 2,935
Urban Studies 1,524
Sociology & Anthropology 499
Archeology 335
Demography & Population Studies 76
Rural Sociology 33

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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