Anthropologist Careers

What do the Vikings, chimpanzees, fossils, blood types, cannibalistic tribes, product usage, overpopulation, poverty, market research, languages, evolution, race relations, city planning, and ancient trading routes have in common? They all fall under the blanket of anthropology.

Anthropology is the study of humans. It’s a broad social science where anthropologists study the behavior and development of humankind. Anthropologists analyze the past, present, and future to determine the cultural, social, and physical trends that make us uniquely human. It’s the perfect career choice for someone with an inquisitive mind.

Dugum Dani Tribe Children Pose for Photo

The goal of anthropology is understand humanity. By understanding the past and present, anthropologists can help avoid mistakes and solve future problems. Governments, corporations, non-profits, and educational institutes rely on anthropologist’s research to help shape their missions, goals, projects, products, and programs.

Anthropologists need to be curious about life. They need to be constantly asking why, establishing theories, and trying to find answers. It’s a career where you are always learning new things and trying to apply it to your research.

Anthropology covers more topics than you can imagine. If you’re an aspiring anthropologist, it’s important to choose a niche that fascinates you. As an anthropologist you can specialize in topics like linguistic, social, cultural, biological, archaeological, media, economic, urban, religion, evolution, historical, environmental, or forensic anthropology. Which one will you choose?

The anthropology niche you pursue will determine what you do on a daily basis. You may research chimpanzees in the African jungle, follow nomadic tribes across the Sahara, study inner city poverty, find new archaeological discoveries in North Dakota, monitor how a specific social group uses a product, or track evolution across the globe. You get to choose your own adventure in this cool job.

The beauty of an anthropologist job is that you get to split your time between traditional office life and exciting fieldwork. Anthropologists literally get to explore the world to learn about cultures, values, beliefs, religion, business, and so much more. They have to experience it to understand it.

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Wherever you end up, the anthropological process is always similar. It’s your job to test a hypothesis, complete research projects, and collect data. Next you have to analyze that data and write research papers. Your final reports will be used to advise your employers on policies, programs, and products.

To become an anthropologist you need to earn a graduate degree in anthropology. Find a university that specializes in the anthropology niche you want to pursue. The American Anthropological Association’s AnthroGuide can help you fine tune your search. Prepare yourself for the world of anthropology by establishing a broad base of education. Many anthropologists find internships to learn the ropes.

Next it’s time to find a job where you can look at major issues that affect human kind and try to find a solution. You’ll get to work with people, study history, and shape the future. The most popular anthropology jobs are research work for academic organizations, product analysis and marketing for corporations, planning and research for government organizations, or designing and implementing programs for non-profits. Choose an employer based on your own interests or you may end up researching something you never expected.



According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 7,200 anthropologists working in the United States. This number is expected to grow by 19% by 2022. This is a huge opportunity for any aspiring anthropologists out there.

On average, anthropologists earn $57,420 per year or $27.61 per hour. As long as humans exist, anthropologists have decent job security too!

If humankind fascinates you, find an anthropologist job that will pay you to be curious.

Quick Facts About Anthropologist Careers

Job Title: Anthropologists
Office: Office and Fieldwork
Description: Study human behavior and development
Certifications/Education: Graduate degree in anthropology
Necessary Skills: Curious Mind, Scientific Research
Potential Employers: Governments, Corporations, Educational Institutes, Consulting Firms, Non Profits
Pay: $57,420 per year or $27.61 per hour

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