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Life As an Anthropologist

Job Description & Duties 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.

Anthropologist Responsibilities

  • Enhance the cultural sensitivity of elementary and secondary curricula and classroom interactions in collaboration with educators and teachers.
  • Collect information and make judgments through observation, interviews, and review of documents.
  • Study archival collections of primary historical sources to help explain the origins and development of cultural patterns.
  • Write about and present research findings for a variety of specialized and general audiences.
  • Construct and test data collection methods.
  • Conduct participatory action research in communities and organizations to assess how work is done and to design work systems, technologies, and environments.

Anthropologist Skills

These are the skills Anthropologists say are the most useful in their careers:

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

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

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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 Anthropologist

  • Applied Cultural Anthropologist
  • Forensic Anthropologist
  • Researcher
  • Research Director
  • Ethnologist

Anthropologist Employment Estimates

There were about 7,600 jobs for Anthropologist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 3.9% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 300 new jobs for Anthropologist by 2026. There will be an estimated 700 positions for Anthropologist per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Anthropologist are Washington, Nebraska, and Utah. 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.

Salary for an Anthropologist

The salary for Anthropologists ranges between about $36,840 and $97,170 a year.

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Anthropologists who work in Massachusetts, Hawaii, or Idaho, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Anthropologists in different U.S. states.

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

What Tools do Anthropologists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Anthropologists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • Data visualization software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • SAS
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign

How to Become an Anthropologist

What kind of Anthropologist requirements are there?

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How Long Does it Take to Become an Anthropologist?

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Where do Anthropologists Work?

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming an Anthropologist might also be interested in the following careers:

Those who work as an Anthropologist sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

Image Credit: Deror avi via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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