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Anthropology Major

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Anthropology

1,085 Master's Degrees Annually
542 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#109 in Popularity (Master's)
$94,080 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Anthropology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many anthropology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 1,085
Doctor’s Degree 542
Graduate Certificate 30

What Anthropology Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to anthropology were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Anthropology Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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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

When studying anthropology, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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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

Anthropology majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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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 Master’s Degree in Anthropology?

1,085 Master's Degrees Annually
71% Percent Women
23% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major is dominated by women with about 71% of recent graduates being 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 Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 25
Black or African American 42
Hispanic or Latino 114
White 663
International Students 120
Other Races/Ethnicities 121

Geographic Diversity

Anthropology appeals to people across the globe. About 11.1% 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?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in anthropology made a median starting salary of $37,250 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $33,425 (25th percentile) and $41,075 (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

Anthropology majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $65,310 to $115,590 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some degrees associated with anthropology may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

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 2018-2019, 596 schools offered a anthropology program of some type. 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) 20 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 3 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 1
Associate’s Degree 123 13
Bachelor’s Degree 19 2
Post-Baccalaureate 20 2
Master’s Degree 179 3
Post-Master’s 4 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 111 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 5,699
International Relations & National Security 5,214
Political Science & Government 2,896
Geography & Cartography 2,299
Sociology 2,092
Criminology 941
General Social Sciences 813
Other Social Sciences 544
Urban Studies 518
Demography & Population Studies 72
Archeology 68
Sociology & Anthropology 4

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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