How to become an Anthropologist
Anthropologist Job Duties
Anthropologist Skills and Qualities
Anthropologist Salary
Influential Anthropologists
Anthropology Organizations
Top Cities for Anthropology Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How can I become an Anthropologist?

Anthropology is a field where a bachelors degree will not count for much on an application to become an anthropologist. At the very least, a masters degree is required, and frequently, a doctorate. One can work with anthropologists while having a bachelors degree, but it won't help one actually become an anthropologist.

Anthropology is a scientific field, so the education requirements can be demanding. Usually, it's a good idea to start focusing one's study in a particular area or topic within the very broad field of anthropology in one's later years of undergraduate study, and then become even more focused in graduate degrees.

Many graduate degree programs include some measure of field experience, where one goes to an actual archaeological dig, or works with actual objects at museums. Education and experience are the keys to advancement, and sometimes even getting a job opportunity at all. Many anthropologist are associated with colleges and universities, and a Ph.D. is required to teach at these higher institutions, for example.

What does an Anthropologist do?

An anthropologist is a type of scientist that studies human beings - their behavior, culture and origins. Anthropology is usually grouped among the "social sciences", together with psychology, sociology, etc. Anthropologists can often focus on one of two major areas - cultural or physical anthropology. The most well known type of anthropology is probably sociocultural anthropology, where the focus is on how human beings interact with each other and organize themselves, how they behave. The thing that most people aren't familiar with is that anthropologists do this not only with ancient or past cultures, but also with modern societies and urban areas.

Physical anthropologists often study the archaeological remains of human beings and study how those people groups lived, looking at nutrition, disease, population density, etc. There are also anthropologists that focus on language and its role among humans, how it changes, and how its function differs between cultures. In addition, there are biophysical anthropologists that investigate the origins of human beings by examining the fossil record and making inferences about evolutionary dynamics. Finally, probably the most famous of all anthropologists are archaeologists, who study what remains of past people to piece together culture, history, technologies, etc.

What skills or qualities do I need to become an Anthropologist?

The point of science is investigation and research, so an anthropologist needs analytical intelligence, skill at mathematics/statistics and an open mind. The use of computers is increasingly important as software has become important for data analysis and modeling of theories and technology is used increasingly to analyze physical objects. Anthropologists, like other scientists, must also become adept at keeping up to date on the forefront of their fields, attending conferences and discussing findings with colleagues. The ability to design experiments or data collecting projects, analyze findings and present an argument based on findings is also key.

How much does an Anthropologist make?

Anthropologists make from $31,000 - $84,000 per year. The vast majority of anthropologists are employed by research institutions. The next largest employer type is the federal government.

Who are Some Influential Professionals in Anthropology?

Probably one of the most famous anthropologists today is Jane Goodall. Although she is primarily known for her work with primates, she is considered an anthropologist for her work with bridging the gap between humankind and animals.

It is difficult to point out leading professionals in the field of anthropology, because as described above, it is an incredibly broad field with multiple areas of specialization. A good rule of thumb would be to look up the leading professors in strong and well known anthropology departments at larger universities as well as the leadership at professional organizations.

What are some leading organizations in Anthropology?

American Anthropological Association

American Association of Physical Anthropologists

Archaeological Institute of America

National Association for the Practice of Anthropology

Society for American Archaeology

The Society for Applied Anthropology

What are the top cities for Anthropology jobs?

Interestingly, Hawaii ranks highest as a state for anthropologists, and Honolulu employs a high concentration of anthropologists.

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