How to Become an Anthropologist

Written by

George D. Baker


August 14, 2014


Anthropologists contribute greatly to the understanding of human behavior and development across different cultural areas. Those who work in this field provide research that is used to compare the varying customs and social trends of both ancient and modern civilizations.

What does an anthropologist do?

Anthropologists usually specialize in one of four concentrations, with several specializations in each. Biophysical anthropology studies early forms of human life and the evolution of the body. They analyze human remains found at archaeological sites in order to draw conclusions about the lifestyles and demographics of earlier populations. Linguistic anthropologist studies concern the languages of different cultures and the ways in which these languages have changed over time. Sociocultural anthropological study concerns the observation of human groups in a variety of economical and geographical settings for the purpose of gaining insight into their social lives and values. Archaeological anthropologists study ancient artifacts such as tools, jewelry, or buildings so that they can learn about the habits and customs of past civilizations.

Anthropologists may participate in a significant amount of fieldwork that may include traveling to other regions for extended periods of time. They sometimes will learn the languages of the people they are observing and may work under challenging physical conditions. Click here to find out how to become an anthropologist.

What kind of training does an anthropologist need?

Those who wish to become anthropologists will need to earn a master degree in anthropology at minimum, and a doctorate degree for higher-paying anthropology jobs. It is highly recommended that anthropologists have a strong background in the subjects of communication and statistics. They should also be familiar with modern technological devices such as geographical information systems (GIS).

Students of anthropology may choose to volunteer at historical societies or museums as a way of developing career skills and experience. They would also benefit from courses that are offered by archaeological schools. Click here to get a list of online anthropology degree programs.

What are the prospects for a career as an anthropologist?

Careers in anthropology are expected to increase at a average rate of 15% by 2016, resulting in a total of 6,400 people being employed in this field. Most of this growth will be in the areas of technical consulting and scientific services. (1)

How much do anthropologists make?

Anthropologists can expect to earn around $53,000 annually on average. Senior positions may earn in excess of $84,000. (2)

In order to have a successful anthropology career, one must have a great deal of patience and perseverance, as some anthropology research studies take years to complete. People with anthropology degrees are generally methodical and logical thinkers who are able to stay focused on their work. It is also important for anthropologists to effectively communicate with and have a profound interest in many different groups of people. Click here for a list of programs to get your anthropology degree online.

Becoming an Anthropologist Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming an Anthropologist? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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