Anthropology : Careers

Career Information and Further Study

Anthropology is the sole discipline that studies both individuals and humankind as a whole - biologically and culturally, in all places, and at all times (past and present). The anthropology student learns to allow for differences in cultures. This is helpful in health careers, social services, business, and urban planning. The ethnic composition of our population is becoming increasingly diverse, and anyone dealing with the public needs some understanding of their languages and cultures.

Skills gained in this program include:
  • Dealing with people of diverse cultures, making allowances for differences in customs and beliefs
  • Providing insight into social problems by supplying information as to how problems, such as aging or bereavement, are addressed in our cultures
  • Interviewing people to obtain information about their attitudes, customs, and beliefs
  • Using statistics and computer science to analyze data
  • Adapting approaches used in public relations, marketing, or politics to different population groups
  • Working cooperatively with others, adapting to varied conditions
  • Using scientific equipment and instruments

Career Choices
  • Anthropologist
  • Archaeologist
  • Archivist
  • Art conservator
  • Banking
  • Biographer
  • Business
  • Community recreation development
  • Cultural resource management
  • Curator
  • Dentist
  • Economist
  • Educator
  • Genealogist
  • Health administrator
  • Historian
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian
  • Museologist
  • Nurse
  • Paleontologist
  • Peace Corps volunteer
  • Physician
  • Political scientist
  • Public advocate
  • Research associate
  • Social worker
  • Technical writer
  • and many, many more!

Work settings include:

Government, education, research, banking, business, human resources, public relations, marketing research, human services.

Career Hints

To work in any branch of anthropology, an advanced degree is needed, usually a PhD. Most anthropologists work for universities and colleges; some for museums or government. There are only a few thousand anthropologists in the entire country and openings are scarce. The BA degree in anthropology, however, has practical applications. The anthropology student learns to develop skills for understanding differences in cultures. This is helpful in health careers, social services, business, and urban planning.

Salary Information

Salaries range greatly from one occupation, position, and work setting to another.

Additional Resources

American Anthropological Association

American Association of Museums

U.S. Government Printing Office, Anthropology and Archeology, Subject bibliography #205 available from Superintendent of Documents

National Trust for Historic Preservation

Updated: 13 Nov 2012 06:00:14 EST