ANTHROPOLOGIST SALARY: Job Description, Skills, and Salary

anthropologist salary
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There are different branches of anthropology and anthropologist such as a forensic anthropologist, a medical anthropologist, a biological anthropologist, a cultural anthropologist are currently earning a decent salary in the economy of today, if you are interested in how to become an anthropologist? then this post is your perfect guide.

What is Anthropology?

The study of anthropology focuses on what makes humans human. Holism is the approach that anthropologists use to explore all the varied facets of the human experience. They look to the past through archaeology to understand how and what mattered to human groups hundreds or thousands of years ago. They consider our bones, diet, and health as well as the biological components of our bodies and DNA. To determine what we have in common with other creatures and what sets us apart, anthropologists often contrast humans with other species, most frequently with primates like monkeys and chimpanzees. Although almost all people require the same things to thrive, such as food, water, and company, the ways in which they meet these needs might vary greatly.

Everyone must eat, but they consume different foods and use different methods to obtain food. Therefore, anthropologists study the sources, preparation, and distribution of food among various social groups. Amartya Sen got the Nobel Prize for demonstrating that the cause of all famines in the 20th century was social impediments to distribution rather than an issue with production. Anthropologists also attempt to comprehend how individuals interact in social settings (for example, with families and friends). They study how individuals interact and dress differently in various societies. These parallels are occasionally used by anthropologists to better understand their own society. Many anthropologists examine the economy, health, education, law, and politics in their own communities, to name just a few. They keep in mind what they know about biology, culture, different forms of communication, and how humans once lived when attempting to comprehend these complex challenges.

An Anthropologist’s Salary

Anthropologists focus a lot of their attention on the similarities and differences that human groups have over time and location. There are numerous approaches to conducting anthropology, just as there are various ways that individuals physically adapt to their environment, create and organize communities, and communicate. Many nations all across the world have created distinctive anthropological methods. For instance, the four-field method may not be as effective in some countries as it is in others. Through international organizations, anthropologists from all around the world collaborate to try to understand more about how we live as humans. In summary, anthropologists are people who study anthropology, and today we want to look into how much money they make from their work.

Forensic Anthropologist Salary

Experts in examining human remains, forensic anthropologists are frequently relied upon to assist with forensic investigations involving fatalities that may have been brought on by a crime or a natural disaster, such as a storm or forest fire.

A forensic anthropologist can analyze human remains and identify a person’s cause of death, such as whether it was suicide, homicide, accidental, or natural, using their knowledge of bones. With a high degree of precision, forensic anthropologists can ascertain the age, weight, sex, height, and diet of a deceased person. A forensic anthropologist salary is based on their work. One in the field frequently entails engaging in the following activities, which include:

  • Handling cadaveric material
  • The removal of skeletal remains
  • Examining traumatized remains to look for decomposing remnants
  • Providing biological details regarding the skeletal remains
  • Reporting compilation
  • Collaborating intently with detectives and special agents,
  • Giving a witness statement in court

How to Determine a Forensic Anthropologist Salary

Instead of gathering and conserving remains as evidence, a forensic anthropologist’s principal duty is to examine them. In order to start the examination before the bodies are relocated, forensic anthropologists are frequently called to situations where decomposed remains are discovered. They also supervise the delivery of the remains to the lab for an in-depth examination.

Experts in forensic anthropology can offer crucial details about victims’ lives. More importantly, they can offer crucial details on how and how long ago victims passed away. Forensic anthropologists can assist in figuring out the murder’s mode of operation and provide information necessary for establishing an arrest and securing a conviction by searching for evidence of trauma.

Based on factors like experience, education, and talents, the salary of a forensic anthropologist may vary. Consulting work might result in further compensation. A forensic anthropologist’s salary typically includes the following:

  • 50,165 on average per year ($25.66 per hour)
  • Annual salary for the top 10 percent: $96,000 ($35/hour)
  • Annual Salary for the bottom 10%: $23,000 ($24.45/hour)

A Medical Anthropologist Salary

One of the social science subfields with the quickest rates of growth in medical anthropology and sociology. Professionals that can work in transdisciplinary, problem-driven research and health treatment are in greater demand. Medical anthropologists study how interactions between humans and other species, cultural norms and social structures, micro- and macropolitics, and forces of globalization affect the health of individuals, larger social formations, and the environment as they each have an impact on local worlds.

The job of a medical anthropologist is mostly available in a variety of industries, but they tend to specialize in the professional services area depending on their salary. Additionally, they might work in government, health, and information. Medical anthropologist research on a variety of topics, depending on the organization they work, and the salary they earn, including but not restricted to:

  • Cultural perceptions of the human body and its functions
  • Aspects of cultural norms and practices that are risky and protective
  • Encounter with illness and social connotations of disease
  • Human ecologies’ and adaptive processes’ effects on health
  • Biosocial elements influencing illness prevalence and health inequities

Medical anthropology also includes applied research geared toward addressing particular issues with the provision of healthcare, such as enhancing clinical care delivery methods, enhancing healthcare policies and systems, and assisting in the creation of globally applicable public health initiatives that are sensitive to local cultural norms. The average annual salary for a medical Anthropologist job category in the United States as of January 2023, is $37. 814.

Salary of a Biological Anthropologist

With a decent salary today, a biological anthropologist aims to provide a comparative perspective on human uniqueness by setting our species in the context of other living species and seeks to document and explain the patterning of biological variation among contemporary human populations and trace the evolution of our lineage through time in the fossil record. For instance, biological anthropologists frequently study the biology of human relics, taking into account former diets and the frequency of old diseases. Significant information about the lives of ancient peoples and how they interacted with their environs can be gleaned from fossils, bones, and other types of remains.

Biological or physical and cultural processes interact to determine growth, development, and behavior. Biological and cultural factors also play a role in the development of sickness and early mortality, according to interdisciplinary anthropologists. They are also fascinated with humans’ biological beginnings, evolution, and variation. They focus mostly on research issues related to evolutionary theory, our place in nature, adaptation, and biological diversity in humans. In order to comprehend these processes, biologists examine living populations’ biology (such as health, cognition, hormones, growth, and development), other primates (primatology), the fossil record (paleoanthropology), prehistoric peoples’ biology (bioarchaeology), and other primates.

A doctorate in anthropology is typically held by all anthropologists. Occasionally, a biological anthropologist graduate with a bachelor’s or master’s degree can find work and earn a good salary in administration or research. However, most people must go through the eight years of coursework necessary to earn a Ph.D. in anthropology. A biological anthropologist’s job typically pays a salary of $65,448 annually.

Cultural Anthropologist Salary

A subfield of anthropology called “cultural anthropology” focuses on researching the differences in human cultures. Due in large part to the distinctive philosophical history that guides our work as scholars and researchers, Cultural Anthropology is well-positioned to address some of the most important concerns of our day. While there are many different epistemological and methodological perspectives that might be influencing cultural anthropologists’ work today, we converge on the fundamental importance placed on participant observation during ethnographic fieldwork through in-depth, sustained, immersive, and critically reflective study.

Anywhere in-depth fieldwork is conducted, whether it be abroad or in one’s own neighborhood, it requires “being there,” interacting directly with those who are most affected and involved in the issues and problems being researched, and frequently working in cooperative relationships based on solidarity and reciprocity. Taking into account the structural and interpersonal power imbalances that frequently exist between researchers and practitioners, we want to broaden ongoing efforts to decolonize anthropological fieldwork and knowledge through research.

In order to fulfill this commitment, one must engage directly with individuals and groups, muster the courage to mobilize and advocate for the weak and marginalized, and must be ready to apply research findings in ways that advance human potential over and against oppressive and marginalizing structures. As of June 28, 2022, an average cultural anthropologist salary in the United States is $64,058; however, the normal salary range for a cultural anthropologist is $51,536 to $98,545.

How to Become an Anthropologist

The varied subject areas of anthropology are typically divided into four subdisciplines. A subdiscipline is an area of study that is more specialized within a larger subject or discipline. They all earn a salary within the same range including: Archaeology, biological or physical anthropology, linguistic anthropology, cultural or social anthropology, and so on are areas of specialization for an anthropologist.

Although a good deal of schooling is necessary for this job, experience also helps.

Education: The majority of practicing anthropologists hold anthropology master’s degrees or higher. After spending four years in college and receiving a bachelor’s degree, it usually takes two years to obtain a master’s degree. If you wish to teach, most schools and universities will require that you have a doctorate.

Experience: If you simply have a bachelor’s degree, there isn’t much employment available for you, but if you have at least a four-year degree, you might be able to get work as a laboratory, field, or research assistant.

How to Become An Anthropologist Skills

To enter and excel in this field, you’ll need a specific set of abilities. They include:

  • Communication abilities are necessary for working together on research projects and presenting results.
  • Determination: Anthropologists can spend several years working on a single project.
  • Analytical abilities: Excellent critical thinking, analytical, and research abilities are also essential for anthropologists.
  • Physical endurance: This job frequently entails hauling equipment while hiking and climbing.
  • Writing abilities: You must be able to write clear reports and submit your findings for publication in scholarly journals.

Numerous anthropologists work for research institutions, museums, educational institutions, colleges, and the federal government. Others work for commercial consultancy businesses and regional governments. Despite the fact that many anthropologists work in the field, some spend most of their time in offices and laboratories. Many anthropologists work full-time, normal hours, but when they’re out in the field, they frequently put in extra time and don’t follow a standard 9 to 5 schedule.

Is anthropology good for a Career?

With a degree in anthropology, you can lay the groundwork for a variety of professions, including archeology, college teaching, environmental anthropology, medical anthropology, and museum curating. Additionally, it can help you make a difference on teams that prioritize social justice, advertising, diversity, and human resources.

Is studying anthropology hard?

Culture can be difficult to study since individuals are so amazingly inventive. Cultures have different shapes depending on location, generation, and a wide range of other factors. Because its subjects are not difficult, anthropology is not a hard science for the most part.

How many years does it take to study anthropology?

Each student’s time frame for finishing their anthropology degree is different, although this degree can logically be finished in four years.

Does anthropology have a future?

The field of anthropology is not stale; it is always evolving and expanding. The study of anthropogenic biomes, or biomes created by humans, is one of anthropology’s future directions. Understanding how we affect the environment, the effects of human activities, and catastrophe preparedness all depend on this.

Do anthropologists travel a lot?

For their work, anthropologists must be prepared to travel. Focus groups may need to be organized in a person’s city or state for some people. Others may have to go to other locations around the nation or the globe.

Is there a future for anthropology?

If we are sensitive to and aware of the new advances in the domains of medicine, biology, and ecology which are going through tremendous transformations, anthropology has a future and a very essential role to play. There will undoubtedly be a need to incorporate an anthropological component into these subjects.


Job opportunities are hard to come by, especially good ones, so I know that any available ways of reducing the stress of a particular job opportunity will be of great value to the majority of job seekers. What could be more relieving than having all the information you need on how to become an anthropologist, including the salary of different types of anthropologists earn, such as forensic, medical, biological, and cultural anthropologists earn?


Do anthropologists make good money?

Anthropologists made a median salary of $66,130 in 2020. The best-paid 25 percent made $84,560 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $51,170.

Is there a demand for anthropologists?

Job Outlook

Employment of anthropologists and archeologists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 800 openings for anthropologists and archeologists are projected each year, on average, over the decade

Is a degree in anthropology worth it?

Anthropologist with a good degree are well-suited for a career in any number of fields, including education, medical field, biological field, social work, international development, cultural field, organizational psychology, non-profit management, marketing, publishing, and in forensic while earning a good salary.

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