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12 Jobs For Anthropology Majors

Many people who study anthropology do so because of their fascination with the origin, development and behavior of humans. Although, as a whole, the number of students studying the subject is declining, it can still serve as a stepping stone into many various careers in education, law, library science and more. There are four sectors of anthropology, including biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and archaeology. Each individual sector can lead to unique employment opportunities.

Here is a list of 12 possible jobs for anthropology majors:

Most Common Jobs For Anthropology Majors

1. Anthropology Professor

Due to their fascination with research and learning, many anthropology majors go on to teach in higher education. Patience, communication, organization and enthusiasm are some of the most important characteristics of a good college professor. To earn a job teaching at the post-secondary level, a master’s degree (and sometimes a doctorate degree), is required. In addition to teaching, some college professors also conduct research and write scholarly articles.

Median annual wage: $81,580

Common entry-level degree: Master’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 3%

2. Lawyer

Anthropology majors’ ability to analyze, research and think critically makes them good candidates for a career in law, but, to become a lawyer, completing a bachelor’s degree program is just the first step. If you want to become a lawyer, you will also have to pass the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), apply to law school, earn a Juris Doctor degree and pass the Bar examination — all before you can begin to practice law. Generally, it takes 3 years to graduate from law school, so the entire process takes 7-8 years. If you’re interested in earning your doctorate degree in anthropology while working towards your Juris Doctor degree, some universities, including Pennsylvania University, offer joint programs.

Median annual wage: $119,250

Common entry-level degree: Juris Doctor degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 4%

3. High School Teacher

If you are dead set on being a teacher, the best advice would be to major in education. But if you’re still uncertain about what you want to do, a degree in anthropology could ultimately help you land a job teaching English, history or even science — if you specialize in biological anthropology.

After earning a bachelor’s degree, those who aspire to teach in high schools have to complete an internship in a school classroom, pass the state-required test for teachers and receive a teaching certificate/license.

Median annual wage: $59,130

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree & teaching certificate

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 0.8%

Specialized, Unique Jobs for Anthropology Majors

4. Anthropologist

At large, anthropologists study the origin, behavior and development of humans. While many anthropologists accept jobs researching and teaching in higher education, there is also a demand for anthropologists outside of the university setting. They can be hired by government institutions, nonprofits and others to research and analyze societal issues such as poverty, racism and disease, among others. While a bachelor’s degree may land you a job working as an anthropologist, a master’s degree will open up many more job opportunities.

Median annual wage: $62,280

Common entry-level degree: Master’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 0.8%

5. Museum Curator

Due to their close ties with research, history and science, many anthropology majors feel most comfortable in a museum. Museum curators are responsible for selecting, acquiring and preserving various items that hold historical, artistic, scientific or collectible value for the purposes of displaying in a museum. While they aren’t necessary, a master’s degree is very common for museum curators.

Median annual wage: $53,770

Common entry-level degree: Master’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 1%

6. Archaeologist

Archaeologists share similar responsibilities with anthropologists, as they are both tasked with researching the development of humans. But archaeologists are more likely to spend their time out in the fields, conducting digs and searching for ruins that might have historical significance, while anthropologists are more likely to be working in a classroom or laboratory. Many archaeologists find jobs in higher education, but those who don’t can be found working for museums and government agencies, among others. Generally, some sort of internship or apprenticeship with a professional archaeologist will help aspiring archeologists land a job in the field.

Median annual wage: $53,770

Common entry-level degree: Master’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 0.8%

Non-Traditional Jobs for Anthropology Majors

7. Magazine Journalist

A career writing for an anthropology-geared magazine is ideal for those with an interest for both anthropology and reporting. Skilled magazine journalists are master storytellers with strong writing and grammar skills. To learn the essential skills, most aspiring magazine writers study journalism in college. However, the researching and critical thinking skills taught through anthropology easily translate to long-from journalism often found in magazines.

Median annual wage: $40,910

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 11%

8. Librarian

When they aren’t working in the lab or field, anthropology majors are writing, reading, analyzing and archiving information, which makes them perfect candidates for a life in library science. Librarians may be responsible for curating the books, online databases and additional educational materials that make up a library. Librarians can work at various institutions, including schools, public libraries, museums, law firms, non-profit organizations and others. While it generally doesn’t matter what your undergraduate degree is in, many places won’t hire you as a librarian unless you have a master’s degree in library science.

Median annual wage: $58,520

Common entry-level degree: Master’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 65%

9. Paralegal

Anthropology majors are taught how to research, analyze and think critically, which are valuable skills for those who wish to pursue a career in the legal system. Typically, those who want to go into law have aspirations to become a lawyer or a judge, but before, or instead of, attending law school, some anthropology majors work as a paralegal. Typically, paralegals work at law firms and help lawyers by researching, drafting and organizing legal documents. They are also sometimes referred to as legal assistants. Aspiring paralegals need to have at least an associate’s degree and, in some cases, a paralegal certificate to earn a job.

Median annual wage: $50,410

Common entry-level degree: Associate’s degree & paralegal certificate

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 94%

Other Potential Jobs for Anthropology Majors

10. Editor

Professional anthropologists and archaeologists aim to have their research published in scientific journals and written about in magazines and newspapers. If you’re someone with a strong interest in anthropology and possess solid grammar and writing skills, a job working for one of the anthropology-based journals or magazines is ideal. Because editors typically have the last look before writing is publicized, it is often a senior position. Companies like to hire editors who have prior experience either writing or editing.

Median annual wage: $58,770

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 6%

11. Human Resources

Anthropology majors often develop an understanding of culture and societal norms, which — coupled with communication skills — translate well to jobs working in Human Resources (HR). HR positions are very common in a wide range of industries. Essentially, they are responsible for all employee relations. HR personnel typically are the people who do the hiring, firing and mitigating within a company. Good HR employees are impartial, empathetic and not afraid of confrontation.

Median annual wage: $60,570

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 31%

12. Judge

Some anthropology majors, especially those interested in social/cultural anthropology, aspire to work in the legal system, and judges sit at the top of the legal field. While it can be very rewarding, becoming a judge is no simple task. Aspiring judges often work as lawyers for years before being appointed or elected to a judge position. While some federal judges are asked to serve lifelong terms, the majority of judges have fixed terms and have to face re-election every few years to renew their position. Like those who want to be lawyers, aspiring judges also have to attend undergraduate school, pass the LSAT, apply to law school, earn a Juris Doctor degree and pass the Bar examination.

Median annual wage: $133,840

Common entry-level degree: Juris Doctor degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 40%

10 Famous People Who Studied Anthropology

  1. David Attenborough
  2. Will Champion
  3. Tracy Chapman
  4. Glenn Close
  5. Christopher Langton
  6. Joan Rivers
  7. Michael Savage
  8. Dax Shepard
  9. Gail Simmons
  10. Kurt Vonnegut