Skip navigation

Summary Report for:
19-3091.01 - Anthropologists

Research, evaluate, and establish public policy concerning the origins of humans; their physical, social, linguistic, and cultural development; and their behavior, as well as the cultures, organizations, and institutions they have created.

Sample of reported job titles: American Indian Policy Specialist, Applied Anthropologist, Applied Cultural Anthropologist, Evaluation Specialist, Forensic Anthropologist, Medical Anthropology Director, Project Evaluator, Research Anthropologist, Research Associate, Research Director

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Collect information and make judgments through observation, interviews, and review of documents.
  • Write about and present research findings for a variety of specialized and general audiences.
  • Teach and mentor undergraduate and graduate students in anthropology.
  • Plan and direct research to characterize and compare the economic, demographic, health care, social, political, linguistic, and religious institutions of distinct cultural groups, communities, and organizations.
  • Gather and analyze artifacts and skeletal remains to increase knowledge of ancient cultures.
  • Explain the origins and physical, social, or cultural development of humans, including physical attributes, cultural traditions, beliefs, languages, resource management practices, and settlement patterns.
  • Identify culturally specific beliefs and practices affecting health status and access to services for distinct populations and communities, in collaboration with medical and public health officials.
  • Train others in the application of ethnographic research methods to solve problems in organizational effectiveness, communications, technology development, policy making, and program planning.
  • Develop intervention procedures, using techniques such as individual and focus group interviews, consultations, and participant observation of social interaction.
  • Create data records for use in describing and analyzing social patterns and processes, using photography, videography, and audio recordings.
  • Advise government agencies, private organizations, and communities regarding proposed programs, plans, and policies and their potential impacts on cultural institutions, organizations, and communities.
  • Construct and test data collection methods.
  • Identify key individual cultural collaborators, using reputational and positional selection techniques.
  • Collaborate with economic development planners to decide on the implementation of proposed development policies, plans, and programs based on culturally institutionalized barriers and facilitating circumstances.
  • Examine museum collections of hominid fossils to classify anatomical and physiological variations and to determine how they fit into evolutionary theory.
  • Organize public exhibits and displays to promote public awareness of diverse and distinctive cultural traditions.
  • Conduct participatory action research in communities and organizations to assess how work is done and to design work systems, technologies, and environments.
  • Apply systematic sampling techniques to ensure the accuracy, completeness, precision, and representativeness of individuals selected for sample surveys.
  • Build and use text-based database management systems to support the analysis of detailed first-hand observational records, or field notes.
  • Formulate general rules that describe and predict the development and behavior of cultures and social institutions.
  • Study archival collections of primary historical sources to help explain the origins and development of cultural patterns.
  • Apply traditional ecological knowledge and assessments of culturally distinctive land and resource management institutions to assist in the resolution of conflicts over habitat protection and resource enhancement.
  • Enhance the cultural sensitivity of elementary and secondary curricula and classroom interactions in collaboration with educators and teachers.
  • Participate in forensic activities, such as tooth and bone structure identification, in conjunction with police departments and pathologists.
  • Build geographic information systems (GIS) to record, analyze, and cartographically represent the distribution of languages, cultural and natural resources, land use, and settlement patterns of specific populations.
  • Observe and measure bodily variations and physical attributes of different human groups.
  • Observe the production, distribution, and consumption of food to identify and mitigate threats to food security.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

back to top

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software — SAS Hot technology ; Systat; The MathWorks MATLAB Hot technology ; The University of Tennessee FORDISC (see all 13 examples)
  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology
  • Data base user interface and query software — Genealogy software; Microsoft Access Hot technology
  • Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook Hot technology
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator Hot technology ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop Hot technology ; GE Healthcare ImageQuant TL; Image enhancement software
  • Internet browser software — Microsoft Internet Explorer; Web browser software
  • Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software Hot technology ; Golden Software Surfer; Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Video creation and editing software — Apple Final Cut Express; Apple iMovie; Microsoft Windows Movie Maker; Sony Creative Software Vegas Movie Studio
  • Voice recognition software — Voice activated software
  • Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver Hot technology ; Microsoft FrontPage
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word Hot technology

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

back to top

Tools Used

  • All terrain vehicles tracked or wheeled — Four wheel drive 4WD vehicles
  • Augers — Bucket augers
  • Benchtop centrifuges — Countertop centrifuges
  • Binocular light compound microscopes — Laboratory binocular microscopes; Oil immersion microscopes
  • Calipers — Mandibulometers; Sliding calipers; Spreading calipers
  • Chemiluminescence or bioluminescence analyzers — Luminescence readers
  • Deoxyribonucleic sequence analyzers — Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA analyzers; Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA sequencers
  • Desktop computers
  • Developing tanks — Film processors
  • Dictation machines — Transcription equipment
  • Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
  • Digital cameras
  • Digital voice recorders — Digital audio recorders
  • Dropping pipettes — Laboratory dropping pipettes
  • Electron microscopes
  • Electronic toploading balances — Electronic topload scales
  • Fume hoods or cupboards — Laboratory fume hoods
  • Gel boxes — Gel electrophoresis boxes
  • General purpose refrigerators or refrigerator freezers — Laboratory refrigerators
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver — Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Heating or drying equipment or accessories — Laboratory vacuum dryers
  • High pressure liquid chromatograph chromatography — High pressure liquid chromatograph HPLC equipment
  • Ion selective electrode ISE meters — Selective ion meters
  • Isolation glove boxes — Laboratory glove boxes
  • Laboratory balances
  • Laboratory mixers — Thermomixers
  • Laboratory sifting equipment — Graded sieves
  • Masks or accessories — Dust masks
  • Metallurgical microscopes
  • Microcentrifuges
  • Microphones — External lavalier microphones
  • Microplate readers — Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ELISA plate readers
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers
  • PCR enclosures — Polymerase chain reaction PCR hoods
  • Personal computers
  • pH meters — pH indicators
  • Plotter printers — Plotters
  • Polarizing microscopes — Petrographic microscopes
  • Power saws — Precision saws; Thin section saws
  • Protective gloves
  • Radarbased surveillance systems — Ground penetrating radar GPR; Remote sensing equipment
  • Robotic or automated liquid handling systems — Liquid handling robots
  • Scanners — Digitizers; Flatbed scanners; Laser scanners; Slide scanners
  • Shovels
  • Spectrofluorimeters or fluorimeters — Fluorometers
  • Spectrometers — Portable gamma spectrometers
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Steam autoclaves or sterilizers — Steam autoclaves
  • Stirring hotplates — Hot stir plates
  • Tablet computers
  • Temperature cycling chambers or thermal cyclers — Polymerase chain reaction PCR thermocyclers; Thermal cyclers
  • Theodolites — Total stations
  • Thermostats — Immersion thermostats
  • Transilluminators — Ultraviolet UV transilluminators
  • Trowels — Marshalltown trowels
  • Ultra pure water systems — Laboratory water purification systems
  • Ultracentrifuges
  • Ultraviolet crosslinkers — Ultraviolet UV crosslinkers
  • Vacuum ovens — Laboratory vacuum ovens
  • X ray radiography examination equipment — High resolution industrial computed tomography CT scanners; Industrial micro computed tomography CT scanners; Portable x ray machines; X ray cabinets

back to top

Knowledge

  • Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • History and Archeology — Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Foreign Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
  • Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Philosophy and Theology — Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

back to top

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

back to top

Abilities

  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.

back to top

Work Activities

  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

  • Collect information from people through observation, interviews, or surveys.
  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Instruct college students in social sciences or humanities disciplines.
  • Plan social sciences research.
  • Direct scientific activities.
  • Conduct anthropological or archaeological research.
  • Collect biological specimens.
  • Conduct research on social issues.
  • Train personnel in technical or scientific procedures.
  • Advise others on matters of public policy.
  • Design psychological or educational treatment procedures or programs.
  • Develop methods of social or economic research.
  • Document events or evidence, using photographic or audiovisual equipment.
  • Coordinate cross-disciplinary research programs.
  • Collaborate with technical specialists to resolve design or development problems.
  • Communicate with government agencies.
  • Conduct scientific research of organizational behavior or processes.
  • Develop technical or scientific databases.
  • Conduct historical research.
  • Apply knowledge or research findings to address environmental problems.
  • Advise others on educational matters.
  • Analyze forensic evidence to solve crimes.
  • Develop software or applications for scientific or technical use.

Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 68% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 68% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 75% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Telephone — 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 39% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 46% responded “Very important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 39% responded “Very important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 62% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Level of Competition — 36% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Letters and Memos — 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 39% responded “Important results.”
  • Physical Proximity — 36% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Public Speaking — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 46% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 32% responded “Very important.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 30% responded “Important.”

back to top

Job Zone

Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
Related Experience Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, surgeons, and veterinarians.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

back to top

Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
50   Master's degree
32   Doctoral degree
11   Post-doctoral training

back to top

Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications

back to top

Interests

Interest code: IA   Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.

  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

back to top

Work Values

  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Anthropologists and Archeologists.
Employment data collected from Anthropologists and Archeologists.
Industry data collected from Anthropologists and Archeologists.

Median wages (2017) $29.94 hourly, $62,280 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2016) 8,000 employees
Projected growth (2016-2026) Average (5% to 9%) Average (5% to 9%)
Projected job openings (2016-2026) 700
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2016)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017 wage data external site and 2016-2026 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs

back to top

Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

back to top