Anthropologists and Archeologists

Anthropologists study the origin and cultural, social, and physical development of humans. They study the traditions, values, beliefs and possessions of people and societies throughout the world and create hypothesis based on their research. They typically specialize in physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, archaeology or linguistics.

They advise government agencies, communities and private organizations regarding proposed plans, programs and policies and their potential impact on organizations, cultural institutions and communities.

Cultural anthropologists examine the cultures of communities. They study the customs and behavior of a community's citizens. Cultural anthropologists evaluate various aspects of a society including a society's religion, music and how they take care of their senior citizens. They gather information and attempt to make conclusions about a society's ways of life.

Physical anthropologists study the physical development of the human species. They examine how heredity and environment influences humans. Physical anthropologists study the geographical distribution of the physical characteristics of humans.

Linguistic anthropologists analyze the evolution of languages and the relationships between languages. They attempt to explain how a community's language relates to the ways a society's citizens act and think.

Archeologists attempt to discover the history, living habits and customs of earlier human civilizations. They document, analyze and interpret objects including homes, clothing, tools and art from former human civilizations. Archeologists often excavate objects from the ground. They are sometimes asked to perform a survey when ground will be disturbed during a project. They work in labs, the field and in classrooms.


  • Develop and test theories regarding the origin and development of cultures from the past
  • Gather information and make judgements through interviews, observation and evaluating documents
  • Compare findings among different sites to learn the similarities and differences
  • Describe artifacts' physical properties
  • Write, publish and present reports
  • Evaluate objects and structures and identify, data and authenticate objects and interpret their significance
  • Write about research findings
  • Construct and test data gathering methods

Job Characteristics

They work in the field, classroom settings, labs and museums. Some jobs in anthropology require travel and being away from home for long periods of time.

Employment Outlook

The employment growth for anthropologists and archeologists is projected to be much faster than the average for all occupations from 2008 to 2018. The median annual earnings in 2008 for anthropologists and archeologists was $53,910.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

A bachelor's degree in archaeology or anthropology is the minimum requirement for an anthropologist or archeologist job. However, many employers prefer candidates that have a master's degree or a Ph.D. Many teachings positions in colleges and universities require a Ph.D.


Major Employers

The major employers are colleges, universities, museums and government agencies.

Schools for Anthropologists And Archaeologists are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Anthropologists and Archaeologists

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Anthropologists and Archaeologists jobs , as of 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 380 N/A
San Diego-Carlsbad 250 $66,120
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 210 $68,080
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 130 $68,640
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood 120 $68,140
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 120 $72,390
Urban Honolulu 110 $71,450
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade 110 $78,000
Albuquerque 100 $64,240
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 100 $89,060

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to anthropologists and archaeologists

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Anthropologists and Archaeologists

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 2,940 57% $48,350
Government 1,600 31% $63,970
Education 300 5% $44,350
Museums And Historic Attractions 160 3% $56,900
Office Services And Staffing 100 1% $48,020
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