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Anthropology Jobs: 15 Highest-Paying Careers

Anthropology jobs are variedIf you are interested in people, history, cultures, and science, consider these anthropology jobs that may be perfect for you.

Anthropology is an academic discipline for the endlessly curious, those who want to know why people think, act, and interact the way we do. If you have ever wondered why we love being in groups, why many of us find comfort in religion, or why certain people are attracted to specific types of careers, then anthropology may be right for you.

A degree in this field can lead to many job opportunities, and you’ll have the skills and knowledge that go beyond just careers in anthropology. But first, we need to understand what anthropology really is.

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What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is such a broad, all-encompassing discipline that is can sometimes be hard to define. In the most simple terms, anthropology is the study of us. Anthropologists study the culture, biology, history, and even psychology of human beings. From early history to current behavior, if it involves humans, it falls under the attention of anthropology. This includes both the past and present, and it can even be used to make predictions about the future, such as how societies might react to different world events.

Quick Note: Anthropology vs Archeology

Although the two are often confused, anthropology is not the same as archeology. The tasks and duties of these two areas often overlap, but generally archeologists work directly with physical materials and evidence. In North America, archeology is often considered a branch of anthropology, while in Europe it’s considered a separate discipline.

Skills and Knowledge Gained During an Anthropology Education

During your anthropology degree, you will gain a wide variety of skills and knowledge. From the ability to write detailed papers on a variety of subjects, to the deep understanding of various cultures, people an anthropology degree are prepared for a variety of jobs.

Research is an essential part of the anthropology field, and it’s something that you will learn while studying this subject. You will learn how to properly research cultures, history, and statistics, while also learning to interpret the information you uncover.

One of the most important skills you will gain from your online education in anthropology is the ability to communicate, especially in the written form. Anthropology includes research and gathering information, information that then needs to be communicated in a clear, relatable manner. Having this skill is crucial to anthropologists, but it’s also a skill that can be applied to many other fields.

Of course, after studying anthropology, you will have a better understanding of various cultures. You’ll appreciate cultural differences, and have a better grasp of communication and cooperation across cultures.

Most Lucrative Entry-Level Anthropology Jobs

  1. High School Teacher

    Salary: $60,320
    Education: Bachelor’s
    Growth: 8%

    You might not think a teaching career would result from an anthropology degree, but when you study anthropology you’ll gain a wide variety of skills that can be applied directly to the classroom. Communication is essential as a teacher, and your appreciation for different cultures will make you more effective in various settings. High school teachers earn a strong median salary, and if you stick with the career you could work yourself into the top 10% of the field, which earn over $97,500 annually. This career also provides steady, reliable jobs. Teachers are always in demand, and you’ll have the peace-of-mind knowing that this career is stable and reliable.

  2. Interpreter

    Salary: $49,930
    Education: Bachelor’s
    Growth: 18%

    If you love working with people from a variety of different cultures and backgrounds, a career as an interpreter may be perfect for you. While you’ll obviously need a background or education that involves multiple languages, a degree in anthropology can give you a foundation of communication and an understanding of cultures that will enhance your work. While you need a bachelor’s degree, this career can be started with no entry-level training and no work experience, making it one of the best beginner jobs for anthropology majors. This career enjoys a strong median salary, but the top 10% stand to earn over $90,610 annually. There is also the chance for excellent growth, which will largely be driven by increases in international trade and increased ties between different countries.

  3. Archivist

    Salary: $52,240
    Education: Bachelor’s
    Growth: 13%

    Archivists are responsible for the collection and maintenance of historic items. During your education as an anthropologist, you’ll learn the value of historic artifacts, and, depending on the program, you may also learn about organizing, storing, and preserving these items. Some of these professionals have master’s degrees, but it is possible to work in certain positions with a bachelor’s degree, and previous work is not always required. These professionals earn a solid income, but the top 10% can expect salaries over $86,000. Not only is the pay excellent, especially for an entry-level position, but you’ll enjoy a field that has an expected growth of 13%.

 

The Best & Highest-Paying Careers in Anthropology

  1. Marketing Manager

    Salary: $134,290
    Education: Bachelor’s
    Growth: 10%

    One of the top benefits of studying anthropology is that it can translate into virtually any career, including a career in marketing. With marketing and advertising, much of the work involves analyzing how people think, which means a background in anthropology could be a strong, if unorthodox, path to this profession. This career has one of the strongest salaries, not just for an anthropology major, but for the job market as a whole. If you work your way to the top 10%, you can expect a salary over $208,000! Best of all, the career is expected to grow by 10%, so there should be plenty of opportunity.

  2. Lawyer

    Salary: $120,910
    Education: Professional degree
    Growth: 6%

    When you think of anthropology majors, you probably don’t think about a career in law. However, this area of study involves cultural research and understanding, which can be applied to immigration law, human rights laws, international-trade laws, and more. If you are a good lawyer, you can expect to be financially rewarded. In a career where earning is heavily based on performance, the lowest 10% earn less than $59,000, while the top 10% earn over $208,000. The career growth, however, is not particularly impressive, as there is expected to be only a 6% rise. You’ll need additional education in the form of a professional degree.

  3. Public Relations Manager

    Salary: $114,800
    Education: Bachelor’s
    Growth: 8%

    Businesses and institutions all across the country and the globe need competent professionals who can communicate the right messages and create the right image for an organization, which makes this an excellent path for an anthropology major. Public relations managers coordinate campaigns, create materials, and identify potential opportunities to enhance a group’s image, which can lead directly to an increase in profits or success rates. This is a difficult job, so the best PR managers are rewarded with a strong salary. The top 10% of public relations managers earn over $208,000, so you can expect a strong salary throughout your career. Job growth is at 8%, which is slightly faster than average.

  4. Training & Development Managers

    Salary: $111,340
    Education: Bachelor’s
    Growth: 8%

    Training and development involves two skills that are learned during an anthropology degree: communication and cultural understanding. In this career, you have to work with a variety of different people; you also have to mold these people into high-quality employees. With an anthropology background, you’ll have the skills to be a great trainer. Training managers are crucial to large companies, so if you excel in this career you will likely be rewarded. The top 10% can expect salaries over $192,000, making this one of the best paying jobs for anthropology majors. The growth, which sits at 8%, is also a perk of this already rewarding career.

  5. Sociologist

    Salary: $82,050
    Education: Master’s
    Growth: 9%

    Few careers need as thorough an understanding of the intersection between culture and individuals as sociologists. With an anthropology education, you’ll have an understanding of how people’s thoughts develop and why some people react in certain ways to various situations. All of these make you a better sociologist. A master’s degree is required for this career, and you will need proper licensing and certifications. But if you work into the top 10%, you can expect a salary over $140,000. The career is also expected to grow by 9% as sociology is applied to other forms of research, including economics, surveys, and healthcare.

  6. Genetic Counselor

    Salary: $80,370
    Education: Master’s
    Growth: 29%

    This career has a larger focus on the biological aspects of humanity, but anthropology can still be applied to the field. Using family histories and medical reports, genetic counselors seek to give specific advice to healthcare patients. For example, they may help someone determine their risk for heart disease, then guide them to appropriate decisions. This career is expected to grow by a staggering 27%, which will be due to many factors, including the belief that genetic information can be used to create better preemptive care. (Such as frequent heart screenings for those with a higher genetic risk of heart disease.) With the top 10% earning over $107,000, this is a financially rewarding career as well.

  7. College Professor

    Salary: $78,470
    Education: Doctorate
    Growth: 15%

    If you want to develop future generations of anthropologists, perhaps you should consider a career as a college professor. In this career, you’ll create curriculum for classes, guide teaching assistants, and evaluate students. You will also have the chance to conduct further research on anthropology, which is a major benefit for this career. To teach at the college level, however, you will likely need a doctorate, which can take a long time to complete. However, you can enjoy a fulfilling career, steady job growth, and a potential income over $175,000.

  8. Anthropologist

    Salary: $62,410
    Education: Master’s
    Growth: 10%

    We’ve talked about a lot of careers so far, but what about the obvious one? After completing an education in anthropology, you could simply transition into a career an an anthropologist. This career brings many different opportunities, including the chance to plan cultural research, collect data and information, and analyze results from studies. You could work as an environmental anthropologist, cultural anthropologist, or a physical anthropologist, among many other options. The career requires a master’s degree in most cases, so you will likely need to continue your education after a bachelor’s degree. You can expect a strong salary, with the top 10% earning over $97,000. And with a 10% expected growth, you should be able to enjoy a steady career.

  9. Writer

    Salary: $62,170
    Education: Bachelor’s
    Growth: 8%

    Written communication is one of the essential skills for a high-quality anthropologist, and this is one of the abilities you’ll gain when you study this field. Because you will do a lot of writing while studying anthropology, you’ll develop a writing style that is crisp, unique, and clear, so you could apply this education to writing for books, magazines, newspapers, or even company newsletters. Writers have a large range of incomes. The median annual salary sits at $62,170 per year, but the lowest 10% earn less than $31,000, which is below the national average. However, the top 10% earn more than $121,000, so there is a chance, assuming you’re a good writer, at making a sizable income.

  10. Historian

    Salary: $61,140
    Education: Master’s
    Growth: 6%

    Anthropologists spend a lot of time learning about history, especially human history, making them wonderful candidates for careers as historians. They understand the importance of research, communication, and story telling, which are all crucial to a historian’s work. In this career, you’ll have the benefit of a median salary over $61,000, while the top 10% enjoy salaries over $110,000. You will need a master’s degree in addition to your anthropology degree. This additional education will need to focus on your desired area of study, such as early human history or western civilization.

  11. Survey Researchers

    Salary: $57,700
    Education: Master’s
    Growth: 2%

    These highly intelligent professionals create and conduct research projects with a variety of goals. They may plan and design surveys, then analyze results, and provide reports to the appropriate people, including government officials and business executives. Because anthropology involves lots of research (and in some cases actual surveys), it seem logical that an anthropology degree is a good step to this job. The pay for this career is strong, with a median salary of $57,700 and the top 10% earning over $103,000. However, there are a two clear downsides. First, the job usually requires a master’s degree, a high level of education for a career that brings roughly $57,000. Second, the job growth is only 2%, which essentially amounts to a decline considering the national growth will be 5%.

  12. Career Counselor

    Salary: $56,310
    Education: Master’s
    Growth: 13%

    People often need honest, clear, informed advice on career decisions. While anthropology won’t make you an expert in the job market, it will help you understand how people think and act, which could translate into a career guiding people to the right jobs. This career brings a median salary of $6,310, while the top 10% enjoy salaries over $94,000. Most of all, there is an expected growth of 13%, which means there should be plenty of options for people who seek a job as a career counselor.

 

Working Outside of Anthropology? How to Sell Your Education to Employers

If you find decide at the end of your education that you’d like to pursue something outside of careers in anthropology, you will have training and knowledge that can be applied to various paths. An anthropology degree includes research, communication, human understanding, and the ability to interpret information, all of which can be applied to careers in marketing, sales, teaching, or practicing law, just to name a few.

However, you have to sell these skills to an employer, which can be difficult. Remember that an employer is less interested in your background and more interested in what you can do for the organization. With that in mind, think about the specifics of the job and use your education as an example of how you can effectively contribute to the company or organization. Use examples of group projects, which are always a topic of interest for employers, and reference times when you communicated complex ideas into simple, relatable thoughts.

Above all, tailor your message to the employer and create specific ideas of how your anthropology degree will enhance the employer’s efforts; whatever those efforts might be.

Continuing Education for Anthropology JOBS

At some point in your life, you may be ready to continue your education and build on your anthropology degree. If this happens, you’ll need to decide what direction you want to take with your career and what you want to do in the future. If you are dedicated to the field of anthropology, you may consider a master’s degree in a specific area and complete an education that allows you to become a physical anthropologist, an environmental anthropologist, or a cultural anthropologist.

On the other hand, you may consider an education that builds on your degree but takes your career in a different direction. For example, if you want to become a marketing manager, an MBA with a concentration in marketing could increase your chances of landing this career.

Build a Bright Future with an Online Anthropology Degree

Whether you are simply considering anthropology, or you’re ready to enroll in your first class, there is a program that fits your goals, schedule, and budget!

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