Anthropologist  What They Do

Just the Facts


Anthropologists Career Video



Researches, evaluates, and establishes 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.

This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster Science and Mathematics pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Collects information and makes judgments through observation, interviews, and review of documents.
  • Writes about and presents research findings for a variety of specialized and general audiences.
  • Teaches and mentors undergraduate and graduate students in anthropology.
  • Plans and directs research to characterize and compare the economic, demographic, health care, social, political, linguistic, and religious institutions of distinct cultural groups, communities, and organizations.
  • Gathers and analyzes artifacts and skeletal remains to increase knowledge of ancient cultures.
  • Explains the origins and physical, social, or cultural development of humans, including physical attributes, cultural traditions, beliefs, languages, resource management practices, and settlement patterns.
  • Identifies 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.
  • Trains others in the application of ethnographic research methods to solve problems in organizational effectiveness, communications, technology development, policy making, and program planning.
  • Constructs and tests data collection methods.
  • Develops intervention procedures, using techniques such as individual and focus group interviews, consultations, and participant observation of social interaction.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

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  • Applied Anthropologist --
  • Behavioral Scientist -- Studies the reasons people, as individuals and in groups, behave the way they do.
  • Medical Anthropology Director --
  • Professor --
  • Professor of Anthropology --
  • Researcher --
  • Scientist --