What Can I Do With Anthropology?

Excitement, opportunity, jobs

Most non-teaching jobs in anthropology are in the areas of archaeology, applied anthropology, public anthropology, environmental anthropology, and medical anthropology. To view an outstanding PowerPoint presentation on anthropology careers prepared by the University of South Florida in Tampa, click here.

Some anthropology graduates use their bachelor's degree to get jobs in  these related fields:

  • Museums
  • Archaeology companies
  • Historic preservation offices
  • Libraries
  • Archives
  • Art galleries
  • Zoos
  • Parks and historic sites
  • Community centers
  • International development agencies
  • Ethnic and cultural organizations
  • Antique and collectibles shops
  • Environmental organizations
  • Social service agencies
  • Refugee/immigrant services
  • Federal/state/local/tribal government
  • Colleges and universities
  • Teaching
  • Law
  • Police work and forensics
  • Military human terrain projects
  • Travel
  • Documentary film making
  • Photography 
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Social impact assessment
  • Diversity training
  • Translating and interpreting
  • Bilingual education
  • Cultural brokerage
  • International business  
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Personnel (Human Resources)
  • Public relations
  • Public administration
  • Politics
  • Medical and health-related jobs
  • Genetics counseling   
  • Fund-raising
  • Consulting
  • International diplomacy
  • Mission organizations
  • Women's organizations
  • Publishing
  • Media
  • Scientific and creative writing
  • and so much more...

Getting your career started

According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011 Edition, projected job growth for anthropologists and archaeologists is anticipated to be 28% (compared to the employment growth of geographers at 26%, sociologists at 21%, and historians at 11%) “driven by growth in the management, scientific, and technical consulting services industry."

Anthropologists who work as consultants will be needed to apply their analytical skills and knowledge to problems ranging from economic development to forensics.”

The median starting salary in 2013-2014 for anyone who majored in anthropology is $36,200. That's good, but is there anything you can do now to improve your chances for making even more money and for getting the anthropology career you want? Long before graduation, you should begin to build your resume with important items, and the more research skills and experience you have the better. For example:

  • Collecting careers info from NKU Anthropology.
  • Attending the annual NKU Anthropology Grad School Workshop in October.
  • On-campus experience with part-time work as an anthropology tutor or an archaeology lab assistant.
  • Volunteering at museums and with other anthropology-related organizations.
  • Participating in local professional groups like COVAS--Central Ohio Valley Archaeological Society.
  • Taking a leadership role in NKU's Student Anthropology Society.
  • Working summer jobs with contract archaeology companies, museums, or human services agencies, such as, Travelers' Aid International.
  • Writing and delivering research papers at professional meetings such as ASK, KAS or CSAS.
  • Taking part in student paper competitions.
  • Participating in NKU's Celebration of Student Research
  • Publishing in an online undergraduate anthropology journal, such as  Lambda Alpha Journal or National Association for Student Anthropology e-journal.
  • Taking as many resume-worthy skill courses as possible, such as, ethnographic methods, quantitative methods, archaeological field school, laboratory methods, museum methods, linguistics, writing, critical thinking, logic, public speaking, photography, mapping skills, computer skills, statistics, sociological methods, archival research methods, foreign languages, library research skills, geological skills, human anatomy, etc.
  • Keeping up with online information on anthropology careers

The Anthropology faculty and NKU Career Development Center can assist you in adding these skills and experiences to your resume. Send your resume to prospective employers at least three months before you graduate.

To maximize your success, be prepared to update and expand your skills and experiences throughout the length of your career. Obtaining a Master's degree further enhances your career opportunities. If applying to graduate school, send your resume and other materials to prospective universities at least nine months before you graduate.