Careers in Anthropology

Career Preparation

Anywhere human diversity is encountered and questions about human groups are considered, the anthropology graduate will feel right at home. There are good reasons to major in anthropology as an undergraduate. One of these reasons include the value of understanding cultural variation. Cultural knowledge and the skills to know how to approach cultural differences are desirable and helpful in a wide range of careers and fields. Our students learn essential skills in communication such as descriptive writing, careful listening, social ease in different situations, and public speaking in addition to training in research such as data collection and management, participant observation, interviewing, and statistical analyses. The general liberal arts education provides students with skills in critical thinking, team-based learning, problem solving, decision-making, global awareness, and is innately collaborative and interdisciplinary.

Anthropologists are found in educational institutions, corporations, all levels of government, and non-profit associations. Colorado State University has a strong Career Center to assist our students with achieving their goals. Our Career Education Manager Greg Head helps our students with job search advice based on specific anthropology interests. In addition, our “Paths to Success” provide an excellent starting point for students interested in exploring potential careers. We have listed a variety of career options below for archaeology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology. As students start to explore their career goals, we suggest that they understand their interests, skills, values in relation to the type of job that they want.

Questions to Explore:

What about anthropology appeals to you?

What general sector do you want to work in (consulting, private sector, public sector, university, non-profit, international vs. national)?

Where do you want to live?

What interests and talents do you have outside of school?

What skills are you learning in your classes that can be applied to this career path?

The American Anthropological Association provides many great resources for prospective anthropologists researching career opportunities. Our students are holistically trained and many declare a concentration in archaeology, biological anthropology, or cultural anthropology because of their specific career interests.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Anthropology and Archaeology provides information on the median pay, suggested education, and job outlook for anthropologists employed in research positions. The U.S. Department of Labor sponsors a “CareerOneStop” search engine and is a great place to start a job search.

Archaeology

The graduate in archaeology has the skills and insights to build careers in governmental organizations, cultural resource management (CRM), historical preservation, law, public education, and museum curation.

The archaeology concentration offers a broad background that can prepare students for a number of occupations. Some careers do require additional coursework and a number of our students go on to pursue advanced degrees. CSU offers excellent post-graduate education in archaeology, including a Master of Art’s degree with a superior reputation among regionally CRM firms and federal/state agencies, along with an outstanding PhD program.

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Private Sector Jobs

Private sector jobs can be found in consulting firms, environmental/engineering companies, and firms specializing in archaeological investigation.

Private Sector Jobs
  • Archaeology Field Technician
  • Archaeological Monitor
  • Historic Preservation Officer
  • Museum Curatorial Assistant
  • Archaeology Education Coordinator
  • Museum Education & Interpretation

Start your job search on sites such as:

Government Jobs

Government jobs can be found in federal, state, and local government, urban and city planning offices, and historic preservation societies.

Government Jobs
  • Archaeology Field Technician
  • Cultural Resources Specialist
  • Park Ranger
  • SHPO Archaeologist
  • Geophysical Survey Technician
  • GIS Specialist

Start your job search on sites such as:

Jobs Requiring Addional Education

Jobs requiring addition education can be found in both the government and private sector.

Jobs Requiring Additional Education
  • Archaeology Crew Chief
  • Heritage Manager
  • Historic Program Specialist
  • Geoarchaeologist
  • Museum Collections Manager
  • College level instructor
  • Academic Archaeologist
  • Principal Investigator
  • Archaeology Lab Director
  • Museum Curator
  • Cultural Resource Lawyer
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Biological Anthropology

The graduate in biological anthropology has the technological skills and anthropological insights to pursue careers in health and medicine, criminal investigation, sports medicine, education, zoology, genetics, conservation biology, and museum curation. Understanding modern human variation from an anthropological perspective prepares our graduates to contribute a culturally informed approach to biological professions.

The biological anthropology concentration offers a broad background that can prepare students for a number of occupations. Some careers do require additional coursework and a number of our students go on to pursue advanced degrees. CSU offers excellent post-graduate education in biological anthropology, including a MA and PhD program.

Private Sector Jobs

Private sector jobs can be found in zoos, museums, non-profits specializing in conservation, hospitals, medical offices, and consulting firms.

Private Sector Jobs
  • Animal Ambassador Zookeeper/Primate Caregiver
  • Collections Assistant
  • Project Manager
  • Research Technician
  • Anthropometric design
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Scientific Writer
  • Scientific Communication

Start your job search on sites such as:

Government & Public Sector Jobs

Government and public sector jobs can be found in federal, state, and local government including the Center for Disease Control, Health Departments.

Government & Public Sector Jobs
  • Law Enforcement (police officers, detectives)
  • Autopsy technicians in the Coroner’s Office
  • Public Health Analyst and Project Management
  • Government Research Analyst
  • Grant Writer
  • Natural Resource Management and Conservation Technician

Start your job search on sites such as:

Jobs Requiring Addional Education

Jobs requiring addition education can be found in both the government and private sector.

Jobs Requiring Addional Education
  • Crime Laboratories
  • Dental Assistant, Dental Hygienist, Dentist
  • Nutritionist
  • Physical Therapy
  • Epidemiologist
  • Genetic Counselling
  • Physician Assistant, Nurse, Doctor
  • K-12 Biology Teacher or Science Educator
  • College level instructor
  • Academic Biological Anthropologist
  • Principal Investigator
  • Museum Collections Manager or Curator

Cultural Anthropology

The graduate in cultural anthropology has the skills and insights to deal with global business opportunities, to enter the Foreign Service, to contribute to the initiative of non-profit organizations. Cultural anthropologists seek to understand the significance of all these questions. To learn about how and why the world is full of such diverse groups of people, cultural anthropologists typically spend extensive time living among people in another society. We participate and observe, and we interview people in different social positions about their perspectives, practices, and social organization. The knowledge we gain helps us respect different values and lifeways. The people anthropologists interview and observe sometimes live here in this country, but their lives have been shaped by a variety of social histories that contribute to their patterns of belief and cultural identities today.

Cultural knowledge and the skills to know how to approach cultural differences are desirable and helpful in a wide range of careers and fields. Cultural anthropology majors have successfully landed jobs in the following areas: international business, international development, work with international and national non-governmental organizations (INGOs and NGOs), work in Foreign Service, Peace Corps, organizations that support refugees and immigrant populations, and those with employees from diverse backgrounds.

The cultural anthropology concentration offers a broad background that can prepare students for a number of occupations. Some careers do require additional coursework and a number of our students go on to pursue advanced degrees. CSU offers excellent post-graduate education in cultural anthropology, including a MA and PhD program.

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Private Sector Jobs

Private sector jobs can be found in zoos, museums, non-profits specializing in conservation, hospitals, medical offices, and consulting firms.

Private Sector Jobs
  • Human Resources
  • Research Assistant/Data Collection Management
  • Paralegal
  • Digital Marketing Specialist
  • Development Specialist
  • Communications Coordinator
  • Customer Relations
  • User Experience Researcher
  • Qualitative Data Analyst
  • Ethical Investigations Strategist

Start your job search on sites such as:

Government & Public Sector Jobs

Government and public sector jobs can be found in federal, state, and local government.

Government & Public Sector Jobs
  • Foreign Service
  • Culture Broker
  • Communications Specialist
  • Tribal Affairs Specialist
  • Community Engagement Specialist
  • Grant Writer

Start your job search on sites such as:

Non-Profit Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, National & International—(NGOs & INGOs) Jobs

Non-profit agencies, non-governmental organizations, national and international—(NGOs and INGOs) jobs can be found all over the world.

Non-Profit Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, National & International—(NGOs & INGOs) Jobs
  • Program Manager
  • Senior Technical Advisor
  • Research Associate
  • Consultant
  • Social Services and Advocacy Work
  • Community Development or Community Engagement

Start your job search on sites such as:

Jobs Requiring Addional Education

Jobs requiring addition education can be found in both the public and private sectors.

Private Sector Jobs
  • Cross-Cultural Consultant/Facilitator
  • Health Care Manager
  • Peace Corps Country Director
  • Officer in Diplomatic Corps of US State Department
  • K-12 Social Studies Teacher
  • College level instructor
  • Academic Cultural Anthropologist
  • Museum Collections Manager or Curator
  • Research Associate