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SOC Code: 19-3091.01

Research, evaluate, and establish 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.

Sample of reported job titles: American Indian Policy Specialist, Applied Anthropologist, Applied Cultural Anthropologist, Evaluation Specialist, Forensic Anthropologist, Medical Anthropology Director, Project Evaluator, Research Anthropologist, Research Associate, Research Director


  • Collect information and make judgments through observation, interviews, and review of documents.
  • Write about and present research findings for a variety of specialized and general audiences.
  • Teach and mentor undergraduate and graduate students in anthropology.
  • Plan and direct research to characterize and compare the economic, demographic, health care, social, political, linguistic, and religious institutions of distinct cultural groups, communities, and organizations.
  • Gather and analyze artifacts and skeletal remains to increase knowledge of ancient cultures.
  • Explain the origins and physical, social, or cultural development of humans, including physical attributes, cultural traditions, beliefs, languages, resource management practices, and settlement patterns.
  • Identify 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.
  • Train others in the application of ethnographic research methods to solve problems in organizational effectiveness, communications, technology development, policy making, and program planning.
  • Develop intervention procedures, using techniques such as individual and focus group interviews, consultations, and participant observation of social interaction.
  • Create data records for use in describing and analyzing social patterns and processes, using photography, videography, and audio recordings.
  • Advise government agencies, private organizations, and communities regarding proposed programs, plans, and policies and their potential impacts on cultural institutions, organizations, and communities.
  • Construct and test data collection methods.
  • Identify key individual cultural collaborators, using reputational and positional selection techniques.
  • Collaborate with economic development planners to decide on the implementation of proposed development policies, plans, and programs based on culturally institutionalized barriers and facilitating circumstances.
  • Examine museum collections of hominid fossils to classify anatomical and physiological variations and to determine how they fit into evolutionary theory.
  • Organize public exhibits and displays to promote public awareness of diverse and distinctive cultural traditions.
  • Conduct participatory action research in communities and organizations to assess how work is done and to design work systems, technologies, and environments.
  • Apply systematic sampling techniques to ensure the accuracy, completeness, precision, and representativeness of individuals selected for sample surveys.
  • Build and use text-based database management systems to support the analysis of detailed first-hand observational records, or field notes.
  • Formulate general rules that describe and predict the development and behavior of cultures and social institutions.
  • Study archival collections of primary historical sources to help explain the origins and development of cultural patterns.
  • Apply traditional ecological knowledge and assessments of culturally distinctive land and resource management institutions to assist in the resolution of conflicts over habitat protection and resource enhancement.
  • Enhance the cultural sensitivity of elementary and secondary curricula and classroom interactions in collaboration with educators and teachers.
  • Participate in forensic activities, such as tooth and bone structure identification, in conjunction with police departments and pathologists.
  • Build geographic information systems (GIS) to record, analyze, and cartographically represent the distribution of languages, cultural and natural resources, land use, and settlement patterns of specific populations.
  • Observe and measure bodily variations and physical attributes of different human groups.
  • Observe the production, distribution, and consumption of food to identify and mitigate threats to food security.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - SAS ; Systat; The MathWorks MATLAB ; The University of Tennessee FORDISC (see all 13 examples)
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Data base user interface and query software - Genealogy software; Microsoft Access
  • Desktop publishing software - Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker
  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator ; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop ; GE Healthcare ImageQuant TL; Image enhancement software
  • Internet browser software - Microsoft Internet Explorer; Web browser software
  • Map creation software - ESRI ArcGIS software ; Golden Software Surfer; Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Video creation and editing software - Apple Final Cut Express; Apple iMovie; Microsoft Windows Movie Maker; Sony Creative Software Vegas Movie Studio
  • Voice recognition software - Voice activated software
  • Web page creation and editing software - Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver ; Microsoft FrontPage
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • All terrain vehicles tracked or wheeled - Four wheel drive 4WD vehicles
  • Augers - Bucket augers
  • Benchtop centrifuges - Countertop centrifuges
  • Binocular light compound microscopes - Laboratory binocular microscopes; Oil immersion microscopes
  • Calipers - Mandibulometers; Sliding calipers; Spreading calipers
  • Chemiluminescence or bioluminescence analyzers - Luminescence readers
  • Deoxyribonucleic sequence analyzers - Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA analyzers; Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA sequencers
  • Desktop computers
  • Developing tanks - Film processors
  • Dictation machines - Transcription equipment
  • Digital camcorders or video cameras - Digital video cameras
  • Digital cameras
  • Digital voice recorders - Digital audio recorders
  • Dropping pipettes - Laboratory dropping pipettes
  • Electron microscopes
  • Electronic toploading balances - Electronic topload scales
  • Fume hoods or cupboards - Laboratory fume hoods
  • Gel boxes - Gel electrophoresis boxes
  • General purpose refrigerators or refrigerator freezers - Laboratory refrigerators
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver - Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Heating or drying equipment or accessories - Laboratory vacuum dryers
  • High pressure liquid chromatograph chromatography - High pressure liquid chromatograph HPLC equipment
  • Ion selective electrode ISE meters - Selective ion meters
  • Isolation glove boxes - Laboratory glove boxes
  • Laboratory balances
  • Laboratory mixers - Thermomixers
  • Laboratory sifting equipment - Graded sieves
  • Masks or accessories - Dust masks
  • Metallurgical microscopes
  • Microcentrifuges
  • Microphones - External lavalier microphones
  • Microplate readers - Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ELISA plate readers
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • PCR enclosures - Polymerase chain reaction PCR hoods
  • Personal computers
  • pH meters - pH indicators
  • Plotter printers - Plotters
  • Polarizing microscopes - Petrographic microscopes
  • Power saws - Precision saws; Thin section saws
  • Protective gloves
  • Radarbased surveillance systems - Ground penetrating radar GPR; Remote sensing equipment
  • Robotic or automated liquid handling systems - Liquid handling robots
  • Scanners - Digitizers; Flatbed scanners; Laser scanners; Slide scanners
  • Shovels
  • Spectrofluorimeters or fluorimeters - Fluorometers
  • Spectrometers - Portable gamma spectrometers
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Steam autoclaves or sterilizers - Steam autoclaves
  • Stirring hotplates - Hot stir plates
  • Tablet computers
  • Temperature cycling chambers or thermal cyclers - Polymerase chain reaction PCR thermocyclers; Thermal cyclers
  • Theodolites - Total stations
  • Thermostats - Immersion thermostats
  • Transilluminators - Ultraviolet UV transilluminators
  • Trowels - Marshalltown trowels
  • Ultra pure water systems - Laboratory water purification systems
  • Ultracentrifuges
  • Ultraviolet crosslinkers - Ultraviolet UV crosslinkers
  • Vacuum ovens - Laboratory vacuum ovens
  • X ray radiography examination equipment - High resolution industrial computed tomography CT scanners; Industrial micro computed tomography CT scanners; Portable x ray machines; X ray cabinets


  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • History and Archeology - Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Foreign Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.


  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Speed of Closure - The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.


  • Interest code: IA
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
    • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 68% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 68% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 75% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Telephone - 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 39% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 46% responded “Very important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 39% responded “Very important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 62% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Level of Competition - 36% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Letters and Memos - 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 39% responded “Important results.”
  • Physical Proximity - 36% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Public Speaking - 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 46% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 32% responded “Very important.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 30% responded “Important.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
50%Master's degree
32%Doctoral degree
11%Post-doctoral training

Work Styles

  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Work Values

  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $29.94 hourly, $62,280 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 8,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 700

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