Anthropology Salary: How Much Can You Earn?

An anthropology degree provides graduates with a unique skill set that allows them to pursue diverse careers across many industries. The analytical, research, critical thinking, and communication abilities gained make anthropology graduates highly versatile and adaptive employees with median anthropology salary.

While stereotypically considered a degree leading to academia, many anthropology majors leverage their skills in business, healthcare, marketing, international relations, and more. With the demand for their capabilities, what salary ranges can anthropology grads expect to earn?

This article will explore the key factors impacting the earning potential of anthropology graduates. We’ll look at how the level of degree, specific industry, experience, and negotiating skills influence salaries for this major.

Anthropologist Salaries

According to ZipRecruiter, these are the top 5 best-paying anthropologist jobs in the U.S. as of 2023.


Applied Anthropology Salary and Careers

  • Anthropology Research – Conducts studies and fieldwork to examine human societies and cultures. Salaries range from $67,000-$154,000.
  • Anthropology Fieldwork – Travels to study groups through participant observation, interviews, and surveys. Salaries range from $47,000-$69,500.
  • Environmental Anthropology – Researches human behavior’s relationship with the environment. Studies human impact. Salaries range from $31,500-$41,000.
  • Anthropology Professor – Teaches anthropology classes and subfields at universities. Conducts research studies. Salaries range from $49,500-$76,000.
  • Biological Anthropology – Studies evolution, fossils, primates, and human biology. Works at universities and research institutions. Salaries range from $37,500-$46,500.


Factors Influencing Anthropology Salary

Several variables affect how much an anthropology graduate earns. Pay can differ substantially depending on the role, employer, and credentials. Here are some of the major factors that shape anthropology salaries.

Degree Level

A higher degree in anthropology generally leads to higher earning potential. Many entry-level positions are accessible to those with just a bachelor’s degree. However, pay tends to increase with positions requiring advanced education.

Master’s and doctoral programs provide access to more specialized, high-paying roles. These include research scientists, post-secondary teachers, curators, health analytics, and upper management positions. Advanced degrees also boost pay for archaeologists and cultural/medical anthropologists.


Anthropology graduates find employment across diverse industries. Salaries can fluctuate substantially between the highest and lowest paying sectors.

Some top fields for anthropology majors include healthcare, business, government, non-profits, tourism, and marketing research. Pay scales also differ between private, public, and academic settings. Experience likewise greatly impacts earning potential.

Experience Level

Entry-level positions provide recent grads with lower starting salaries. With work experience over time, anthropology majors build specialized expertise to qualify for more senior and higher paying roles.

Skills develop through fieldwork, research projects, technical abilities, publications, and management experience. This expands responsibilities and job prospects. Later career titles can include directors, consultants, analysts, and professors.

Where Anthropology Graduates Earn The Most Money

According to CareerExplorer, these are the top 10 highest-paying states when it comes to salaries in anthropology.


When talking about which industries pay the most, here’s a list from Zippia that shows the rank of industries that give the highest salaries to anthropology graduates.


Negotiating Your Worth as an Anthropology Graduate

When seeking jobs as an anthropology graduate, don’t underestimate your worth. Develop skills in negotiating salary and pay during the interview process.

With training in research, analytics, critical observation, and examining cultural perspectives, anthropology majors offer employers diverse talents. Stress how your expertise adds value and positively impacts organizations.

Emphasize capacities like:

  • Research: Gathering and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data
  • Examining trends: Identifying patterns and human behaviors
  • Communications: Writing reports, presenting findings, interpersonal abilities
  • Cultural insights: Perspectives to inform product development and marketing

Quantify accomplishments and provide metrics. Demonstrate how you solved problems and drove results for past employers. This evidence builds a strong case for fair compensation.

Avoid sharing salary history or expectations early in discussions.

Research typical pay ranges through sites like Glassdoor and Payscale. Weigh options through a cost of living calculator. Consider benefits like healthcare, paid time off, tuition assistance, and retirement plans.

With preparation and confidence in their worth, anthropology graduates can successfully negotiate strong compensation across many industries.

Conclusion & Summary

Anthropology is a unique degree that develops a skillset highly valued across many industries. Majors gain expertise in research, data analysis, examining cultural perspectives, critical thinking, and communication skills. This versatility means anthropology graduates qualify for diverse roles and have the potential to earn strong salaries.

While specific earnings range widely based on factors like education level, industry, experience, and negotiation skills, the future looks bright for anthropology majors. Job growth is projected to be faster than average over the next decade in areas like market research, user experience, tourism, and healthcare.

Rather than being limited to academic careers, anthropology grads are increasingly hired by businesses seeking cultural insights, analytical abilities, and communication talents. This demand will continue expanding opportunities and competitive compensation.

With the broad applicability of their skills and a commitment to articulating their value, anthropology majors can pursue their passions while earning salaries to match their worth. Though specific numbers vary, graduates have the potential to negotiate higher pay by emphasizing their specialized expertise across many fields.

Frequently Asked Questions About Anthropology Salary

What is the average salary for an anthropologist?

The average salary for an anthropologist is around $63,000, but there’s a wide range based on factors like education, experience, and type of employer. Those with doctorates tend to earn more.

How does the salary for an anthropologist with a PhD compare to someone with just a bachelor’s degree?

Anthropologists with PhDs typically earn quite a bit more than those with just bachelor’s degrees. Those with doctorates average around $80,000 annually, while bachelor’s degree holders earn closer to $50,000. Advanced education opens up higher-paying roles.

Which industries tend to pay anthropologists the highest salaries?

Some of the top-paying industries for anthropologists are biotechnology, engineering services, pharmaceuticals, and management consulting. These fields value anthropology skills for understanding users and consumers.
What entry-level anthropology jobs pay the most for recent graduates?
For recent grads, some of the highest-paying entry-level anthropology jobs are in marketing, qualitative research, data analysis, and design research. Starting salaries can range from $45,000-$60,000.

How much do salaries for anthropologists vary by geographic region?

There are definitely regional differences in anthropology pay. Graduates earn the highest salaries in metro areas on the coasts like San Francisco, New York, and Washington DC. Lower salaries are typical in less populated parts of the Midwest and South.

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