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Government Jobs for Anthropology Majors

If you love studying human cultures, origins, languages and development, consider majoring in anthropology and working for the government. This article describes government jobs for anthropology majors, what people do in these positions and the education required to get hired.

Government Career Options for Anthropology Majors

Many anthropology students and majors think that people in their field may only work in academia, but this is not the case. Government agencies, in fact, are some of the largest employers of anthropologists and archaeologists, and they also offer some of the best paying career options for professionals in anthropology outside academia. Read below about several government job opportunities for anthropology majors.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Anthropologists & Archaeologists $74,040 (federal government, excluding postal service) 3%
Forensic Science Technicians $107,810 (federal government) 17%
Geographers $82,920 (federal government, excluding postal service) 6%
Archivists, Curators & Museum Workers $48,720 (government) 13%
Survey Researchers $54,470 1%

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Government Career Information for Anthropology Majors

Anthropologists & Archaeologists

Many anthropologists and archaeologists are employed by federal and state government agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department of the Interior, to name just a few. These professionals study human origins, development and behavior, including languages, customs, cultural practices and archaeological remains. To become a government anthropologist or archaeologist, you need a master's or doctoral degree; those with a bachelor's degree can often find employment as a fieldworker or assistant.

Forensic Science Technicians

Another great government career for anthropology majors is forensic science technician. Working for and with law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and police departments, forensic science technicians collect and analyze forensic evidence to aid in criminal investigations; some also work as crime scene investigators. To become a forensic science technician, you'll need a degree in forensic anthropology, forensic science or a natural science such as biology.

Geographers

Combining studies in anthropology with geography courses could lead to a great government career as a geographer. Geographers study the Earth, its land and features, cultural and political structures and human and physical geographic characteristics of global, regional and local regions. To become a geographer for the federal government one needs a bachelor's degree; master's degrees and work experience are required for advanced positions.

Archivists, Curators & Museum Workers

If you love museums you may want to consider a career working as an archivist, curator or museum worker with the government, which employs many anthropology majors in these occupations. Archivists, curators and museum workers preserve and catalog documents and objects of cultural and historical value, educate and inform the public and plan and display exhibits at museums and significant sites. To work in this field typically requires a master's degree, though museum technicians often hold just a bachelor's degree. Working as an intern or volunteer in a museum or an archive is a great way to find a job in this field.

Survey Researchers

Many survey research position require critical thinking, research and analysis skills such as those acquired by studying anthropology, and the government employs a great deal of these professionals. Survey researchers design and implement surveys and analyze the data collected, such as demographic facts, employment and salary information, and people's views and opinions. This information is extremely important and valuable for many government agencies, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, the Department of Education and the Department of Labor, to understand citizens' needs, plan programs and implement policies, such as health policy.


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