Do you have a strong interest about the history of human evolution? The different ancient civilizations or how the dinosaurs came to be? More than any job in this world, you are well suited to become an anthropologist. It sounds familiar right? But wait till you know what it takes to become one and how this job will take you to a precious lifetime journey.
What is the general definition of anthropologist?
Anthropologists are also called as social scientists because the main focus of their study dwells on the origin and physical, social, and cultural development of human species. Part of their study is also about the traditions and beliefs, possessions, languages, and moral norms of people in different countries. The gathered information is the basis of the formulation of their hypothesis to give details on their research and findings.
What are the specializations?
Anthropologists can specialize in 4 areas namely, physical anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, or cultural anthropology. Let us discuss them one by one below:
- Physical Anthropologist – the focus of this specialization is to comprehend the biological and physical development of human beings where some of them study the fossils to trail the evolution of human beings. Moreover, part of the duties of a physical anthropologist is also to study the heredity and environment and how it influenced the humans in their way of living. They also take interest in the geographical distribution of the physical characteristic of a human and they study blood types, measurements, and other information that pertains to outsized groups of people. In order for a physical anthropologist to work effectively, he or she must have a knowledge and background of human anatomy, genetics, evolution, and other fields of biology. Most of them are working in biology departments in colleges and universities or in medical schools where they nurture their knowledge and expertise.
- Archeologist – examines the physical objects or things of human beings such as clothing, homes, tools, and the collection of art remains from previous cultures. They utilize these objects to know the customs, lifestyle, and history of former civilizations. A typical type of their job is to dig up objects that have been buried in the ground or desserts in such a long time ago. Because of this, archeologists are known for their great contributions to the field of anthropology with regards to the cultures of the early American civilization, Native Americans, and European cave dwellers.
- Linguistic anthropologist – studies the evolution of languages and its relation to every human species. Linguistic anthropologists sometimes visit communities in which there are no written languages. They usually record the spoken languages and explain its relation to how members of the community think and act.
- Cultural anthropologist – the largest group or type of anthropologist in which they study the customs and beliefs on human beings. Part of their job includes studying a population on a certain area of a country, interview persons in whom they study and observe behavior, and focus on one area of life such as their lifestyle and religious beliefs. Throughout their study, they carefully keep records of what they have observed and try to make conclusions about their way of living.
Educational Requirements and Training
- Before you can become an anthropologist, you need to earn a doctoral degree in anthropology. However, individuals who obtained a bachelor’s or master’s degree would most probably qualify for research or administrative positions in private firms or in government agencies.
- To become an anthropologist, start first by having a major in anthropology in a college or university. You should undergo yourself in trainings that involves the use of statistics, foreign languages, and in a field of anthropology that you are interested with.
Working Conditions and Salary
- Most of the anthropologists who are working in colleges and universities spend their full time in classrooms, offices, and libraries. Their total time of work a week is 40 hours. Most of them also work in the field where they conduct studies.
- An anthropologist salary depends on the depth of experience and skills he or she has. Way back in 2004, anthropologists had median annual income of $43, 890. Those who are working in schools and universities write books or give lectures to add to their income. There are also benefits such as paid holidays, pensions, health insurance, and vacations.
Remember, you have to be very passionate if you want to be an anthropologist because it would take years of study and experience. There are no ways to earn any degree. You just have to believe yourself and make the most of your skills and capabilities.