A person who is planning to study anthropology or is ready to graduate with a degree in anthropology may wonder, “How is the job outlook for anthropology graduates?” Anthropology is a branch of science that examines the development and behavior of humans from a historical, medical and cultural perspective. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects information about employment and salary trends for anthropologists, making it possible for a degree candidate to understand the current and projected job outlook for the profession.
Current Employment Statistics for Anthropologists
According to the BLS, there were 6,500 people employed as anthropologists in May 2018. By 2028, that number is expected to grow to 7,100. The total number of jobs will increase by about 600, which is about a 10 percent growth rate. This is faster than the average for all occupations tracked by the BLS. The average growth rate for all occupations combined is 5 percent for the same period of time.
States and Cities With the Most Anthropologist Jobs
Anthropologists must be willing to travel in order to do their work. For some, that might mean convening focus groups in their city or state. For others, it might mean traveling to different parts of the country or the world. The BLS tracks employment trends by metropolitan area and state. The states with the highest numbers of anthropologist jobs are California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and Oregon. The cities with the highest numbers of jobs for anthropologists are Sacramento, San Diego, Phoenix, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. Another way to look at this is by the concentration of jobs. The states with the highest concentration of anthropologist jobs are New Mexico, Wyoming, Hawaii, Arizona, and North Dakota. The metropolitan areas with the highest anthropologist job concentrations are Farmington, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces, New Mexico; Bismark, North Dakota, and Flagstaff, Arizona.
How a Person Could Boost Their Job Prospects As an Anthropologist
There will be a lot of competition for the available jobs in anthropology. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are several things that a person can do in order to boost their job prospects as an anthropologist. One is to earn a doctorate degree. Another is to do extensive internship or fellowship work in the field. A person could also work to gain both quantitative and qualitative research experience.
Other Factors in the Job Outlook for Anthropologists
The BLS job outlook for anthropologists is based on current economic conditions and projections for the economy through 2028. Unexpected changes, such as another recession, could decrease the growth in jobs for anthropologists. This is especially the case for anthropologists who work for public colleges or universities, state or local government or research institutions that rely on public funding. The growth rate for anthropologist jobs is likely to be higher in the private sector of the economy.
Many popular movies have made anthropology look quite exciting, and it is important for a person to have realistic expectations about the profession’s salary, benefits, work requirements, and work environment. Candidates can also take action in order to improve their personal prospects for getting a desirable job within the field of anthropology. Knowing about the job outlook for anthropology graduates could help a person decide if this is the career that they want to enter.