Cultural Anthropologist

Trace the cultural history of human beings.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$31,000 – $89,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Cultural Anthropologists do?

Unraveling the fabric of humanity isn’t an easy task. Over hundreds of years, cultures have developed all around the world, breaking apart and merging back together to form today’s modern societies. Cultural Anthropologists trace a culture’s history to discover how past customs evolved into present-day traditions and ways of life.

The number of different cultures is astounding, and as a Cultural Anthropologist, you narrow your field down to one area or one group that you want to study. Much of your time is devoted to fieldwork and travel. After all, how would you learn about a peoples’ way of life if you didn’t observe them?

Outside of your own fieldwork, you conduct research on the group you’re observing and see what others in the field have to say. You explore everything from the notes of other Cultural Anthropologists to the records of Historians from long ago.

Once you have a sufficient amount of material to work with, you start piecing together a rich cultural history. From the origin of holidays and traditions — like marriage customs — to everyday life, you aim to understand why a society behaves the way it does and what influenced it. Then it’s back to the office, where you type up reports or articles on your findings to show the rest of the world how different cultures live and how much we all have in common.

Should I be a Cultural Anthropologist?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • How to become a Cultural Anthropologist

    Most Cultural Anthropologists have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaa9u&chl=||||master%27s+%2857%25%29|doctorate+%2843%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,57
    Schools close to

    You May Also Like

    Careers Similar to Cultural Anthropologist