Physical Anthropology Degree

Physical anthropologists study human remains found in archeological sites and look for clues that illuminate human evolutionary biology, physical variation, and classification.

Physical anthropologists (also known as biological anthropologists) study the development of the human species via the examination of human remains found at archaeological sites. This is the branch of anthropology that deals with human evolutionary biology, physical variation, and classification. The goal is to understand the factors that led to the diversification of the human population. Demographics and nutrition, diet and disease are important elements that are studied through fossil evidence.

Physical Anthropology Degrees

To enter this field, a bachelor’s degree will be enough to land you an entry-level position such as research assistant or trainee. But having an advanced degree opens up your employment opportunities. Graduates with master’s degrees are typically qualified many research and analysis positions outside of colleges and universities. A doctorate degree, however, is generally required for teaching at the college level.

To begin your journey into anthropology, take a look at the many online degrees offered by learning institutions.

Physical Anthropology Job Description

Physical anthropologists concentrate on fossils and evolutionary biology. Their goal is to study how people lived in the past, looking for insights into modern life. As such, physical anthropologists accomplish the following tasks:

  • They examine, analyze, and compare fossilized remains of humans
  • They write reports and papers on how these past humans grew, developed, and interacted
  • They work in varied settings – sometimes studying primitive cultures in third world countries, sometimes in a laboratory setting in a developed country

Physical Anthropology Salaries

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median yearly wages of anthropologists were $53,460 in May of 2009. The middle 50% earned between $39,030 and $71,450. Meanwhile the lowest 10% of anthropologists earned less than $31,530 while the top 90% earned more than $87,890.

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