Forensic Anthropologist

A rare combination of forensic scientist, investigator, and human physiology expert, a forensic anthropologist assesses human remains for legal purposes, which is often on behalf of law enforcement. Professionals in the field have obtained a mastery of knowledge and application of the assessment and analysis of human remains.

There are a range of educational possibilities and degrees for those who aspire to enter the field of anthropology. The most common position for a forensic anthropologist is at a public or private university, where they can be found teaching, conducting research, and conducting investigative field work and professional analyses for law enforcement. Professionals in this field also seek careers in the public sectors of local, state, and federal agencies as forensic analysts, forensic technicians, and other positions as they gain experience.

  • Processes skeletal evidence for law enforcement agencies
  • Gather information used to determine an individual's sex, physical condition, stature, unique features, and age at the time of death
  • Assess trauma to skeletal remains
  • Present expert testimony in court
  • Field work at crime scenes (human remains search, discovery, recovery, and excavation)
  • Follow clear protocols for collecting human remains and data pertaining to complete analyses

Individuals employed in the field of anthropology earned a median wage of $63,190 in 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)¹.

Career Outlook Infographic Career Outlook Infographic

Employment prospective for anthropologists, including forensic anthropologists, is projected to grow an estimated 3 % by 2026²

¹ Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Anthropologists and Archaeologists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/anthropologists-and-archeologists.htm#tab-5 (visited October 27, 2017).

² Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Anthropologists and Archaeologists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/anthropologists-and-archeologists.htm#tab-5 (visited October 27, 2017).