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Career Facts - Sociology/Anthropology Program

Also see Sociology

What They Do:
Anthropologists analyze the origin and evolution of the physical, social and cultural development of humans.  We learn about various human cultures by studying their customs, values, and social patterns.  How people once lived and what their cultures were like offer insights into modern life. 

Some sub-fields of anthropology include

  • Socio-cultural - Study of customs, cultures, and social lives of groups.

  • Archaeology - Recover and examine material evidence, ruins, tools, pottery from past cultures to determine history, customs, living habits.

  • Linguistics - Study of the role of language in cultures

  • Biological-physical - Study of the evolution of the human body, look for evidence of early human life, and analyze how culture and biology influence one another.

Traditionally, anthropology has been an academic field.  Today this knowledge is applied to solutions for practical problems in public health, cultural resource management and government programs.  Research is a major activity using interviews and surveys to collect data and opinion.  Research may also be done by living and working among the population being studied such as through field investigations and study of historical records.  Funding sources are from the federal government, universities and foundations.

Related Occupations:
Anthropologists may also work in the career area of archaeology, archivist, consultant, curator, researcher, museum, government, research and academic areas.

Who Would Enjoy It:
Individuals who will succeed in this field are nonjudgmental, possess an inquisitive mind, patience, and the ability to make inferences from incomplete information.  An open mind, the ability to put others at ease, and strong verbal and written communication skills are necessary.  Individuals often work alone or in small teams.  Networking and self-promotion are important characteristics for those in anthropology.  A profession in anthropology requires a great amount of time, resources, and intellectual energy.   Most anthropologists work within a university system - teaching, reviewing the work of others and doing research.

What They Earn:
Earnings vary depending on location and type of work.  Average starting salary is $27,000, while the average salary after 10 to 15 years is $57,500.

How Many Jobs Available:
Currently 7,000 people are in the anthropology profession.  Anthropology is a very small specialized and competitive field.

How Much Schooling, Training, or Skill Development:
 Typically anthropologists must have Ph.Ds.  Students who graduate with an Associates Degree  transfer to a four-year institution to complete their degree program. Follow the Curriculum Guide for Associate in Arts Degree for further information.

Jean Lynch Brandon,
Lead Faculty Sociology/Anthropology

David Owen-Cruise,
Social Science and Humanities Department Department Chair

Roxanne Greenia,
Social Science and Humanities Department Department Coordinator

Curriculum                         Staff

Business Department at Lansing Community College

Social Science and Humanities Department
Arts & Sciences Building, Room 2203
Phone: (517) 483-1018
Additional contact information »