Forensic Anthropologist Salary: How Much Money Can I Make?

Work in forensic anthropology will be either in the world of academia, as a consultant for a police or other government office, or as a lab technician. Careers in forensic anthropology can be very rewarding, but the pay scale for these jobs varies. The average salary for these jobs can be anywhere from $36,200 to $54,390 when starting out, but those entering the world of academia can expect much higher salaries. Most professors with doctorate degrees in forensic anthropology will earn starting salaries of around $50,000 and can earn upwards of $100,000.

Forensic Anthropologist Starting Salary

Becoming a forensic anthropologist will require an extensive education in the field of anthropology. The first step will be to obtain a bachelor's degree in anthropology. After completing a bachelor's degree, many students choose to go on and get their masters degree, as forensic anthropology jobs are not widely available for those individuals with strictly a bachelor's degree. The average pay for someone working in forensic anthropology with only a bachelor's degree will be on the low end of the pay scale, averaging around $36,200 per year. However, working as a professor's assistant offers a way for individuals to earn a bit of money while studying for their master's.

Types of Jobs: Lab Technicians

The work of a forensic anthropologist is somewhat limited because many people interested in the field will have a heavy background in the sciences and apply for jobs as lab technicians. Working as a lab technician is a way to gain experience in the field of forensics and at the same time use your knowledge of anthropology to help solve cases. The other possibility is to work as a consultant for your local law enforcement agency. The average salary of a lab technician is around $36,200, depending on the type of facility you work in. Many lab technicians will work full time doing research and work as consultants on the side.

Types of Jobs: Professors

One of the other popular routes individuals choose is becoming a professor of anthropology at a university.

In order to qualify for this type of position you will need to have your Ph.D. and experience in the field. One of the benefits of working for a university is the possibility of obtaining grants for research in the field. This is one of the best ways to fund your special area of interest. Publishing your research in scientific journals can boost your career within the world of academia. Jobs as professors pay very well, with full time professors at major universities averaging over $90,000 per year.

Overall, the expected salary of a forensic anthropologist will depend directly on the amount of education received and the area chosen to work. Working in an academic setting has the potential for high earnings, but these positions are fiercely competitive. Working as a professor's assistant is the best way to get your foot in the door. Starting out working in a laboratory for a law enforcement agency offers another way to gain experience in the industry.