How To Become An Anthropologist In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become anthropologists in Australia.


Are you enthusiastic and curious about learning about historical events and old cultures? Then, consider becoming an Anthropologist.

An anthropologist researches past and existing societal aspects, including languages, cultures, economic systems, rituals, belief systems, art, and music, to get valuable insights into businesses and governments.


To become an Anthropologist in Australia, you must complete a bachelor's degree in Arts, Social Science, Science, or International Studies with a major in Anthropology. Further, you can continue with a master's degree in Anthropology.


In this blog, you learn the anthropologist's responsibilities, what they do, how much they earn, and the steps to becoming one.



1. What is Anthropology?


Anthropology is a vast discipline that covers numerous areas of study and research. 


The holistic study of humanity involves learning about the similarities and dissimilarities regarding cultural groups. The field focuses on the innate capacity of humans to create a culture and become a part of it to flourish.


Anthropology enables one to develop discriminating viewpoints on major global issues. It includes undertaking a cultural and historical study of human activity by:


  • Interviewing research subjects on areas related to human origins, such as biological, archaeological, socio-cultural, and linguistic areas

  • Researching historical research papers

  • Preparing technical research documents

  • Preserving historical records and more



2. Who Is An Anthropologist?


Anthropologists study past and present cultures and societies' function and development.


They research to understand the intricacies of social and cultural life, including rituals, religion, beliefs, family, languages, music, art, and political and economic systems.


These professionals can interpret challenges associated with multiracial and intercultural relations.


Their expert knowledge of communities and cultural systems enables them to work as cultural mediators.



3. What Do Anthropologists Do?


The actual duties of these professionals depend on the sector they are working in.


When an anthropologist is majorly involved in doing research work and teaching courses in universities, they perform audits on advertising agencies to deliver valuable insights to clients.


  • Conduct research on broad topics to discover new insights into ancient cultures.

  • Understand and compare the social, fiscal, health care, linguistic, demographic, political, and religious institutions of varying cultural groups, organisations, and communities.

  • Consult information sources such as catalogues, archives, historical indexes, diaries, court records, and newspaper files to collect relevant data. 

  • Work in several scientific areas and try different methods to produce new findings and evidence to ensure its relevance.

  • Prepare technical documents and research articles to display research findings. 

  • Analyse information on native artifacts, material possessions, race, distribution, language, social behaviour, social impacts of political events, cultural traditions, the biology of societies, and resource management practices for distinct communities to enhance knowledge of ancient cultures.

  • Assemble, organise, validate, examine, interpret, and compare political, historical, linguistic, and sociological data.

  • Discuss research findings on varying cultures and societies in an understandable way with concerned organisations, the government, and the public.

  • Conducting lectures in universities as an academic anthropologist

  • Use anthropological findings to solve existing societal issues.



4. What Skills Are Needed To Be An Anthropologist?


Anthropologists use technical and soft skills to execute their day-to-day duties. 


Training and Anthropology degrees in Australia are ideal ways to gain technical skills. Soft skills are what you are born with. They define your traits, personality, and habits. 


The below list will give you an idea of the most sought skills in an anthropologist:


  • Proficient communicator

  • Able to work independently

  • Precision

  • Detailed observation

  • Good technical writing for accurate presentation of research findings

  • Enthusiasm for research

  • An understanding of other cultures, belief systems, and people

  • Inquisitiveness

  • Patience

  • Organised

  • Diplomacy

  • Methodical approach

  • Likes to do extensive research

  • Mental and physical adaptability to different and challenging situations 

  • Good Time Management skills

  • Bilingual/multilingual professionals are highly valued

  • Likes staying updated on the latest research theories and findings



5. Qualification To Become An Anthropologist In Australia


  • Becoming an anthropologist requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree in Arts, Science, Social science, or International Studies with a major in Anthropology. You will need to obtain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in English.

  • Master's qualification in Anthropology will improve your chances of securing a position. However, entry to this qualification will require you to complete an appropriate bachelor's degree with Honours.

  • Conversational knowledge of a second language is beneficial for collecting information about other societies.

  • Those with an Honours degree in Anthropology can benefit by becoming a member of the Australian Anthropological Society.



6. Steps To Become An Anthropologist In Australia


To become an anthropologist, you need at least need a bachelor's qualification and relevant work experience. 


Gaining a postgraduate degree is highly appreciated for a thriving career in this industry.



Step 1: Gain Your HSC Education


Complete your Secondary Education in English, Social Studies, and History.



Step 2: Complete A Bachelor's Degree In Anthropology


Undertaking a 3 to 4 years bachelor's degree with a major in anthropology is a great way to gain basic knowledge of Anthropology and begin your career in this field. It is also a prerequisite to earning a postgraduate qualification.


Several Australian universities and training institutes conduct bachelor's degree programs in Science, Arts, Social Science, and International Studies with a major in Anthropology, such as:


  • Bachelor of Anthropology

  • Bachelor of Arts majoring in Anthropology

  • Bachelor of Social Science


These programs provide theoretical knowledge and practical hands-on learning sessions to equip students with the necessary technical skills to learn human behaviour and perform research on cultures.



Step 3: Obtain Relevant Work Experience


Nowadays, employers look for work experience along with a qualification degree.


Gaining adequate work experience puts you in a better position to compete against competitors. It showcases your determination and passion to prospective employers.


Museums, research centres, and cultural institutions usually run volunteering programs for aspiring anthropologists participating in these programs.


It is an excellent opportunity to experience distinct cultures worldwide and build a professional network. You can also work as a social worker to gain practical exposure in this field.



Step 4: Study for A Postgraduate Degree


Studying for a master's degree, such as a Master's in Anthropology, can improve your employability and job prospects to a considerable extent. 


postgraduate qualification in anthropology is an excellent way to specialise in a specific branch of anthropology, such as the biological, cultural, medical, museum, economic, and social anthropology.



Step 5: Learn A Foreign Language


A conversational knowledge of one or more foreign languages is highly desirable as it enables you to research diverse cultures.



Step 6: Join Professional Bodies


Candidates who want to expand their professional network and stay updated on the latest developments can benefit by joining the Australian Anthropological Society


This is an excellent platform to access extensive resources on anthropology and build connections with other professionals.



Step 7: Start The Job Search


A postgraduate qualification helps you stand out and apply for a niche job. Anthropologists work in several industries, including urban planning, cultural heritage, mining, and academics. You can target these sectors when searching for jobs.


Prepare a well-presented resume that lists all relevant qualifications, work experiences, background, strengths, and passion for anthropology.


You can find job openings for this position advertised in government journals, professional periodicals, newspapers, and online job portals. Please keep track of them and apply until you get your first job.



7. What Degree Do You Need To Be An Anthropologist?


Several Australian universities and colleges offer anthropology degrees. Anthropology courses in Australia prepare students to work with people to understand social and cultural forms in diverse and global settings.



Bachelor of Anthropology - Western Sydney University


This university offers the opportunity to assess cultural similarities and differences, identify social patterns and cultures and understand how human society develops communities in varied cultural settings.



Bachelor of Arts Major Anthropology


A major in Anthropology helps students gain the ability to analyse cross-cultural settings, widens their horizons, and enhances their understanding of how humans interact.


These are crucial skills needed in private, public, and not-for-profit organisations. Deakin University is a nationally recognised university that offers an opportunity for students to study anthropology online in Australia.


  • University of Southern Queensland

  • Deakin University

  • The University of Melbourne

  • The University of Sydney 

  • Australian Anthropological Society

  • The University of New Castle

  • The University of Adelaide

  • Curtin University



Masters of Anthropology and Master of Applied Anthropology and Development


The postgraduate qualification in Anthropology strongly focuses on anthropological theoretical concepts and procedures. It equips graduates with the essential skills to work in the public and corporate sectors.



8. Working Environment For An Anthropologist





The job of anthropologists involves prolonged fieldwork to get to know their subjects. They usually live with people they are studying with and participate in their activities to understand their local culture, historical events, etc.


An anthropologist works with criminologistsarchaeologistsmedical health officialspsychologistshistorians, and social professionals to study human development and culture.


An Anthropologist might need to conduct research work and communicate with people while staying in their city, visiting regional locations, or remote communities. Based on their specialisation, they may require travelling to various destinations worldwide.



Nature of Employment And Work hours


According to Job Outlook, around 54% anthropologist workforce work full-time. This indicates favourable opportunities for part-time job seekers. A full-time anthropologist works for the standard duration of 43 hours per week.





The average age of employed workers in this industry is 40 years.





Around 60% of the total employed workforce constitutes females. 


This shows that the sector offers good career opportunities for female candidates.



9. Where Do Anthropologists Work?


An Honours and master's qualification is considered a requirement to work as an Anthropologist in Australia. 


Qualified professionals enjoy the flexibility to work as an independent consultant or in a diverse range of settings, such as:


  • Universities

  • Government And Private Firms Concerning Social Services, Indigenous Welfare, Immigration, And Multiculturalism 

  • Industries

  • Advertising Agencies

  • Market Research Firms

  • Museums

  • Community Organisations



Studying Anthropology helps develop communication, research, and community development skills. It prepares you for a broad array of Anthropology careers in Australia, such as:


  • Educational, community, and professional organisations

  • Cultural heritage adviser

  • Native title anthropologist

  • Cultural adviser

  • Research manager

  • Environmental planner

  • Engagement officer

  • Business Consultant

  • Multicultural liaison officer

  • Government consultant

  • Community outreach coordinator

  • Development officer

  • HR manager

  • Policymaker

  • NGO advisor or coordinator



Areas of Specialisation


Having gained considerable experience, an anthropologist can specialise in any of the fields:


  • Medical anthropology

  • Museum anthropology

  • Applied anthropology 

  • Environmental anthropology

  • Physical or biological anthropologists

  • Economic anthropology, 

  • Linguistic anthropologist

  • Cultural or social anthropologists



10. Job Prospects For Anthropologist In Australia


Anthropology is an extensive science. It provides excellent potential for a broad array of job vacancies. Bilingual/multilingual professionals who have undergone extensive classroom learning and a robust code of conduct are more employable and land their dream role.


Increased government and private sector funding for anthropological consultant jobs have created more job openings throughout Australia.


Based on Job Outlook, the sector projects solid future growth. Thus, there is a high possibility that this rapid employment growth will also continue in the next five years.


Though Anthropologists work throughout Australia, there is a significant demand for these professionals in NSW and Victoria. The top industries recruiting anthropologists are the arts and recreation, education, STEM, and humanities.



11. How Much Does An Anthropologist Earn In Australia?


Based on PayScale data, the job openings for anthropologist roles range from AU$41k to AU$110k. 


The average anthropologist's salary in Australia is AU$72,991. The average hourly anthropologist salary in Perth is AU$49.13.



12. Conclusion


Being an anthropologist can be exciting and satisfying to live your passion for learning past cultures and historical events. Travelling and visiting other cultures as a part of the job adds an appealing element to this role.


If working to develop and improve communities interests you, this career will undoubtedly provide you with work satisfaction.


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