How To Become An Anthropologist In Australia?

Students want to know how they can become anthropologists in Australia.


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

An Anthropologist conducts research and assesses past and existing society aspects that include languages, cultures, economic systems, rituals, belief systems, art, music, and more to get valuable insights into businesses, and governments.

To know how to become an Anthropologist in Australia, you must complete a university-level bachelor’s degree in Arts, Social Science, Science, or International Studies with a major in Anthropology, and follow it with a master’s degree in Anthropology.

Are you interested in making a career as an Anthropologist? You have landed at the right place



1. What is Anthropology?

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


It is the holistic study of mankind, that involves learning about the similarities and dissimilarities they share in terms of 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 into 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 are scientists who study the origination, function, and development of past and present cultures and societies.


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

These professionals can interpret the more incomprehensible and unobserved 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 in 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, organizations, and communities.

  • Consult varying information sources such as catalogues, archives, historical indexes diaries, court records, 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, resource management practices, for distinct communities to enhance knowledge of ancient cultures.

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

  • Discuss research findings on varying cultures and societies in a comprehensible way with concerned organizations, 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 a combination of 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

  • Organized

  • Diplomacy

  • Methodical approach

  • Likes to do extensive research

  • Mental and physical adaptability to different and/or 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


  • The pathway to becoming an anthropologist requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Arts, Science, Social science, or International Studies with a major in Anthropology. For this, you will need to obtain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in English.

  • A Master’s qualification in Anthropology will improve your chances to secure 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 to collect 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 post-graduate 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 your competitors but also showcase your determination and passion to prospective future employers.

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


It is a great 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 a Postgraduate Degree

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


Attaining a post-graduation qualification in anthropology is a good way to specialize in a specific branch of anthropology such as a biological, cultural, medical, museum, economic, social anthropology.


Step 5: Learn a Foreign Language

Having a conversational knowledge of one or more foreign languages is extremely 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 a good platform to access extensive resources on anthropology and build connections with other professionals.


Step 7: Start The Job Search

A post-graduate qualification helps you stand out from the crowd and apply for a niche job. As Anthropologists are employed in several industries, such as urban planning, cultural heritage, mining, academics, you can target these sectors when searching for jobs.

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

Job openings for this position are generally advertised in government journals, professional periodicals, newspapers, and online job portals. Keep a track of them and keep applying until you succeed in getting your first job.


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

Anthropology degrees are offered by several Australian universities and colleges. Anthropology courses in Australia prepare a student to work with people to understand social and cultural forms in diverse and global settings.


Bachelor of Anthropology - Western Sydney University

This is the best anthropology university in Australia that offers an 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 enhance their understanding of how humans interact, form their relations, and make their life worthwhile.

These are crucial skills needed to get employed in private, public, and not-for-profit organizations. Deakin University is a nationally recognized university that offers an opportunity to 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 post-graduate qualification in Anthropology lays a strong focus on anthropological theoretical concepts, procedures, and 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, historic events, etc.

To study the past and existing human development and culture, an anthropologist may work alongside criminologists, archaeologists, medical health officials, psychologists, historians, and social professionals.

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 specialization, they may require traveling 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 Organizations


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



  • Educational, community, and professional organizations

  • 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 Specialization

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


  • Medical anthropology

  • Museum anthropology

  • Applied anthropology 

  • Environmental anthropology

  • Physical or biological anthropologist

  • Economic anthropology, 

  • Linguistic anthropologist

  • Cultural or social anthropologist


10. Job Prospects For Anthropologist In Australia

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

Increased government and private sector funding for anthropological consultant jobs have led to the creation of a greater number of anthropological openings throughout Australia.

Based on Job Outlook, the sector projects a strong future growth. Thus, there are high possibilities that this rapid employment growth is expected to continue in the next 5 years too.

Though Anthropologists are employed throughout Australia, a major demand for these professionals is seen in NSW and Victoria. The top industries that recruit Anthropologists are the arts and recreation, education, STEM industries, and humanities.


11. How Much Does An Anthropologist Earn In Australia?

Based on PayScale data, the job openings for anthropologist roles are advertised in the range of AU$41k to AU$110k.


The average anthropologist 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 an exciting and satisfying way to live your passion for learning past cultures, and historical events. Traveling and visiting other cultures as a part of the job adds an appealing element to this role.


If working to develop and improve communities is what interests you, then this career will certainly provide you with work satisfaction.


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