Salary of a Paleoanthropologist

by Jared Lewis; Updated September 26, 2017

Paleoanthropologists unravel the mysteries of ancient human culture. Along with archeologists these anthropologists specialize in the study of ancient human civilization. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5,100 archeologists and anthropologists employed in the United States in 2010 and an additional 5,850 employed in academia as college professors. Salaries in academic circles tend to be higher than the salaries earned by those working in other sectors for this profession.

Average Salary

The average salary for paleoanthropologists and other anthropologists was $58,040 per year, as of May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those teaching at the university level, however, made an average annual salary of $80,040 per year, by comparison. The BLS indicates that average salaries for professors working in junior colleges only differed by about $100 per year in comparison to university professors.

Pay Scale

The pay scale for paleoanthropologists differ for those within and outside of academia as well. According to the BLS, the median salary for those outside of academia was $54,230 per year, with the lowest-paid anthropologists earning salaries ranging from $31,310 to $89,440 per year. Those working at the college and university level earned median salaries of $73,600 on an annual basis. Salaries ranged from $41,320 to $128,690 per year.


Location has some bearing upon how much the anthropologist can expect to make. Both inside and outside of academia, California was the state with the largest number of employed anthropologists. According to the BLS, academic anthropologists earned an average salary of $91,520 in California in 2010, while those outside of academic circles made $66,460. Anthropology professors in New York averaged $97,170 per year, while those in Texas earned $89,320 per year. Non-academic anthropologists in Texas only made an average of $49,240 per year, by comparison.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for those in the anthropology field appears to be favorable, based on projections provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of jobs in the anthropology field is projected to grow by about 22 percent from 2008 to 2018. The number of jobs for college professors is also expected to grow at an above average rate during this time, increasing by approximately 15 percent, according to the bureau.

About the Author

Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.

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