Forensic Anthropologist Job Description

Forensic Anthropologist Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a forensic anthropologist job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a forensic anthropologist. Feel free to use our forensic anthropologist job description template to produce your own forensic anthropologist job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a forensic anthropologist.


Who is a Forensic Anthropologist?

Forensic anthropologists are scientists that examine human remains to ascertain their age, sex, ancestry, and other physical traits. They also use their understanding of bone remains and human anatomy to help solve crimes. They possess a variety of abilities that assist them in their work, including the ability to recognize various types of bones, read and understand data, and collaborate with law enforcement officers. It’s critical to comprehend the qualifications required for the position if you’re considering a career as a forensic anthropologist.

As the technology evolved and law enforcement organizations started to depend more largely on scientific evidence, forensic anthropology—a relatively young field—was born. To give an expert study on human remains found at crime scenes or discovered during an autopsy, forensic anthropologists now collaborate closely with police agencies, medical examiners, coroners, and crime scene investigators.


Forensic Anthropologist Job Description

What is a forensic anthropologist job description? A forensic anthropologist job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a forensic anthropologist in an organization. Below are the forensic anthropologist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a forensic anthropologist job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties of forensic anthropologists are extremely varied and may include:

  • Examine the remains of corpses to ascertain the person’s age, sex, race, height, ancestry, and state of health at the time of death.
  • Investigate crimes involving mass graves or unidentified human remains using forensic techniques to establish identities.
  • Consult with lawyers, police officers, medical examiners, and other specialists in situations where the results of an inquiry might be contested in court.
  • Determine the cause of death by doing an autopsy on human remains.
  • Research in anthropology departments in colleges or universities, instruct students on subjects like skeletal anatomy, race and ethnicity, and human evolution.
  • Analyze charred remains using radiocarbon dating techniques or other forensic procedures to ascertain the time of death.
  • Conduct fieldwork in populated places, such as isolated villages in poor nations, to study human populations.
  • Perform archaeological digs to gather human remains and other evidence that may be used in criminal investigations at crime scenes or other locations.
  • Determine biological attributes such as age, sex, ancestry, height, weight, health status, and physical condition at the time of death by analyzing physical evidence such as bones, teeth, hair, and bodily fluids.



The following credentials are often required for forensic anthropologists:

  1. Education: A bachelor’s degree in forensic science, biology, anthropology, or a closely related discipline is often required for forensic anthropologists. Forensic anthropologists often pursue a Ph.D. in forensic anthropology after receiving their bachelor’s degree. Coursework in human anatomy, forensic science, anthropology, biology, chemistry, and statistics is frequently found in forensic anthropology degrees.
  2. Education and Experience: The majority of forensic anthropologists’ training comes from their academic studies. Internships are completed by students to obtain hands-on experience. Government employees who work as forensic anthropologists could also obtain further on-the-job training.
  3. Licensing and certifications: Many businesses anticipate that forensic anthropologists will hold forensic anthropology certification, while it is not necessarily necessary. To become a forensic anthropologist, a person must pass two certification exams.


Essential Skills

Some of the core competencies required of a forensic anthropologist are as follows:

  1. Technical expertise: Technical expertise essential Skills are used by forensic anthropologists to examine and interpret data. They identify human remains and ascertain the cause of death using technical expertise. To determine a person’s age, gender, and ancestry, they also employ technical skills.
  2. Strong communication abilities: It is common for forensic anthropologists to collaborate with legal and medical experts. To present their findings and justify their conclusions with these specialists, they must be able to communicate effectively. They must be able to communicate their findings to the general audience as well.
  3. Keen focus on detail: When analyzing human remains, forensic anthropologists need to be able to pay meticulous attention to detail. To give law enforcement the data they require to crack a case, they must precisely document all of their observations. Forensic anthropologists, for instance, may inspect bones and note any breaks or cracks. This kind of observation is crucial since it can assist detectives in figuring out how a person passed away.
  4. Analytical Skills: Analytical abilities are used by forensic anthropologists to study and interpret data. They examine a body’s remnants, looking at its age, sex, race, and any other physical traits that can help them identify it. To ascertain what occurred and who was responsible, forensic anthropologists also examine the evidence at crime sites.
  5. Strong problem-solving abilities: Having the capacity to recognize and address problems is problem-solving. You can run into difficulties at work as a forensic anthropologist that calls for problem-solving abilities. For instance, you could use your problem-solving abilities to look for signs of developmental stages or estimate an age range based on other indicators if you were looking at human remains and needed to identify their age at death.
  6. Good Observation skills: To study human remains and ascertain the cause of death, the age of the deceased, and other information about their life, forensic anthropologists use observational skills. Additionally, they use observational abilities to investigate crime scenes and ascertain what transpired. Examining the body’s location, state, and any further evidence at the scene are all examples of this.
  7. Outstanding research abilities: To learn more about human remains and their context, forensic anthropologists do study. They employ research techniques to discover details about a body’s age, gender, and race as well as the historical period in which it was interred. Additionally, they employ their research abilities to learn more about the surroundings in which the person was buried, like the soil’s characteristics and the kinds of plants and animals that inhabited the region.
  8. High Levels of Organization: The capacity of an organization is the capacity to monitor documents, paperwork, and other resources. As a forensic anthropologist, you might have to arrange your sources as well as any tangible evidence you come across when doing an investigation. To appropriately return each piece of evidence when the inquiry is finished, this can entail keeping note of where it was located.
  9. Understanding of the forensic database: To identify human remains and ascertain the cause of death, forensic anthropologists use their knowledge of the field. To assist them in resolving current cases, they also consult a database of data on earlier ones. When conducting an investigation, forensic anthropologists frequently keep notes of all the evidence they come across, including specifics like where it was discovered and how it was preserved. As a result, they can accurately assess the case and compare fresh and old pieces of evidence.
  10. SAS: With a single platform that streamlines your operations and offers support for law enforcement, criminal justice, and correctional, SAS enables you to successfully control data quality, outfit your agency to do advanced discovery, and deliver your discoveries safely and transparently.

Regardless of the source or format, SAS helps you to ingest and migrate enormous volumes of complicated data into a single version of the truth. The data is subsequently cleaned using good algorithms so that it is suitable for analysis. To evaluate the evidence, identify the remains, and ascertain the cause of death, forensic anthropologists employ their understanding of scientific procedures and methods. Additionally, they analyze forensic data and produce thorough reports for law enforcement organizations using their expertise in data collecting and analysis. To solve cases and locate missing people, forensic anthropologists frequently collaborate with other experts including detectives and coroners.

  1. DNA Analysis: Forensic anthropologists identify and interpret genetic material using DNA analysis. They can ascertain whether biological samples are human, where the samples originated from, and what physical characteristics they represent thanks to this ability. Additionally, forensic anthropologists use DNA analysis to connect unexplained remains to missing people or other pieces of evidence.
  2. Taphonomy: The study of taphonomy focuses on how organisms decompose and the impacts that this process has on the items around them. Taphonomic expertise is used by forensic anthropologists to identify a body’s burial date, potential origin, and other historical information. They can utilize this information to identify human remains and learn more about the deceased’s cause of death and any unusual circumstances that may have led to it.
  3. ArcGIS: Geographic information system (GIS) software is used by forensic anthropologists to map crime sites and other locations where they may discover human remains. Additionally, they use GIS to examine the locations of discovered bones to identify whether the bones were from a single person or numerous people. Forensic anthropologists need to be able to utilize ArcGIS because it enables them to produce intricate maps that can be used as proof in court.
  4. Skeletal Analysis: The capacity to examine skeletal remains is a crucial skill for forensic anthropologists in this line of work. They can infer a person’s age, gender, race, and other physical characteristics from their bones using their understanding of anatomy and the human body. They may be able to identify bodies or learn details about someone dead for a while thanks to this.
  5. Osteology: Osteology is the study of bones and their physiological processes. To identify human remains, ascertain a person’s age at death, and gather other details about a body, forensic anthropologists use their understanding of osteology. Both attention to detail and a comprehension of how the body functions are necessary for this skill.
  6. Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Maps and other geographic data can be used by forensic anthropologists thanks to the GIS system. This can be helpful if they’re looking for a certain set of remains or need to know how particular traits relate to one another. GIS can, for instance, assist an anthropologist in determining the distance between two distinct sets of remains that were discovered.
  7. Facial Reconstruction: A forensic anthropologist can produce a picture of what a person’s face may have looked like before death through the method of facial reconstruction. This ability enables individuals to give law enforcement pictures of people who are of interest, which can assist detectives in focusing their search for culprits. Forensic anthropologists can identify remains and assess age, gender, and ancestry with the use of facial reconstruction.


How to Become a Forensic Anthropologist

Here are some actions you can take if you’re interested in beginning a career as a forensic anthropologist:

  1. Complete a bachelor’s degree: A bachelor’s degree is the prerequisite for becoming a forensic anthropologist. Earning a relevant undergraduate degree is crucial because professionals in this position frequently require an additional degree to operate in their area. Consider studying physiology, criminal justice, forensic science, anatomy, or anthropology as examples of a subject that is pertinent. At this point, you can concentrate on whatever aspect of the profession you like because a variety of topics can provide you with a solid foundation for your career. It typically takes four years to obtain an undergraduate degree.
  2. Complete a forensic anthropology master’s degree: Studying for a master’s degree enables you to focus on extremely sophisticated forensic and anthropological themes. While the majority of organizations prefer that forensic anthropologists hold a Ph.D. before they may be hired, some may still consider applicants with only a master’s degree. Additionally, you can learn specific abilities for carrying out criminal investigations and participating in the justice system. You could major in bioarchaeology, advanced osteology, or mortuary archaeology, for instance.

A master’s in forensic anthropology also includes a significant amount of hands-on experience working on mock crime scenes, looking at photos, and analyzing the available evidence. You could also pick up skills necessary for working in the legal system, like how to present expert testimony in court. You’re likely to take classes as well as receive hands-on training during your master’s degree. Full-time students typically need two years to get their master’s degree.

  1. Complete a forensic anthropology doctoral program: To be eligible for their positions, forensic anthropologists frequently acquire doctoral degrees. A doctorate offers forensic anthropologists a high level of specialized training that enables them to conduct independent studies. Additionally, obtaining this level of degree is crucial to obtaining the certifications required to collaborate with professionals in the legal and medical systems.

Field methods, human osteology, forensic serology, facial reconstruction, and decomposition patterns could be covered in a doctoral forensic anthropology degree program. Your program may also require you to select a specialist area, then, with advice from your adviser, conduct research and produce a thesis on the topic. Most forensic anthropology Ph.D. candidates finish their degrees in three to seven years, while some may finish in less time if their program enables them to apply their master’s degree courses toward their degree.

  1. Obtain a certificate: You can go toward extra certifications to strengthen your forensic anthropological qualifications even though they are not often necessary for professional positions. Professionals in this industry might become certified through several professional groups. The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology are two of the associations. You must pass an exam to prove your proficiency in a variety of different areas if you decide to pursue certification. You also need to do a predetermined amount of hours of continuing education work to keep your certification.
  2. Job-hunt in your field of expertise: Many forensic anthropologists work for the government, either in law enforcement or as consultants who give expert testimony or advise in court. They may also work in academic and research capacities. When their skills are needed, many forensic anthropologists combine multiple different positions and work on a variety of projects. Start exploring opportunities in your desired role based on your educational background and professional interests.

You can use your professional network to find out about new chances or search online for open positions in your industry. In addition, a lot of forensic anthropologists operate on a freelance or independent basis. You may start a consultancy business and work on projects based on the demands of your clients, for instance. There is also employment available in government agencies, public courts, research centers, and higher education establishments.


Where to Work as a Forensic Anthropologist

Work environments for forensic anthropologists range from research institutions to consultancy businesses to classrooms, lecture halls, museums, military or other government organizations, crime labs, medical examiner’s offices, and universities. Additionally, they might be asked to assist in crime scenes, which might be outside and exposed to a range of weather. Typically, forensic anthropologists put in a 40-hour work week, but they might need to put in more time when things get busy or when there’s a deadline. As the occupation frequently entails coping with loss and tragedy, it can be difficult. In challenging circumstances, forensic anthropologists must be able to remain calm and perform well under pressure.


Forensic Anthropologist Salary Scale

The average gross pay for forensic anthropologists in the United States is $61,877, which works out to $30 per hour. Additionally, they receive a $1,238 bonus on average. Based on pay survey data obtained from anonymous employees and employers in the United States. The typical compensation for a forensic anthropologist at entry level (1-3 years of experience) is $44,945. The average pay for senior-level forensic anthropologists (8+ years of experience) is $75,916.

In London, the United Kingdom, the average forensic anthropologist earns a gross annual pay of £40,840 or £20 per hour. This is 25% more than the typical forensic anthropologist pay in the UK (+£8,206). Additionally, they receive an £817 bonus on average. Wage projections are based on anonymous employee and employer responses to a salary survey conducted in London, United Kingdom. The typical income for a forensic anthropologist at entry level (1-3 years of experience) is £29665. The average pay for senior-level forensic anthropologists (8+ years of experience) is £50,107.

In Canada, the average forensic anthropology pay is $47.17 per hour or $91,982 annually. Most experienced workers earn up to $91,982 per year, while entry-level roles start at $88,540.

In Ireland, the average gross pay for forensic anthropologists is €43,126, or €21 per hour. Additionally, they receive an €863 bonus on average. Wage projections are based on anonymous employee and employer responses to a salary survey conducted in Ireland.

In Australia, the average gross pay for forensic anthropologists is $73,811, or $35 per hour. Additionally, they receive a $1,476 bonus on average. Wage estimates are based on data from anonymous Australian employees and employers via salary surveys. A forensic anthropologist with 1-3 years of experience at entry level can expect to make $53,701. The average pay for a senior-level forensic anthropologist (8+ years of experience) is $90,705 on the other hand.

The typical compensation for a forensic anthropologist at entry level (1-3 years of experience) is €31,334 in Germany. The average pay for senior-level forensic anthropologists (8+ years of experience) is €52,926.

In Nigeria, the average monthly salary for a forensic anthropologist is roughly 471,000 NGN. The lowest salary is 254,000 NGN, and the highest is 711,000 NGN (highest).

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