If you love to pursue an ancient mystery, then you will enjoy a career in forensic anthropology. You will become the ultimate “cold case” detective in this field, studying the remains of humans sometimes thousands of years old to unlock new information about who we are and from where we came.
You will also assist law enforcement personnel during their investigations when they locate skeletal remains and require more information about their findings.
Forensic Anthropology Definition
A forensic anthropologist studies human skeletal remains in legal settings, which typically involve a criminal proceeding. They must apply specific scientific techniques to collect evidence that can then be forwarded to a judicial case.
They work with numerous other forensic scientists, from investigators to pathologists, to identify a cause of death, discover foul play, or locate close family members.
Forensic Anthropology Job Description
A forensic anthropologist will study old skeletal bones to determine the medical history of the person in question. This information can help them to learn the age of the person, their gender, and specific identifying factors that can assist with an investigation.
Their job description includes the need to locate, excavate, or relocate human remains when they are found throughout an investigation.
Some may be asked to perform a dental evaluation on the skeleton. There is an expectation to present testimony in court about their findings.
Forensic Anthropology Books
If you are interested in pursuing a career in forensic anthropology, then these are the books you will want to pick up and read this year:
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You can also read various textbooks from college courses that can help you go through more of the specifics of what a forensic anthropologist evaluates each day. Here is one of the top ranked forensic anthropologist textbooks in the field:
Forensic Anthropology College Programs
If you wish to pursue a career in forensic anthropology and you do not yet hold a bachelor’s degree, then these are the best colleges and universities to attend.
- Mercyhurst University – Master of Anthropology Program
- Eastern New Mexico University – Bachelor of Science in Forensic Anthropology
- University of Southern Mississippi – Masters in Anthropology
- Virginia Commonwealth University – Department of Forensic Science
- College List
Most employers will require you to hold a Masters or PhD in forensic anthropology or a similar scientific field before they will consider your application.
Forensic Anthropology Salary
Most forensic anthropologists earn about $53,000 per year when working under a formal employment contract.
Because of the specialty work required of this employment opportunity, many workers in this niche field end up starting their own business or consulting practice as a way to earn more.
Forensic Anthropology Online Courses
If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in forensic anthropology after achieving a 4-year degree in a similar scientific field, then there are currently five schools that now offer accredited degree programs.
The best graduate program is found at Stevenson University Online, which offers an online degree with an emphasis on chemistry or biology.
The top 3 schools currently offering online degrees are:
For more forensic psychology jobs visit our Ultimate Guide to Forensic Science Jobs.