What is a Forensic Anthropologist?

Learn about what a Forensic Anthropologist is!


Forensic anthropologists are educated in osteology, or the study of bones. Using this knowledge, a forensic anthropologist can look at human remains and determine how the person died. This could've be multiple ways, whether it was suicide, homicide, accidental, or from natural causes. Using human bones the forensic anthropologist can determine the age of the individuals, the sex, the height, the type of occupation they worked in and the overall health status at the time of death. This information can lead crime scene investigators to their identities is as well as how they died.


The average salary for these jobs can be anywhere from $35,000 to $50,000 when starting out, but those entering the world of academia can expect much higher salaries. Most professors with doctorate degrees in forensic anthropology will earn starting salaries of around $50,000 and can earn upwards of $100,000.


  • The first step toward becoming a forensic anthropologist is to earn a bachelor's degree in anthropology.
  • fter getting a firm foundation in the broad field of anthropology, a student wanting to become a forensic anthropologist should pursue a specialty or concentration in physical anthropology, which emphasizes the physical evolution and development of human beings.
  • While majoring in anthropology in college, students should take elective courses in a wide range of sciences, including biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology and genetics.
  • After completing a bachelor's degree, the aspiring forensic anthropologist should apply for admission to a graduate program in the field and pursue a Ph.D. or at least a master's degree in the field.


The top rated schools for forensic anthropology are:

  • Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts

  • Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania

  • Michigan State University

Where can you work as a Forensic Anthropologist?

As a forensic anthropologist, you can work with the police force. This will help them identify bones and people that are involved with crimes.