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Career Details


19-3091.00 - Anthropologists and Archeologists

Study the origin, development, and behavior of human beings. May study the way of life, language, or physical characteristics of people in various parts of the world. May engage in systematic recovery and examination of material evidence, such as tools or pottery remaining from past human cultures, in order to determine the history, customs, and living habits of earlier civilizations.

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The tasks listed below can be performed to prepare you for a career in this field.
  • Study objects and structures recovered by excavation to identify, date, and authenticate them and to interpret their significance.
  • Collect information and make judgments through observation, interviews, and review of documents.
  • Research, survey, or assess sites of past societies and cultures in search of answers to specific research questions.
  • Write about and present research findings for a variety of specialized and general audiences.
  • Describe artifacts' physical properties or attributes, such as the materials from which artifacts are made and their size, shape, function, and decoration.
  • Plan and direct research to characterize and compare the economic, demographic, health care, social, political, linguistic, and religious institutions of distinct cultural groups, communities, and organizations.
  • Compare findings from one site with archeological data from other sites to find similarities or differences.
  • Record the exact locations and conditions of artifacts uncovered in diggings or surveys, using drawings and photographs as necessary.
  • Assess archeological sites for resource management, development, or conservation purposes and recommend methods for site protection.
  • Gather and analyze artifacts and skeletal remains to increase knowledge of ancient cultures.
  • Collect artifacts made of stone, bone, metal, and other materials, placing them in bags and marking them to show where they were found.
  • Identify culturally specific beliefs and practices affecting health status and access to services for distinct populations and communities, in collaboration with medical and public health officials.
  • Consult site reports, existing artifacts, and topographic maps to identify archeological sites.
  • Train others in the application of ethnographic research methods to solve problems in organizational effectiveness, communications, technology development, policy making, and program planning.
  • Advise government agencies, private organizations, and communities regarding proposed programs, plans, and policies and their potential impacts on cultural institutions, organizations, and communities.
  • Create data records for use in describing and analyzing social patterns and processes, using photography, videography, and audio recordings.
  • Develop intervention procedures, using techniques such as individual and focus group interviews, consultations, and participant observation of social interaction.
  • Develop and test theories concerning the origin and development of past cultures.
  • Lead field training sites and train field staff, students, and volunteers in excavation methods.
  • Collaborate with economic development planners to decide on the implementation of proposed development policies, plans, and programs based on culturally institutionalized barriers and facilitating circumstances.
  • Clean, restore, and preserve artifacts.
  • Conduct participatory action research in communities and organizations to assess how work is done and to design work systems, technologies, and environments.
  • Organize public exhibits and displays to promote public awareness of diverse and distinctive cultural traditions.
  • Formulate general rules that describe and predict the development and behavior of cultures and social institutions.
  • Study archival collections of primary historical sources to help explain the origins and development of cultural patterns.
  • Apply traditional ecological knowledge and assessments of culturally distinctive land and resource management institutions to assist in the resolution of conflicts over habitat protection and resource enhancement.
  • Enhance the cultural sensitivity of elementary and secondary curricula and classroom interactions in collaboration with educators and teachers.
  • Participate in forensic activities, such as tooth and bone structure identification, in conjunction with police departments and pathologists.
  • Teach or mentor undergraduate and graduate students in anthropology or archeology.
  • Write grant proposals to obtain funding for research.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The items listed below are organized into sections that contain knowledge useful for pursuing a career in this field. Each section also contains a "Percentage of Importance" statistic that shows how relevant an item is to the occupation.
 Sociology and Anthropology
  • 96%
    Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
 History and Archeology
  • 92%
    Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
 English Language
  • 88%
    Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 75%
    Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
 Education and Training
  • 73%
    Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
 Foreign Language
  • 72%
    Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
 Computers and Electronics
  • 68%
    Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 61%
    Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
 Communications and Media
  • 59%
    Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • 59%
    Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
 Philosophy and Theology
  • 58%
    Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • 57%
    Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
 Administration and Management
  • 56%
    Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
 Law and Government
  • 51%
    Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • 50%
    Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The tools listed below include machines, equipment, tools, and software that is useful for individuals who are interested in this career.
 Forestry machinery and equipment
  • Tree ring sampling kits
 Specialized and recreational vehicles
  • Four wheel drive 4WD vehicles
 Forming tools
  • Crack hammers
  • Rock picks
 Measuring and layout tools
  • Lufkin tape measures
  • Digital levels
  • Laser line levels
  • Plumb bobs
 Agriculture, forestry and garden handtools
  • Flat-ended shovels
  • Round point shovels
  • Shovels
 Masonry and concrete tools
  • Marshalltown trowels
  • Plains trowels
 Power tools
  • Precision saws
  • Thin section saws
 Pneumatic tools
  • Pneumatic airscribes
  • Pneumatic chisels
  • Sandblasters
 Laboratory heating and drying equipment
  • Polymerase chain reaction PCR thermocyclers
  • Thermal cyclers
  • Hot stir plates
  • Drying racks
  • Laboratory vacuum dryers
 Crystallography equipment
  • X ray diffractometers
 Laboratory cooling equipment
  • Laboratory refrigerators
 Laboratory enclosures and accessories
  • Fume hoods
  • Laboratory fume hoods
  • Polymerase chain reaction PCR hoods
 Laboratory centrifuges and accessories
  • Microcentrifuges
  • Countertop centrifuges
  • Ultracentrifuges
 Laboratory water purification equipment and supplies
  • Laboratory water purification systems
 Laboratory ovens and accessories
  • Laboratory vacuum ovens
  • Drying ovens
 Laboratory sieves and sifting equipment and supplies
  • Water screening devices
  • Graded sieves
  • Mesh sifting screens
  • Shaker screens
 Laboratory electrophoresis and blotting system and supplies
  • Gel electrophoresis boxes
  • Ultraviolet UV transilluminators
  • Ultraviolet UV crosslinkers
 Weight measuring instruments
  • Electronic topload scales
  • Laboratory balances
  • Laboratory precision balances
  • Bench scales
  • Platform scales
  • Triple beam balances
 Length and thickness and distance measuring instruments
  • Precision rulers
  • Dial calipers
  • Digital calipers
  • Mandibulometers
  • Sliding calipers
  • Spreading calipers
  • Vernier calipers
 Viewing and observing instruments and accessories
  • Stereo zoom microscopes
  • Laboratory binocular microscopes
  • Oil immersion microscopes
  • Electron microprobes
  • Electron microscopes
  • Pocket loupes
  • Binoculars
  • Metallurgical microscopes
  • Scanning electron microscopes SEM
  • Petrographic microscopes
  • Polarizing microscopes
 Non destructive examination equipment
  • High resolution industrial computed tomography CT scanners
  • Industrial micro computed tomography CT scanners
  • Portable x ray machines
  • X ray cabinets
 Chemical evaluation instruments and supplies
  • Luminescence readers
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ELISA plate readers
 Geophysical and geotechnical instruments
  • Directional compasses
  • Geophysical magnetometers
  • Electrical resistivity instruments
 Soil measuring equipment
  • Soil probes
  • Soil samplers
 Land surveying instruments
  • Alidades
  • Theodolites
  • Total stations
 Radar and sonar systems and components
  • Ground penetrating radar GPR
  • Remote sensing equipment
 Spectroscopic equipment
  • Fluorometers
  • X ray fluorescence XRF spectrometers
  • Portable gamma spectrometers
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopes ICP-MS
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopes ICP-ES
 Electrochemical measuring instruments and accessories
  • pH indicators
  • Selective ion meters
  • Conductance meters
  • Conductivity probes
 Chromatographic measuring instruments and accessories
  • High pressure liquid chromatograph HPLC equipment
 Clinical and diagnostic analyzers and accessories and supplies
  • Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA analyzers
  • Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA sequencers
 Pipettes and liquid handling equipment and supplies
  • Liquid handling robots
  • Laboratory dropping pipettes
 Laboratory implements
  • Laboratory scalpels
  • Laptop computers
  • Personal digital assistants PDA
  • Desktop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Tablet computers
 Computer data input devices
  • Digitizers
  • Flatbed scanners
  • Laser scanners
  • Slide scanners
 Typing machines and accessories
  • Transcription equipment
  • 35 millimeter cameras
  • Digital cameras
  • Underwater digital cameras
  • Underwater still cameras
  • Digital video cameras
 Darkroom supplies
  • Film processors
 Safety apparel
  • Protective gloves
 Scuba and snorkeling gear
  • Scuba diving equipment
 Audio and visual equipment
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • External lavalier microphones
  • Digital audio recorders
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The technologies listed below include machines, equipment, tools, and software that is useful for individuals who are interested in this career.
 Business function specific software
  • Microsoft SharePointHOT
  • Microsoft OfficeHOT
 Content authoring and editing software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe IllustratorHOT
  • Adobe Systems Adobe PhotoshopHOT
  • GE Healthcare ImageQuant TL
  • Graphics software
  • Image enhancement software
  • Apple Final Cut Express
  • Apple iMovie
  • Microsoft Windows Movie Maker
  • Sony Creative Software Vegas Movie Studio
  • Microsoft WordHOT
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft PowerPointHOT
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • FacebookHOT
  • Microsoft FrontPage
  • Microsoft ExcelHOT
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesignHOT
  • Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker
 Content management software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe AcrobatHOT
 Data management and query software
  • Archeological Sites Management Information System ASMIS
  • Automated National Catalog System ANCS
  • Genealogy software
  • Microsoft AccessHOT
  • Structured query language SQLHOT
 Development software
  • Software development tools
  • C++HOT
 Industry specific software
  • Autodesk AutoCADHOT
  • Age progression software
  • Applied Biosystems GeneMapper
  • Data visualization software
  • Gene Codes Sequencher
  • IBM SPSS StatisticsHOT
  • Insightful S-PLUS
  • Qaulis Research The Ethonograph
  • SIL International The Linguist's Shoebox
  • Systat
  • The MathWorks MATLABHOT
  • The University of Tennessee FORDISC
  • Wolfram Research Mathematica
 Network applications software
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Web browser software
 Utility and device driver software
  • Voice activated software
 Information exchange software
  • Microsoft OutlookHOT
  • ESRI ArcGIS softwareHOT
  • ESRI ArcInfo
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Geographic information system GIS softwareHOT
  • Golden Software Surfer
  • Leica Geosystems ERDAS IMAGINE
  • Trimble Pathfinder Office
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The certifications listed below are useful to pursue if you are interested in a career in this field.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The licensing information below is organized into sections and is useful for pursuing if you are interested in a career in this field.
No specific licensing information is listed for this occupation in the area you have selected.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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Programs related to this career, offered by participating institution(s), are listed below.

Clicking on the Degree programs in the list below will take you away from the Careers page.
Brightpoint Community College
Eastern Shore Community College
Germanna Community College
J Sargeant Reynolds Community College
Northern Virginia Community College
Rappahannock Community College
Southside Virginia Community College
Tidewater Community College
Virginia Peninsula Community College
Virginia Western Community College
Wytheville Community College
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