OFO No: 263201





Other names for Anthropologist:

  • Anthropologist (Governance)
  • Cultural Affairs Advisor
  • Cultural Consultant
  • Cultural Development Advisor
  • Cultural Development Facilitator
  • Cultural Development Officer
  • Cultural Officer
  • Ethnologist
  • Ethnomusicologist


Youtube clip – The Career of an Anthropologist

For training options in South Africa – scroll down


What is an Anthropologist?

Anthropologists examine, analyze, report on and compare different cultures and how they grow, develop, and interact. How people live offers insights into modern life and how significantly (or, more often, how little) we have changed and how similar we are in our basic systems of interaction.

Anthropologists can travel to exotic lands and spend time in primitive conditions or work in developed countries comparing regional concerns.

For example: Cultural Anthropologists may compare the culture of the medical world to that of the financial world, or the culture of professional athletes to that of legal professionals.

Some Anthropologists take a cross-disciplinary approach by studying linguistics, chemistry, nutrition, or behavioural science, and apply the methodologies of those disciplines to their study of culture.

What does an Anthropologist do?

  • writes
  • edits
  • does fieldwork
  • teaches
  • consults with other professionals
  • produces papers for professional journals

Athropologist usually rely on grant funding for income. Successful Anthropologists quickly learn successful grant-writing skills, find areas of unexplored anthropological concern, and publish articles, essays, and books as early and as often as they can. Most Anthropologists are employed by universities. They teach and review others’ work.

Are you . . . ?

  • non-judgmental?
  • interessted in different people, their cultures and beliefs?
  • inquisitive?
  • in good health?
  • able to work long hours away from home?
  • patient?
  • able to work on your own?
  • able to write well?
  • analytical?

How do I become an Anthropologist?

One usually studies a BA or BSocSc programme with a Major in Social Anthropology.

A variety of universities in SA offer this course.  

Here are a few examples:

  •     UWC
  •     UNISA

Anthropology is a competitive field, and those who want to succeed in it must find creative ways of having their skills recognized.

Minimum requirements: National Senior Certificate endorsed for a Degree


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Antique Dealer or Palaeontologist

Is becoming an Anthropologist the right career choice for me?