Average Salary: $57,420
Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,397,000
You can expect to make between $50k and $60k on average. That's actually not bad considering you get to freakin' learn for a living. However, since you'll need quite a lot of high-quality education in order to qualify for such a position, you’re going to be paying your student loans long after the next generation's anthropologists are studying your remains.
Because there are so many different avenues for an anthropologist to pursue, and so many varying places you might be employed, the pay scale has a wide range. So the average listed above really is just that—an average. Depending on whether you work at a research institution, a college, or for the government, you may be taking home anywhere between $30k and $85k a year. At the very high end, there are some practicing anthropologists who make over $100k, but that generally includes royalties from a book or two they have had published.
Community organizations and state or federal agencies may let you get in the door with little or no experience (you'll probably be looking at around $25k to start), but if you want to hook up with a corporation you will probably need to have a Masters or PhD, and will start off closer to $30k. That's not a big jump, and isn't going to go very far in terms of paying off all that debt you've accrued to earn your PhD in the first place. But nobody ever said anthropology was all about the money.
Once you're established and have been around for a while, you may eventually hit that $50k mark, but you probably won't pass it by much, if at all. Having such an interesting job comes at a price, unfortunately. As any professional clown can tell you.
We're having flashbacks to our seventh birthday party.