Linguistic Anthropologist: Career Information and Requirements
Linguistic anthropologists are social scientists who study the origin and use of language. In order to study languages, they design and conduct various types of research. Some linguistic anthropologists also work as professors or consultants.
Linguistic Anthropologist Career Information
Linguistic anthropologists study the nature of language and how humans use it in their everyday life. As social scientists, they study data, analyze previously collected data, read historical documents and make interpretations. They study the history of language, the way languages change over time and across cultures, and how languages shape human behavior and social life.
Linguistic anthropologists plan, direct and conduct research. They use individual and group interviews, focus groups, consultants and observation to obtain data. To do this, they use established techniques or create new techniques. Computer programs may be used to help them record and analyze their findings. Professors of linguistic anthropology may divide their time between teaching and research.
Anthropologists write papers based on their research findings and present them to anthropological societies, such as the American Anthropological Association, or to general audiences. Some linguistic anthropologists may act as consultants to governmental bodies or other organizations.
The skills needed to be a linguistic anthropologist include active listening, speaking, reading comprehension, writing, complex problem-solving and social perceptiveness. Knowledge of the scientific method, deductive and inductive reasoning, and creative thinking are all required for interpreting research.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary for anthropologists varies by industry, and the highest-paid social scientists are those who work for the U.S. government (www.bls.gov). They earned an average of $71,400 in May 2009. Those in scientific development and research services averaged $51,620, and those who worked for state and local governments earned $50,290 and $55,500 respectively. The average salary for college and university professors and professional school instructors of anthropology was $46,890.
The BLS expects much faster growth rate for anthropologist jobs then other professions. Between 2008 and 2018, careers for anthropologists are projected to increase by 28%. The best job prospects are expected to come from management, and scientific and technical consulting.
Linguistic Anthropologist Requirements
While some entry-level positions, such as research assistant, may require a bachelor's degree, most anthropologists have a master's or doctoral degree. Social scientists are typically trained in statistics. Anthropologists often take courses in sociology, English, history, archeology, psychology, geography, philosophy and theology. Linguistic anthropologists may also need to study and learn foreign languages.
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