Forensic Anthropologist Job Description Example

By | September 9, 2016
Forensic anthropologist job description, duties, tasks, and responsibilities

The job of a forensic anthropologist is crucial to resolving crime cases. Image source:

Forensic Anthropologist Job Description Example

What Does a Forensic Anthropologist Do?

Forensic anthropologist job description generally entails carrying out scientific analysis on human remains in order to identify the victim of an incident, usually as part of a criminal investigation/legal process.

They assist criminal justice departments in resolving criminal/murder cases.

As a key duty, they analyze human remains usually bones and skeletal structures to make deductions as to the identity of a victim and the cause of death.

They employ specialized equipment, methods and technology such as X-ray radiography, graphic facial reproduction technique, DNA analysis, and use of various implements in collecting and analyzing remains/skeletal samples.

Forensic anthropologists visit crime scenes to obtain samples in the form of body or skeletal parts.

Their role also includes producing detailed report of a crime scene observation, as well as methodology of sample recovery.

As part of their responsibilities, they carry out research and study of the human anatomy/skeletal composition to improve their knowledge and skills.

They are well versed in differentiating an animal’s skeletal component from a human’s.

From the results of remains analysis, forensic anthropologists can determine the gender, age, and stature of a subject, as well as its postmortem duration.

They usually specialize in forensic osteology, archaeology, or forensic taphonomy.

A forensic anthropologist in the area of osteology carries out analysis of human bones, such as the femur (used to determine height of subject) and the hip/skull (used to identify gender), and the teeth samples (useful in determining the age).

Forensic anthropologists in their role as taphonomists determine the injuries and modifications that occurred on a body after death.

As part of their archaeological duties, forensic anthropologists specialize in the use of digging tools to excavate the remains of a subject without physical damage or alteration to evidence.

From the results of their analysis, they can provide evidence which can be used to convict or exonerate a crime suspect.

Their methods are useful in establishing the time of death, cause of death, and factors that contributed to death or posthumous alteration.

The work description of forensic anthropologists also involves writing and presentation of report to investigative bodies, as well as maintaining record of results and preservation of samples.

They also ensure the accuracy and precision of report through the application of appropriate anthropology methodology.

Forensic anthropologists can serve as witnesses in a law court to testify for or against a prosecution.

Among their many qualities, they possess excellent investigative skills, remarkable analytical and proper communication skills.

They are also able to reach conclusions from their laboratory experiments and analysis.

Pursuing a career as a forensic anthropologist typically requires a Master’s degree in Anthropology.

Forensic Anthropologist Job Description Example

Forensic anthropologists perform a range of duties and tasks as shown in the job description example below.

In fulfilling their role, they:

  • Assist criminal justice departments with the investigation and resolution of crime
  • Conduct laboratory analysis of recovered human remains to ascertain the identity and cause of death of a subject
  • Utilize sophisticated equipment and technology such as scanning electron microscopy in carrying out laboratory analysis and examination of skeletal parts
  • Visit crime scenes to obtain human remains and bone samples for laboratory tests
  • Engage in extensive research and study of the human skeletal system and anatomy
  • Employ knowledge of the human anatomy in differentiating animal bone from a human’s
  • Determine the stature, age, and sex of a subject being analyzed by employing various forensic anthropology methods
  • Through osteology techniques, determine the height of a subject from the analysis of hipbone and skull
  • Figure out the age of a subject being analyzed by running odontology test on teeth samples
  • Analyze human remains for post mortem alteration or modification
  • Specialize in establishing the condition and time of death of a subject
  • Embark on archaeological trips to dig out human remains for lab analysis
  • Provide detailed results and report of experiment to investigative bodies to help resolve a criminal case
  • Maintain record of forensic analysis as well as preserve obtained skeletal samples
  • Produce reports which can serve as a law court evidence.

Forensic Anthropologist Resume Preparation

If you’re looking to create an interesting forensic anthropologist resume, the above listed duties and responsibilities in the sample job description can be useful in completing the job experience section of your resume.

The aforementioned tasks are among those that employers usually expect from prospective employees; therefore, having them in your resume does well to make it captivating.

Requirements – Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge – for a Forensic Anthropologist Job

Employers usually require the following qualifications and skills when hiring for a forensic anthropologist position:

  • Education and Training: To pursue a career as a forensic anthropologist, a Master’s degree in anthropology, which takes two years, is usually required. A doctorate degree on the other hand is necessary for international operations. Field training and internship is also essential in boosting the career profile of forensic anthropologists
  • Investigative Skills: They play an essential role in the solving of criminal cases, thus they possess a keen sense of investigation to look beyond the surface
  • Communication Skills: Forensic anthropologists require precise writing and reading skills, as well as oral communication skills to properly present the results of their findings
  • Analytical Skills: They employ a lot of analytical skills in conducting laboratory tests on human remains and bones
  • Critical Thinking Skills: They engage in constructive thinking to be able to reach a logical conclusion from the results of their lab analysis.

Forensic Anthropologist Skills for Resume

As a prospective forensic anthropologist employee, it is important to capture the attention of a recruiter with your resume; therefore, highlighting the above mentioned skills in your resume will go a long way in making it stand out.


Having knowledge of the forensic anthropologist job description is essential in preparing for the position if you are thinking of starting a career in that field.

It also helps employers to design effective work description for new forensic anthropologist hires.

Did you find our forensic anthropologist job description helpful? Please leave a comment in the box below You may also share your work experience as a forensic anthropologist if you are one.