Human anatomy is the science of the structure of the body, according to Dartmouth Medical School. It encompasses a wide variety of specialties, ranging from cell biology and endocrinology to cancer research and forensics, where science is used to solve crimes. Human anatomists use their knowledge of the human body to teach, analyze tissue and organ samples, identify diseases and help pharmaceutical companies develop drugs to cure various diseases. Their salaries typically vary by experience and industry -- hospitals, universities, government agencies and private research institutions.
Salary Less Than $55,000
The average salary for human anatomists was $52,167 as of 2014, according to CareerBuilder, or $25.08 per hour, based on 40-hour workweeks. Work for human anatomists can take various forms. For medical school anatomy professors in 2014, CareerBuilder reported an annual average salary of $61,185. Human anatomy researchers made an average of $52,792 per year, while university anatomy instructors averaged $52,365.
Master's Degree Usually Required
Someone who works as a laboratory or research assistant in human anatomy can usually get a job with a bachelor's degree. Most human anatomists, however, have at least master's degrees in anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry or life sciences. Those who work as managers of pharmaceutical companies, as university professors or as researchers typically need doctoral degrees in one of the aforementioned majors. Observation, data analysis, communication, critical-thinking and decision-making skills are essential.
Earn Less Than Biological Scientists
While human anatomists averaged $52,167, based on 2014 CareerBuilder data, as of May 2013 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported an average salary of $75,160 for "other biological scientists," which includes physiologists, geneticists and others for which the BLS doesn't provide separate salary data. One reason human anatomists may earn less than "other biological scientists" is that they hold a wider variety of job titles, ranging from lower-paying assistant researchers or technicians to the high-paying pharmaceutical company executive positions.
Aging Population To Increase Demand
The BLS doesn't forecast jobs for human anatomists. It does project a 13 percent increase in employment for medical scientists (neuroscientists, cancer researchers or research histologists) from 2012 to 2022, slightly higher than the projected average (11 percent) for all occupations. This may be a key indicator for job growth for human anatomists, who often work with medical scientists in research labs and hospitals. Increases among aging Americans, who are more prone to getting diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's, is expected to increase the need for medical scientists, who can study and better understand various biological processes with the help of human anatomists.
- Careerbuilder: National Average Salary for Human Anatomist
- Academic Invest: How to Become an Anatomist: Career Path Guide
- Michigan State University: Careers for Biological Sciences Majors
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Biological Scientists, All Other
- ONET Online: Summary Report for: Biological Scientists, All Other
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Medical Scientists: Job Outlook
- Careerbuilder: National Average Salary for University Anatomy Instructor
- Careerbuilder: National Average Salary for Medical School Anatomy Professor
- Careerbuilder: National Average Salary for Human Anatomy Researcher
- Dartmouth Medical School: Basic Human Anatomy
- Photo Credit Alliance/iStock/Getty Images
- American Association of Anatomists: Graduate Programs in Anatomy
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: What Medical Scientists Do
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: How to Become a Medical Scientist