How to Become an Anatomist


If you want to become an anatomist, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re might be well suited for this field:


Those who become anatomists are strong in academics and are emotionally stable, as this is required to complete all of the necessary education and find a suitable job.


Aspiring anatomists must have a very strong desire to study the physical structure of animals, people or plants, and be able to prepare articulate reports based on their methods and their findings.


They must posses the intellect, curiosity, creativity, patience and perseverance required to pursue answers to complex research questions.


Would you like to learn more? Below we've outlined what you'll need to get started in this field. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become an Anatomist

You'll likely need a Bachelor of Science degree with a focus in Anatomy, Physiology, Biology, Botany or a closely related field to get an entry-level job in the field of anatomy, such as laboratory or research assistant.


Completing coursework in anatomy, biology, botany, kinesiology, physiology, anatomy, mathematics and chemistry is a great way to build an educational foundation for your prospective career as an anatomist.


Depending on the requirements of the employer, a Master’s degree in Anatomy, Biology or Physiology is typically sufficient for many applied research positions.


To work in management, research and university teaching positions a Ph.D. in Anatomy is needed. Anatomists must also complete continuing education throughout their careers in order to keep their skills current stay up to date with advancements in the field.





Anatomist Job Description

Anatomists are responsible for studying the structure and composition of biological forms or bodies. They must study various bodily systems of humans and animals, such as the organs, or study the cellular structure of plants.



General Job Duties

• Determine the objectives and methods of study

• Record detailed notes during research process

• Observe and dissect organs, tissues and cells to compare structural similarities and differences that exist between different species

• Study new information that becomes available in the field of anatomy

• Perform tests to evaluate the potential compatibility for various transplants of organs between animals to determine future transplant options in humans

• May specialize in studying small aspects of human or animal biology, such as studying the glands that produce hormones

• May utilize knowledge of the structural form of different animals to solve medical problems in domestic and wild animal species

• Research reproductive cycles and embryonic developmental stages

• Use specialized microscopic equipment to examine smaller units, such as small organs, tissues, and cells



Where Anatomists Work?

There are many employers that are able to utilize the specialized knowledge, skills and competencies of anatomists. Many of these employers prefer to hire anatomists with experience in teaching and leading research projects. These employers include:


• Healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and clinics

• Government agencies

• Non-profit agencies

• Colleges and universities

• Medical schools

• Pharmaceutical companies

• Private research institutions





How Much Do Anatomists Earn?

The salary level of anatomists can vary depending on factors such as their level of education, their level of experience, where they work, their specific job duties and many others.


Unfortunately there is no specific reliable salary data available for the career Anatomist. We can however we can get a good idea of their salary level by looking at the salary level of workers in closely related fields.


Anatomist Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Biologists and Related Scientists occupational group earned on average from $26.73 to $62.00 an hour. The mean wage for this group was $39.83 an hour.


Anatomist Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for Exercise Physiologists is $47,610. The mean annual salary for Medical Scientists is $87,830. 



Job Postings - Current Openings

Our job board below has "Anatomist" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.



Typical Working Conditions

Classroom Anatomists: These anatomists typically conduct lectures, grade papers and advise students. They have working hours that can fluctuate from very few hours a week to a very heavy workload. They may work normal weekday working hours with extra hours put in for preparing lesson plans, grading papers and performing other duties during evenings and weekends. Some anatomists teaching in universities and colleges may teach classes exclusively, or they may be involved in research as well.


Laboratory Anatomists: Anatomists that work in laboratories typically spend the majority of their time conducting, documenting and analyzing research. Working in a laboratory may involve working with hazardous organic materials and inorganic chemicals. These anatomists typically work during normal weekday hours.



Similar Careers in Our Database

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Anatomist, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.




Exercise Physiologist






Please utilize the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as an anatomist.


Occupations in Alberta:Physiologist.” (November 3, 2014). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved October 21, 2019.

Occupational Outlook Handbook - Healthcare:Exercise Physiologists.” (September 4, 2019). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved October 21, 2019.

Anatomy Connected:What is Anatomy?” (n.d.). American Association for Anatomy website. Retrieved October 21, 2019.




Scholarships for Becoming an Anatomist

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming an anatomist can be found on our Biology Scholarships and Exercise Science Scholarships pages.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant Fields of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for getting into this field. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


Top Banner Image: 
Top Banner Image Title: