Historians research, analyze, interpret, and present the past by studying historical documents and sources.
Historians work in government agencies, museums, archives, historical societies, research organizations, nonprofits, and consulting firms. Some must travel to carry out research. Most work full time.
How to Become a Historian
Although most historian positions require a master’s degree, some research positions require a doctoral degree. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree may qualify for some entry-level positions, but most will find jobs in different fields.
Employment of historians is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Competition for jobs may be very strong because there are a small number of positions relative to the number of people seeking jobs in the field.
This occupation supported 3,800 jobs in 2012 and 3,500 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 7.9%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 5.3% in 2022 to 4,000 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 3,800, compared with an observed value of 3,500, 7.9% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to decrease by 0.0% in 2024 to 3,500 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 4,000 jobs for 2024, 14.3% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.