Growth Trends for Related Jobs


What Historians Do

Historians research, analyze, interpret, and present the past by studying historical documents and sources.

Work Environment

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.

Job Outlook

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.

Growth & Trends

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.

Historians Employment and Labor Information 2023

Historians Employment Brief:

Research, analyze, record, and interpret the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, interviews, films, electronic media, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.

Historians Job Description

Here is a Job Description an employer might post for potential Historians.

Historians Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Advise or consult with individuals and institutions regarding issues such as the historical authenticity of materials or the customs of a specific historical period.
  • Recommend actions related to historical art, such as which items to add to a collection or which items to display in an exhibit.
  • Prepare publications and exhibits, or review those prepared by others, to ensure their historical accuracy.
  • Collect detailed information on individuals for use in biographies.
  • Organize data, and analyze and interpret its authenticity and relative significance.
  • Present historical accounts in terms of individuals or social, ethnic, political, economic, or geographic groupings.
  • Conduct historical research as a basis for the identification, conservation, and reconstruction of historic places and materials.
  • Teach and conduct research in colleges, universities, museums, and other research agencies and schools.
  • Edit historical society publications.
  • Research and prepare manuscripts in support of public programming and the development of exhibits at historic sites, museums, libraries, and archives.

Typical Daily Tasks of Historians:

  • Getting Information: Collect archival data. Collect information from people through observation, interviews, or surveys. Conduct historical research.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others.
  • Thinking Creatively.
  • Documenting/Recording Information: Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public.
  • Processing Information.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships.
  • Working with Computers.

Historians Skills and Requirements:

  • Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Technology Design Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
  • NavigationUsing scroll bars, a mouse, and dialog boxes to work within the computer's operating system. Being able to access and switch between applications and files of interest.
  • Management of Financial Resources Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Equipment Selection Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
  • Operations Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • DatabasesUsing a computer application to manage large amounts of information, including creating and editing simple databases, inputting data, retrieving specific records, and creating reports to communicate the information.
  • Management of Material Resources Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
  • Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Historians Education and Training:

Typical education for include: Master's degree.

Historians Salary, Wages, and Salary and Job Outlook

Historians average pay is: $31.03 per hour according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employees who work in NAare the highest paid making $51.36, while NAmake the least at $24.11 per hour.Here are the top city/metro areas with the highest paying salaries for a Historians:


Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

Employment per thousand jobs

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA




Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT




Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV




Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA




Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO



0.03 Historians data