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Life As a Historian

Historian Example 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and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, interviews, films, electronic media, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.

Daily Life Of a Historian

  • Conduct historical research, and publish or present findings and theories.
  • Speak to various groups, organizations, and clubs to promote the aims and activities of historical societies.
  • Conduct historical research as a basis for the identification, conservation, and reconstruction of historic places and materials.
  • Gather historical data from sources such as archives, court records, diaries, news files, and photographs, as well as collect data sources such as books, pamphlets, and periodicals.
  • Organize data, and analyze and interpret its authenticity and relative significance.
  • Edit historical society publications.

Historian Skills

These are the skills Historians say are the most useful in their careers:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Types of Historian

  • Medical Historian
  • Researcher
  • Genealogist
  • Supervisory Historian
  • Research Historian

Job Demand for Historians

There were about 3,300 jobs for Historian in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.1% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 200 new jobs for Historian by 2026. The BLS estimates 300 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Historians in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Historian are South Carolina, Utah, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in New Jersey, Wisconsin, or Washington. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Historian

Historians make between $29,270 and $110,670 a year.

Salary Ranges for Historians

Historians who work in District of Columbia, Colorado, or California, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Historians in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $67,870
California $88,770
Colorado $79,100
District of Columbia $107,440
Florida $60,510
Georgia $67,000
Illinois $64,050
Kentucky $50,270
Maryland $76,300
Massachusetts $69,300
Michigan $63,170
Mississippi $41,090
Missouri $49,740
Nebraska $63,690
New Jersey $76,320
New Mexico $71,800
New York $32,640
North Carolina $68,840
Ohio $74,090
Oklahoma $58,900
Pennsylvania $63,590
Texas $66,170
Utah $70,310
Virginia $80,480
Washington $74,530

What Tools do Historians Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Historians:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Corel WordPerfect
  • QuarkXPress
  • Statistical analysis software
  • Scanning software
  • Text mining software
  • Audio editing software
  • Digital mapping software

How do I Become a Historian?

What education is needed to be a Historian?

Historian Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Historian?

Historian Work Experience

Where Historians Work

Historian Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Historians employed by various industries.

Historian Industries

References:

Image Credit: Abraham Ortelius via public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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