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History Major

History is a major that typically falls into the History category.

There are 218 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in history, 1,409 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 427 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 182 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a History Degree?

History is the most popular college major in the country. In 2017, roughly students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field. This major tends to be male dominated. About 58.5% of recent graduates are men.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of history majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 3%
  • Black or African American: 4.9%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 12.6%
  • White: 70.9%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 1.6%
  • Other Races: 7%
History Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in history. About 1.6% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending history majors to the U.S. are.

What Will You Learn as a History Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to history to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for History Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for History Majors

Skills for History Majors

A major in history prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

Important Skills for History Majors

Abilities for History Majors

History majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for history Majors

What Can You Do With a History Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with history:

Careers Related to History
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Archivists

14.7%

$52,240

Curators

13.7%

$53,780

Compliance Managers

8%

$107,480

Historians

6.1%

$61,140

Regulatory Affairs Managers

8%

$107,480

Security Managers

8%

$107,480

History Professors

10.4%

$74,590

Museum Technicians and Conservators

12.7%

$43,020

Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education

7.5%

$60,320

History Major Salary

Average salaries range from $56,000 to $84,000 for careers related to history. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a History Major  ( 56000 to 84000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )
$0
$200k

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for History Major Jobs

Some careers associated with history may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for history careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With History
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma

0.6%

High School Diploma or Equivalent

1.7%

Post-Secondary Certificate

4.3%

Some College Courses

1.9%

Associate's Degree or Equivalent

3.2%

Bachelor's Degree

35.2%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

4%

Master's Degree

33.9%

Post-Master's Certificate

2.8%

First Professional Degree

0.4%

Doctoral Degree

12.3%

Post-Doctoral Training

0.3%

Online History Programs

There are 1,409 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in history, with 68 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.

Is a History Major Worth It?

The median salary for a history grad is $64,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 65% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $508,800 after 20 years!

history salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Abraham Ortelius via License

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