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Historic Preservation

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Historic Preservation Major

355 yearly degrees
#295 in popularity
$56,000 median salary

Historic preservation is a major that typically falls into the Multi / Interdisciplinary Studies category.

There are 7 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in historic preservation, 12 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 39 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 3 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Historic Preservation Degree?

This is a less frequently chosen major. Only 100 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in historic preservation in 2017. The major attracts more women than men. About 80% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial Distribution

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

  • Asian: 4.4%
  • Black or African American: 2.2%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 3.3%
  • White: 80%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 1.1%
  • Other Races: 8.9%
Historic Preservation Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in historic preservation. About 1.1% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending historic preservation majors to the U.S. are China, India and Venezuela.

What Will You Learn as a Historic Preservation Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to historic preservation 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 Historic Preservation Majors

A major in historic preservation should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

Important Knowledge Areas for Historic Preservation Majors

Skills for Historic Preservation Majors

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

Important Skills for Historic Preservation Majors

Abilities for Historic Preservation Majors

As you progress with your historic preservation degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

Important Abilities for historic preservation Majors

What Can You Do With a Historic Preservation Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with historic preservation:

Careers Related to Historic Preservation
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary







Historic Preservation Major Salary

Historic preservation majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $56,000 to $66,000. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

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 Historic Preservation Major  ( 56000 to 66000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

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 Historic Preservation Major Jobs

Some careers associated with historic preservation may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to historic preservation have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Historic Preservation
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Historic Preservation Programs

There are 12 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in historic preservation, with 0 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 Historic Preservation Major Worth It?

The median salary for a historic preservation grad is $56,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 45% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $350,000 after 20 years!

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


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

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