What is a Historian?
Career Description 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and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, interviews, films, electronic media, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.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
- Determine which topics to research, or pursue research topics specified by clients or employers.
- Prepare publications and exhibits, or review those prepared by others, to ensure their historical accuracy.
- Advise or consult with individuals and institutions regarding issues such as the historical authenticity of materials or the customs of a specific historical period.
- Research the history of a particular country or region, or of a specific time period.
- Research and prepare manuscripts in support of public programming and the development of exhibits at historic sites, museums, libraries, and archives.
- Trace historical development in a particular field, such as social, cultural, political, or diplomatic history.
Things a Historian Should Know How to Do
Below is a list of the skills most Historians say are important on the job.
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 Jobs
- Research Director
- Oral Historian
- Dance Historian
Historian Job Outlook
In the United States, there were 3,300 jobs for Historian in 2016. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 300 job openings in this field each year.
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.
Average Historians Salary
Historians make between $29,270 and $110,670 a year.
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|
|District of Columbia||$107,440|
What Tools & Technology 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
- Statistical analysis software
- Scanning software
- Text mining software
- Audio editing software
- Digital mapping software
How do I Become a Historian?
Individuals working as a Historian have obtained the following education levels:
How many years of work experience do I need?
Who Employs Historians?
Below are examples of industries where Historians work:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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