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History Major

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History

$64,340 Median Salary

Types of Degrees History Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many history graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 3,402
Doctor’s Degree 885
Graduate Certificate 131

What History Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, history majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for History Majors

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

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • History and Archeology - Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.

Skills for History Majors

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

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for History Majors

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

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a History Major?

People with a history degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Archivists 14.7% $52,240
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Curators 13.7% $53,780
Historians 6.1% $61,140
History Professors 10.4% $74,590
Museum Technicians and Conservators 12.7% $43,020
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 7.5% $60,320
Security Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in History?

3,402 Master's Degrees Annually
46% Percent Women
18% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
Roughly 46% of the graduates are women, and 54% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of History Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 60
Black or African American 152
Hispanic or Latino 302
White 2,409
International Students 167
Other Races/Ethnicities 312

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in History, too. About 4.9% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do History Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of history students with a master’s degree is $40,150 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $34,350 (25th percentile) and $46,025 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to history.

Salaries According to BLS

History majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $56,400 to $83,990 (25th to 75th percentile). 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, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a History Major  ( 56400 to 83990 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some careers associated with history require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

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

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.6%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.7%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 4.3%
Some College Courses 1.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 3.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 35.2%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 4.0%
Master’s Degree 33.9%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 2.8%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.4%
Doctoral Degree 12.3%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.3%

Online History Programs

In 2018-2019, 1,514 schools offered a history program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 28 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 7 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 0
Associate’s Degree 225 32
Bachelor’s Degree 47 8
Post-Baccalaureate 28 1
Master’s Degree 433 38
Post-Master’s 14 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 181 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 1 0

Is a Degree in History Worth It?

The median salary for a history grad is $64,340 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 61% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $488,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to history.

Major Number of Grads
Education 187,512
Psychology 38,863
Social Sciences 22,817
Communication & Journalism 11,707
Library Science 5,644
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 3,917
Area, Ethnic, Culture, & Gender Studies 2,550

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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