Historians
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Speciality
Overview
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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and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, interviews, films, electronic media, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.
Titles for this career often contain these words
HistorianDirectorCountyResearcherHistoricHistoricalResearchGenealogistInterpreterSocietyRecordsManagementOfficerRMODanceDramaticArtsFieldCourtFilmDeveloperPreservationistSitesRegistrarHistoriographerMedicalMusicOralProgramsProtohistorianReferenceDataExpertAssociateStateSupervisory
Education
About 50% of specialized social scientists and related workers have a graduate-level education, and 86% have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by specialized social scientists and related workers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with graduate degrees
More specialized social scientists and related workers have graduate degrees than 91% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Historians, with 3,300 workers, form a smaller workforce than 96% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for historians are expected to grow by 6%, and should have about 400 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Historians are less likely to be automated than 60% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for historians compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most historians earn.
$64K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Gender
Women account for 52% of specialized social scientists and related workers -- that's a larger percentage than 63% of other jobs.
Gender of specialized social scientists and related workers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For specialized social scientists and related workers, the median men's salary was 18% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 21% of specialized social scientists and related workers are minority, and 14% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of specialized social scientists and related workers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (14%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Historians per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of historians who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (31%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do specialized social scientists and related workers earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries at the specialty level (historians). This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for historians (BLS Salary Data)
$64K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$64K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers. This view of salaries is only available for all specialized social scientists and related workers.
Distribution: Salaries for specialized social scientists and related workers (ACS Salary Data)
$59K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$59K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Specialized Social Scientists and Related Workers: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $72KAll jobs' median $45K$60K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$50K$100K$150K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire historians.
Employers of Specialized Social Scientists and Related Workers (ACS)
Private for-profit (31.0%)
Private not-for-profit (19.6%)
Local government (8.2%)
State government (12.3%)
Federal government (22.5%)
Self-employed incorporated (2.3%)
Self-employed not incorporated (4.1%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of specialized social scientists and related workers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of specialized social scientists and related workers, which combines the 7 specialties for this career.
$59K$82K$50K$54K$52K$51K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of historians by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty historians, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$64K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for specialized social scientists and related workers

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$76K$69K$71K$43K$65K$31K$53K$71K$72K$0$50K$100K$150K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
02K4K6K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Specialized social scientists and related workers and gender

With 52% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 63% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
52%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Specialized social scientists and related workers
Men (48%)
Women (52%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

The median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is a little better for specialized social scientists and related workers, with the median salary for men 18% higher than the median salary for women.

$54K$64K$0$50K$100K$150KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men.

18%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of specialized social scientists and related workers

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. The percentage of minority specialized social scientists and related workers falls in about the middle of all careers' percentages. The percentage of foreign-born workers in this career is near the middle of all careers.

Race/origin of specialized social scientists and related workers
White (77% )
Black (9% )
Asian (6% )
Multiracial (4% )
Other (2% )
American Indian (1% )
Hispanic (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
21%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
14%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for specialized social scientists and related workers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$48K$51K$63K$0$50K$100K$150KBlackMultiracialWhite
Distribution: Salaries for specialized social scientists and related workers by nativity
$58K$64K$0$50K$100K$150KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Specialized social scientists and related workers and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 19% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 65% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
19%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time specialized social scientists and related workers is shown following.

$16K$59K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by historians

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), historians typically hold a master's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as specialized social scientists and related workers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for historians

Historians need a master’s degree or Ph.D. for most positions. Many historians have a master’s degree in history or public history. Others complete degrees in related fields, such as museum studies, historical preservation, or archival management.

In addition to coursework, most master’s programs in public history and similar fields require an internship as part of the curriculum.

Research positions within the federal government and positions in academia typically require a Ph.D. Students in history Ph.D. programs usually concentrate in a specific area of history. Possible specializations include a particular country or region, period, or field, such as social, political, or cultural history.

Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in history may qualify for entry-level positions at museums, historical associations, or other small organizations. However, most bachelor’s degree holders usually work outside of traditional historian jobs—for example, jobs in education, communications, law, business, publishing, or journalism.  

Education attained by specialized social scientists and related workers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for specialized social scientists and related workers? Below we see the distribution of specialized social scientists and related workers salaries based on the education attained.

$34K$40K$53K$66K$88K$84K$0$50K$100K$150KHigh School (3%)Associate's/Cert. (4%)Bachelor's Degree (35%)Master's Degree (36%)Professional Degree (3%)Doctorate (11%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

College majors held by specialized social scientists and related workers

This table shows the college majors held by people working as specialized social scientists and related workers.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Percentage of Specialized social scientists and related workers with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers

With the following sankey diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as specialized social scientists and related workers, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. We hope this provides ideas for similar jobs and similar fields of study.

Postsecondary TeachersElementary and Middle Sch...Specialized ManagersLawyers, and judges, magi...PhysiciansSpecialized Social Scient...Education and childcare a...First-Line Supervisors of...Registered NursesSecretaries and Administr...Chief executives and legi...Management AnalystsFinancial ManagersParalegals and Legal Assi...Specialized Social Worker...Educational, Guidance, an...Specialized PsychologistsLabor Relations Specialis...Secondary School TeachersWholesale and Manufacturi...EditorsWriters and AuthorsSpecialized Computer Occu...Surveyors, cartographers,...Software DevelopersComputer and Information ...Urban and Regional Planne...Police OfficersProbation Officers and Co...Security Guards and Gambl...Correctional Officers and...Detectives and Criminal I...First-Line Supervisors of...Accountants and AuditorsFirst-Line Supervisors of...Customer Service Represen...Social and Community Serv...DentistsSpecialized Physical Scie...Specialized Life Scientis...Medical and Clinical Labo...PharmacistsAnthropology andArcheologyPolitical Science andGovernmentPsychologyHistoryEnglish Language andLiteratureGeographyCriminal Justice and FireProtectionBusiness Management andAdministrationSociologyBiologyAll other degreesThis jobTop 10 majorsEach major's top ten jobs
What college major is your best entry?

About 86% of people working as specialized social scientists and related workers have at least a bachelor's degree. Each dot represents a college major leading to these jobs, with the dots to the right representing the majors sending the most of their grads into this career. The dots at the top are the majors who earn the most working in this career.

Darker colors have a larger percentage with graduate degreesOverall median salary0.0%2.0%4.0%6.0%8.0%10.0%12.0%14.0%16.0%Percentage with this major$30,000$40,000$50,000$60,000$70,000$80,000$90,000$100,000$110,000$120,000$130,000Median salary with this major
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for specialized social scientists and related workers

What jobs will most specialized social scientists and related workers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of specialized social scientists and related workers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Specialized Social Scientists and Related WorkersSpecialized Physical ScientistsManagement AnalystsCounselorsSocial workersPostsecondary teachers and assistantsBroadcast announcers, interpreters, and other media and communicationworkersSecurities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales AgentsCustomer Service RepresentativesProperty, Real Estate, and Community Association ManagersOperations Research AnalystsChief executives and legislatorsComputer and Information Systems ManagersSpecialized Life, Physical, and Social Science TechniciansPublic relations and fundraising managersOffice and administrative support workers, all otherArtists and related workersMedical assistants and other healthcare support occupationsTour and travel guidesFirst-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales WorkersSecretaries and administrative assistantsSpecialized Teachers and InstructorsDriver/sales workers and truck driversEducation and childcare administrators
Lateral job transitions for specialized social scientists and related workers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 10 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as specialized social scientists and related workers as well as 1% of respondents after working as specialized social scientists and related workers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Prior and next careers for specialized social scientists and related workers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as specialized social scientists and related workers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of specialized social scientists and related workers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most historians? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as historians. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all specialized social scientists and related workers, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Historians per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.10.20.3
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where historians earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for specialized social scientists and related workers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for specialized social scientists and related workers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all specialized social scientists and related workers, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Location-adjusted median salary for Historians (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which historians earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEWIVTNHWAIDMTNDMNILMINYMAORUTWYSDIAINOHPANJCTRICANVCONEMOKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?