Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
STUDENT LIFE / JUN. 20, 2014
version 11, draft 11

10 Interesting Careers for History Majors

If you recently graduated with a BA or MA in history, you may be wondering what sort of jobs you are qualified for. 

Whether you're looking for a job that focuses on history or simply to use the skills that you learned while getting your degree, these ten creative careers are perfect for history majors.

1. Museum curator

Median salary: $49,000*

If you love working with historical artifacts and enjoy the edicational side of history, then a career as a museum curator could be the perfect job for you.

Curators are responsible for managing and developing exhibits with the goal of reaching a large audience. They need to understand the historical significance of the objects they work with, as well as have excellent people skills for working with donors and patrons. To pursue a career as a museum curator, a master's degree in a related field such as museum studies or historical preservation is recommended.

2. Journalist

Median salary: $36,000

If you have strong writing skills and a variety of interests, consider a job as a journalist.

Journalists can be found everywhere from traveling the world to working with local news outlets. No matter the type of journalism you get into, you will be helped by an interest in current events and the ability to analyze facts quickly. Whether your degree focused on political, economic, or social history, your background will help you research and understand the stories you work on.

3. Lawyer

Median salary: $75,000

Odds are, you spent a lot of your time in the history department learning to make persuasive arguments based on a set of historical facts.

That's exactly what lawyers do for a living. The communication and analysis skills you learned as a history major will serve you well in the legal field, especially if you have an interest in social or political history. You will be a strong contender in this field if you are an excellent verbal communicator and have good attention to detail. To become a lawyer, you will need to go to law school to obtain an LLB (in the UK) or a JD (in the US).

4. Writer

Median salary: $45,500

Do you love the social side of history, the people and events that shaped the world we live in today? Do you have strong writing skills and a creative way of thinking?

Consider a career as a writer of historical fiction or biographies. Both genres require a deep understanding of specific historical time periods and an ability to do extensive research. If you love getting into the nitty gritty of source material and analyzing what you find there, a career as a writer could be the perfect way to use your history major.

5. Records manager

Median salary: $53,000

If you are organized, efficient, and enjoy working with documents, a career as a records manager might be the perfect way to use your history major.

Records managers work for both historical associations and private companies to organize and maintain their records and files. These can be either print or digital, so it's important to be comfortable with both types of systems. Many records managers work with a team of employees, so strong leadership and communication skills will help you out in this field.

6. Political staffer

Median salary: $35,000

If your history major is coupled with a love of politics and an interest in government, why not think about a job as a political staffer?

This entry-level position is responsible for assisting in the offices of elected representatives, doing everything from answering phones to writing memos on upcoming bills. Staffers need to be detail-oriented, have excellent written and verbal communication skills, and understand the history of their government. It's also important that they be patient with constituents and think of themselves as part of a team.

7. Docent

Median salary: $37,000

If you love to share your love of history, then a job as a museum docent could be right up your alley.

Docents work in museums where they give tours and answer visitors' questions. Often they will assist in educational programs. They need to be knowledgeable about their field and comfortable with large groups of people. Docents also need to be excellent public speakers, so strong communication and memorization skills are a plus.

8. Archivist

Median salary: $42,400

Do you love historical objects and have strong attention to detail? Consider using your history major to become an archivist.

Archivists work with museums and libraries to study, catalog, display, and preserve important historical artifacts. They can work for private or public collections, as well as at universities. Archivists usually specialize in one historical period or type of artifact, so they need to be very knowledgeable, organized, and detail-oriented.

9. Dramaturg

Median salary: $45,000**

Are you interested in theatre and the arts as well as history? Working as a dramaturg might be the perfect use of your degree.

Dramaturgs work as a liason between playwrights and directors while new plays are in development. During productions, dramaturgs research and provide historical and social context for directors and actors. They can work on a freelance basis or may be employed full-time by theatres or universities. Dramaturgs need strong communication skills, the ability to analyze text, and an understanding of theatrical practices.

10. Publisher

Median salary: $68,100

Many publishing houses have specific historical or biographical departments, and one of these could be the perfect place to put your history degree to work.

Publishers work with writers and agents to take a book from idea to finished product. They are responsible for negotiating contracts, supervising editors, and managing publicity for new releases. Publishers should love the written word, enjoy working with creative people, and have strong business skills. Many publishers begin at the associate or assistant level and work up from there.

Know any other great careers that are perfect for history majors? Share them in the comments!

 

*All salary statistics found on PayScale.com for the United States, rounded to nearest 100, except:
** Salary statistics from Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas

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