People always say if you do something you love as a job then you’ll never work a day in your life.

If history is something that you love then why not find a job in this field? Since history is very broad, you may be caught in a tough spot.

As graduation gets closer and closer you start questioning what you will do after you receive your degree. Because the field of history is very diverse indeed, so are the career options you can pursue.

Before graduating, you may have completed an internship, maybe more than one, within your field, which may have exposed you to life as a working historian.

Depending on what type of history degree you have completed, you may have different job options to your peers. Your focus may have been people, religions, cultures or art.

Other career paths, such as becoming a professor, can be an option for all history degree holders.

Keep in mind that employers will value the skill sets you have acquired throughout your degree. These skills can include the research, analytical, teamwork and communication experience that you have gained while completing your degree.

Something that should be considered is that some history jobs will be directly related to your degree, while others will hire you because your degree can be useful.

For example, a job directly related to your history degree would be an archivist or by working at a museum.

Jobs could also include may include becoming a librarian or a journalist.

There are also plenty of companies that value different degrees than the field they are in. This is because they get a fresh perspective and someone who may have different yet useful set of skills.

Below, we have listed some of the most popular jobs you can apply for after having achieved your history degree.

Archivist

close up of very old books most likely in a library
People become archivists for many reasons, to tell the story of a community, preserve a piece of history, hold people and institutions accountable, improve access through technology and connect researchers with the documents they need. Source: VisualHunt.com

If preserving history is one of your passions, then you may find your calling as an archivist. Becoming an archivist is a job that is directly related to someone with a history degree.

As an archivist, you will be managing and maintaining historical documents such as books, papers, maps, photographs, films and records.

These important historical materials can be just about anything with cultural importance, historic documents from individuals, organizations or even nations.

You will be responsible to preserve this information, which could sometimes be in a fragile condition, which in most cases you will have to repair.

You will also be making this information accessible to users such as researchers, academics and even the general public.

Working in a Museum

outside view of the Louvre museum by night
The Louvre Museum in Paris, France was a fortress that was built in 1190. In the 16th century, it was turned from a fortress into a royal palace. Source: VisualHunt.com

When thinking about a job for a history professional, a few jobs could come to mind, one of them being a museum employee.

This is an obvious response due to the amount of history at any given museum in the world.

Any museum you visit, whether it is an art, cultural, natural or national, is rich in history and you feel as if you have really stepped back in time.

If you are still in school and working on your degree, working or volunteering in a museum is the best type of experience you can receive.

You will not only be exposed to the real deal when it comes to artifacts but you will also be working side by side with people that are professionals in this field.

By working closely with history professionals, you will be exposed to what they do on a daily basis, interesting projects that you may be able to help with and be educated in a way that no textbook ever will.

Another benefit of volunteering in a museum is the number of connections you will make. You may start off as a summer intern but it could possibly lead to a permanent position someday.

An example of a job opportunity at a museum is to be a curator. To name a few, curators are in charge of managing collections or works of art, dealing with the care and display of collections and galleries, how the collections are presented to the public and making sure it educates the general public.

If you are working at a smaller museum, you could be the main curator and deal with the whole museum’s set up, but if you are working at a larger scale museum then you may be assigned to a more specific collection.

Archeologist

Ancient masks found in Teotihuacan, Mexico now being displayed at a museum
Teotihuacan began as a religious center in the Mexican Highlands around the first century CE. It became the largest and most populated center in the pre-Columbian Americas. Source: rpphotos on Visualhunt.com

This next history job requires plenty of studies and experience to secure a job within this field, and that is becoming an archeologist.

As an archeologist, you can be responsible or be a part of managing excavations in hopes of finding ancient artifacts or sites or examining ancient sites in order to learn more about the past.

Being an archeologist doesn’t only mean you will be out digging and analyzing sites.

There are other job opportunities such as working with museums to aid the preservation, conservation, and display of artifacts.

You could also be working with a university or a research organization that will be leading research education work. If you are still in school, asking your history professors for opportunities in assisting with research can be a great way to get your foot in the door.

It could be work such as volunteering, part-time, or maybe even just have the chance to speak one on one with an archeologist that can give you more insight on career opportunities.

As we previously mentioned, even volunteering at a museum can be very useful to help with your future career as many archeologists work directly with museums.

Historian Educator

Person who is using a laptop, has a textbook and a cup of tea
History professors research historical subjects and might be required to publish scholarly papers, articles, and books. Source: VisualHunt

If you have a passion for both history and teaching, you can combine those two and pursue a career as an educator. If you only wish to focus on history, then you may want to stick to being a high school, college or university professor.

As a high school professor, some of your responsibilities may include planning lessons that are in line with the school district’s requirements, must be up to date with historical developments, methods, and updates that apply to the topics you are teaching and engage with students to help them learn and prepare them for their future.

If you wish to teach at a higher level, such as college or university, you may be required to get a high degree such as a PhD.

It is no surprise that many archeologists or historians tend to work in the field for a while then begin to teach at universities.

Lawyer

picture of books and a gavel to represent law school
History students have the expertise needed in research and analysis to be successful lawyers or paralegal assistants. Source: Visualhunt.com

Plenty of history graduates wish to specialize in an area of history or similar area that interests them, one of them being law. A lot of universities have found that many of their history graduates go on to become lawyers.

To become a lawyer will definitely require extra study at law school, but history majors graduate with necessary skills, such as research and analysis, to become successful lawyers.

Some similar career paths can be becoming a paralegal or take a career in litigation support.

If becoming a lawyer is what you aim for while still completing your bachelor’s degree, it could be a good idea to complete an internship at a law firm before graduating.

Like previously mentioned, when you are a history major, you learn skill sets that are required as a lawyer, so you can put these skill sets to good use while working at a law firm.

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Gretta

A California native, reader and writer who is enthusiastic about traveling, cooking, cinema, and yoga.