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The Top 8 Jobs For History Majors

Updated: February 9, 2024 | Published: March 30, 2021

Updated: February 9, 2024

Published: March 30, 2021


If you are fascinated by the happenings of the past, then you may be interested in earning a degree in history. Upon choosing to major in history, you may wonder what your career prospects may include. There are a variety of jobs for history majors.

We’ve compiled a list of the top eight jobs for history majors to review and consider.

What Can I Do With a Degree in History?

Have no doubt that a degree in history will provide you with a long list of valuable and transferable skills that benefit a variety of industries.

Of course, you’ll learn about historical events, including when they happened, the key players, and facts of the past. Furthermore, you will learn more about the formation of countries and how civilization evolved from what it was to what it is today.

Moving beyond the obvious, you develop skills for research and how to evaluate different sources of information. This translates into honing communication skills, critical thinking skills, and learning how to make decisions wisely.

Stack of ancient history books

Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

Skills Needed and Gained for History Majors

Since history majors have to be critical thinkers, strong writers, and brilliant researchers, there are many skills that bode well to succeed in the discipline.

You’ll pick up skills when studying history that include:

  • A creative approach to conducting research
  • A knack for asking good questions
  • Strong writing skills
  • Analytical thinking abilities
  • Fact-checking skills
  • An understanding of geography, government, and religions
  • Knowledge of current events and political and social implications

Common Fields for History Majors

Across industries, employers hire history majors because of their depth of skills. Some of the industries and fields in which you can land a job as a history major could include:

  • Education
  • Research
  • Business
  • Government
  • Journalism
  • Law

Curated museum exhibit of statues

Photo by Lizzie George on Unsplash

Best Jobs for History Majors

To get to the moment we’ve all been waiting for, let’s talk about the top 8 jobs for history majors.

  • High school history teacher:

    Granted you have a deep knowledge of history, you should be able to teach others about it. But, to become a history teacher, you’ll need a few more skills than just knowledge under your wing. The best high school teachers have tremendous patience, commitment, and are dedicated to their position. To become a high school history teacher, it’s likely you’ll need a certification to teach in your respective state. On average, high school history teachers earn $47,492 per year. 

  • Research assistant:

    Researchers investigate to seek facts, make detailed observations, and share their findings. To become a research assistant, you’ll need to be able to work well in teams, conduct research, and communicate well. Research assistant jobs are available in a variety of industries in both the public and private sector. On average, those with this title earn $35,230 annually.

  • Paralegal:

    Paralegals are an important piece of the legal field. They help lawyers and firms collect information, research previous cases, and find laws and regulations regarding the case to help lawyers prepare their arguments. The job requires organization, clear written and verbal skills, and immense research skills. History majors bode well in this career because of their knowledge to conduct research and organize information. Paralegals can expect to earn about $50,169 per year. 

  • Archivist:

    Archivists handle old audio recordings, materials, books, letters, and the like to evaluate and arrange as records and documents. They take historical information and make it public by first organizing it accordingly. The position can be found in organizations like museums and schools. Some skills that are required for the job are: research, analysis, organizational, and interpersonal skills. On average, they earn $24,960. 

  • Editor:

    Since a history degree entails a lot of research and writing, a graduate will hone their editing skills, too. This is why they make for such good editors. From copywriting to editing, many employers hire history majors within communications departments. Editors earn roughly $52,107 per year.

  • Writer:

    History majors can land jobs as writers. This could be in a marketing field, in journalism, or even as a historical author. For example, to be a successful historical author, it’ll likely entail approaching a known subject from a new perspective. Historical writers bring in an average income of $51,395. 

  • Assistant Curator:

    One of the most intriguing places to witness history is within a museum. Assistant curators help the chief curator with a handful of everyday tasks. They may research exhibits or collect items to put them on display. They could also be responsible for cataloging, managing restorations, overseeing galleries, and helping the marketing team attract new museum visitors. A curatorial assistant can expect to earn an average of $42,212 per annum. 

  • Grant Writer:

    Using strong writing skills, a grant writer prepares proposals and writes drafts to obtain grants. They help seek funding by gathering documentation and concisely explaining why the organization or non-profit that they work for is well-suited to receive a grant. History majors tend to do well in this job because of their research, analytical, writing, and organizational knowledge. Grant writers earn an average of $51,395 per year. 

Types of History Degrees

Depending on the type of career you’d like, you can consider different levels of history degrees. Here’s a quick overview of each:

  • Associate:

    Associate degrees generally take two years to complete. An associate degree in history will help teach analytical and writing skills through independent research. In most cases, those who earn an associate degree land entry-level positions, unless they continue their education to earn a bachelor’s degree. For example, a graduate with an associate degree can become a teaching assistant, administrative assistant, or tour guide.

  • Bachelor’s:

    Complete with general education and a specialization in history, a bachelor’s degree will take roughly four years to complete. History majors dive into research, boost analysis skills, and write a lot. They can choose which type of history to specialize in, including modern U.S. history or European history, for example. With a bachelor’s degree, jobs like museum technician and museum educator become possible.

  • Master’s:

    With higher education, more jobs become possible. A master’s degree in history can open the doors to becoming a museum curator, historian, or an adjunct instructor. The advanced coursework of the degree is often paired with an internship.

Final Thoughts

While a degree in history doesn’t set out such a clear path as a major in computer science might, it still can be a beneficial degree to earn. History majors learn a lot of skills that are useful across industries and job titles. From entry-level jobs for history majors to top-level jobs for history majors, there are many opportunities to take hold of as a graduate with a degree in history.