What can you do with a history degree?
Put your knowledge of the past to work right now in these jobs for history majors.
You’ve dedicated your college years to studying the past, and now it’s time to put your hard-earned skills to work in the present. When people think of careers in history, their mind goes to the classroom. Contrary to popular belief, jobs for history majors aren't limited to academia. After all, since history is made every day, the opportunity to expand your knowledge (and its value in the working world) is constant. Monster used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to round up 10 history jobs in which your degree can come in handy.
What you’d do: Archivists catalog, process, appraise, and preserve key historical documents and other records. This work can be done as part of a museum staff or at government entities, from a local historical society to the National Archives in Washington.
What you’d need: A master’s degree in the specialization is generally expected.
What you’d make: $48,400 per year
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What you’d do: The word “curation” has spread to other fields these days, but it stems from its museum-specific usage, where it means selecting representative documents and works to tell an interesting and relevant story. History curators basically use objects to tell stories that promote the public’s understanding of history and illustrate why it should matter.
What you’d need: Most employers will expect you to have at least a master’s degree.
What you’d make: $48,400 per year
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What you’d do: History is a commonly cited pre-law-school major because the degree trains you in putting together a fact-based background of individuals and incidents. As such, the law is one of the most lucrative sources of jobs for history majors. Lawyers spend their time researching the facts of cases they’re preparing and bolstering their arguments with legal verdicts that had been handed down in the past.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree and three-year law degree, plus passage of the bar exam in any state in which you intend to practice.
What you’d make: $120,910 per year
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What you’d do: As a history major, you were used to combing through mounds of books and other primary and secondary sources, and then extracting the important information and data. That skill is prized in research assistants. Research assistants can work in industries including marketing and engineering, recruiting people for studies, administering tests, compiling and analyzing data, and much more.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree is a typically required. Some fields such as medicine may call for specialized training.
What you’d make: $46,640 per year
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What you’d do: Many history jobs require strong writing skills. That's because a great fictional story relies on a framework based in historical facts. And there are also plenty of other writing jobs out there that aren’t history focused but that can benefit from your background with research, and emphasis on putting the “story” in history.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree is usually a prerequisite for full-time writing jobs.
What you’d make: $62,170 per year
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What you’d do: As a paralegal, you would support lawyers by maintaining and organizing files, conducting legal research and drafting documents.
What you’d need: Although not always required, a certificate in paralegal studies can supplement your bachelor’s degree.
What you’d make: $50,940 per year
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What you’d do: History is a commonly cited background for librarians because the degree primes you for research. As a librarian, you would help people find information and conduct research.
What you’d need: In addition to your bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in library science is generally expected.
What you’d make: $59,050 per year
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What you’d do: Reporters, news correspondents and broadcasters spend much of their time in the field, conducting interviews and investigating stories, which is where your research background will come in handy. As a journalist, you’ll be expected to work under tight deadlines and be an expert communicator.
What you’d need: A bachelor’s degree is the baseline, but most employers will expect you to have completed an internship.
What you’d make: $43,490 per year
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What you’d do: In this role, you would teach academic lessons and various skills to students as well as prepare lesson plans and grade papers.
What you’d need: To teach in public schools, you must obtain a state-issued certification or license.
What you’d make: the media salary for a high school teacher is $44,915; the median salary for a college professor is $58,097
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What you’d do: One of the more popular careers in history, political scientists study the origin, development and operation of political systems, which is where your history background will be most useful. As a political scientist, you’ll research political ideas and analyze governments, policies and political trends.
What you’d need: You’ll need to supplement your bachelor’s degree with an advanced degree in political science or public administration.
What you’d make: $117,570 per year
Find political scientist jobs on Monster.
Start your search
As a history major, you have a versatile set of skills that would be welcome in many industries. This means you're permitted to cast your net wide looking for careers in history. Need some help getting the attention of hiring managers? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of jobs for history majors that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top history jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can get job alerts sent directly to your inbox to cut down on time spent looking through ads. Let Monster help you kick-start an awesome career.