Careers Involving Historical Research

Jan 17, 2020

A number of career options that incorporate historical research as part of their regular duties are discussed in this article. Careers involving historical research can be found in fields such as education and life, physical and social sciences.

Career Options that Involve Historical Research

Historic research is an important component of many careers. By understanding the history of a culture, religion or region, it's possible to make more informed decisions about political matters, improve educational services or predict ideological trends. There are many careers that encompass historical research as a regular part of their duties.

Job Title Median Salary* (2018) Job Growth* (2018-2028)
Historian $61,140 6%
Anthropologist and Archeologist $62,410 10%
Political Scientist $117,570 5%
Postsecondary History Teacher $74,590 6%
Writer and Author $62,170 0% (little to no change)
Archivist $52,240 9%
Curator $53,780 10%
Librarian $59,050 6%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Historical Research Professions


Historians usually need a master's degree, although a doctoral degree may be required for some career opportunities. The focus of a historian's work is to collect data concerning historical events. They may also examine information or artifacts to figure out if they are authentic. While they may also present information about historical events in person or in writing, much of their time is spent researching historical events.

Anthropologists and Archeologists

Archeologists spend their careers performing research. Their research focuses on cultural interaction and human interaction. As part of their work they search for historic artifacts and they use historical artifacts and knowledge about the history of different cultures to inform their research. Anthropologists also spend their career conducting research. They focus on human history and how people have evolved over time. A master's or doctoral degree in their discipline is required to become an archeologist or anthropologist.

Political Scientists

With a master's degree, it's possible to pursue a career as a political scientist. Political scientists are particularly interested in politics and political systems. Their work involves researching political systems or ideas, the origination of these systems, and how political systems and ideas have evolved throughout history, so political scientists are directly involved in historical research in their career.

Postsecondary History Teachers

Postsecondary history teachers instruct college and university students about historical topics. Part of their work involves creating lesson plans, teaching classes and grading their students. Postsecondary teachers are also commonly involved in research. They often publish articles about research related to their specialization, so postsecondary history teachers will typically be involved in historical research as part of their career. They may also teach their students how to conduct research. A doctoral degree is normally necessary for a career in this field.

Writers and Authors

With a bachelor's degree, it's possible to pursue a career as a writer or author. While writers and authors can focus on a wide range of topics, some may specifically focus on writing about historical events, which involves historical research. They may also be writing about a topic that can be informed by historical research. For example, an author writing a book about a specific political ideology may need to do historical research about that ideology and its evolution over time. A writer who is working on an article about a conflict between tribes in Africa may need to do extensive research concerning the history of the conflict.


Archivists are directly involved with the preservation of historical materials. They are responsible for determining whether historical documents or artifacts are genuine, and they may also appraise these items. This is a task that may involve historic research to confirm the authenticity of the items. They are also involved in locating things that will be included in the archives they maintain, which may involve research to identify suitable items. A master's degree is required to become an archivist.


Curators need a master's degree. They typically work in museums, and their responsibilities involve getting materials that they can display in their facility. In order to do this, they may need to research the history of the subject to determine the best items to acquire for their exhibits. They may also perform research to ensure that materials they receive or are considering purchasing are genuine. Researching historical items is a primary focus of some curators.


Librarians secure, organize and present materials in a library. They must have a master's degree, and those who work in schools may also need a teaching certificate. Part of their work involves research because they must learn about new materials that they are considering acquiring in their facility. They may need to do historical research if they are determining the best resources to include in the history section, and those that work in schools may be involved in assisting students with historical research for assignments. They may also specialize in a specific area. For example, librarians who work in museums may focus exclusively on researching and acquiring the best historical documents for their facility.

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