Government Jobs that Involve History

If you are interested in history and want to work for the government, you can consider a number of occupations. This article explores government jobs that involve history research and working with historical sites and materials.

Career Options for Government Jobs that Involve History

Individuals may be drawn to government positions because they are interested in public service. While it may be more common to think of government workers as those who deliver mail or work as politicians, there are many government jobs that rely on historical knowledge and research.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Outlook (2014-2024)*
Anthropologists and Archeologists $63,190 4%
Librarians $57,680 2%
Political Scientists $114,290 -2%
Historians $55,110 2%
Archivists, Curators and Museum Workers $47,230 7%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Government Jobs that Involve History

Anthropologists and Archeologists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than a quarter of all anthropologists and archeologists worked for the government at either the federal, state or local level as of 2014. Anthropologists and archeologists spend their career researching historical topics and studying historical artifacts. For example, anthropologists may research issues such as overpopulation, which is information that can be used by governments when determining policies. Archeologists may perform tasks such as determining what types of buildings and sites should be preserved and prepare educational material for the public about historically significant locations and structures. Anthropologists and archeologists are required to have a master's degree, though advanced jobs and leadership positions may require a Ph.D.


Librarians must have a master's degree in library science. As part of their duties, they may be responsible for acquiring and maintaining works about historical topics. According to the BLS, a significant percentage of librarians worked for the government in 2014 in venues such as museums, where they work with historical material regularly. Other tasks librarians perform include helping people find specific types of books or materials about many topics, including history, and storing these items when they are returned.

Political Scientists

Political scientists specialize in researching political issues and topics. Their work can involve researching historical trends related to these political issues, and they may routinely use historical data and documents while conducting their research. The BLS reports that more than half of these professionals worked for the federal government as of 2014. A master's degree is required to pursue a career as a political scientist.


Historians must have at least a master's degree in history, although some positions require applicants to have a doctoral degree. As of 2014, the BLS reported that more than 60% of historians work for the government at either the federal, state or local level. Historians study past events and figures. Those who work for the government may research social policies and present the history of different political programs to politicians who are drafting bills.

Archivists, Curators and Museum Workers

Archivists, curators and museum workers routinely work with historic materials. They may be involved with determining that an item is authentic, or they may be responsible for storing, preserving or displaying artifacts. The BLS indicates that almost a quarter of archivists, curators and museum workers were employed by the government as of 2014. Museum technicians only need a bachelor's degree, but archivists, curators and conservators must have a master's degree to pursue those occupations.

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