History Jobs that Pay Well

Jan 18, 2020

Career Options for History Jobs That Pay Well

There are many jobs that could be considered a career in the field of history. Visitors to Gettysburg or Colonial Williamsburg may opt to take a tour through the area and learn about significant historic places and people from a tour guide. Retailers in these locations may also specialize in historic merchandise; however, retailers and tour guides earn median annual incomes below $25,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Those interested in a career in history that pays a higher salary will want to consider other options in education, social sciences and communications.

Job Title Median Salary* (2018) Job Growth* (2018-2028)
Historians $61,140 6%
Postsecondary History Teachers $74,590 6%
Archeologists $62,410 (Anthropologists and Archeologists) 10% (Anthropologists and Archeologists)
Archivists $52,240 9%
Anthropologists $62,410 (Anthropologists and Archeologists) 10% (Anthropologists and Archeologists)
Writers and Authors $62,170 0%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for History Jobs That Pay Well


The median income for historians is over $61,000, which is a good wage. Historians focus on exploring events of the past and using their research to inform the public. They use resources such as books, artifacts, photographs, interviews, newspapers and archives. They usually need at least a master's degree in history, although a doctoral degree may be necessary for some positions.

Postsecondary History Teachers

Postsecondary history teachers normally have a doctoral degree in history. Their work involves preparing and teaching lessons at colleges and universities. They may also be involved in research. The median annual income of $74,590 exceeds other history professions that pay good salaries, which makes this a history career option that pays very well.


A master's or doctoral degree in archeology is required to work as an archeologist. Archeologists are directly involved in locating and recovering artifacts related to historic locations or events. The sites and items they recover are used to further our understanding of significant events and ancient cultures. The median income for archeologists is over $62,000 per year, which makes this a job that pays a good salary.


When you visit a museum and see an ancient scroll or text, you're seeing something that an archivist has worked with. They help ensure that historic documents are preserved, and their work may involve producing copies of the documents so that their information is never lost. Their median annual income of $52,240 makes this a history career option that pays a decent wage. Archivists need a master's degree in a major like library science, history, archival studies or political science.


Anthropologists focus on studying historic data regarding people, their cultures and customs, and how people have developed over the centuries. Their work can be used to determine how events or factors such as war or environmental variables impacted communities. These professionals need a master's or doctoral degree in anthropology. This is a history career that pays a good wage, since the median annual income is over $62,000 per year.

Writers and Authors

Writers and authors spend their careers producing written materials. They may write books, articles or other materials that are published online or in print. While writers usually need a degree in English or a comparable discipline, those who focus on writing about historical places or events may also study history and specialize in writing about historic topics of interest to them. This career field has a median annual income exceeding $62,000 per year.

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