History and Museum Careers

Read on to learn about typical courses, resources, and careers in this field.

Staff Writer

2022-11-2615 min read

History and Museum studies focus on learning and understanding how societies, cultures, economics, politics, science, and art history have shaped today's world.

Museum Studies gives a historical view that addresses innovations within the field of management, administration, marketing, and education and offers basic principles for establishing governmental policies involving cultural resource management.

Museums have become a place to keep and preserve precious historical artifacts, collections, for tours and exhibitions as the present world makes an effort to keep in touch with the past world.

History and Museum studies as a discipline prepare you to explore cultures and art histories of various people, tribes, and languages to extract and interpret data that is relevant to us today.

If you are intrigued by digging up the past for ancient clues, treasures, and secrets, then position yourself for a history and museum career.

Why Choose History and Museum?

When deciding if museum studies or public history is the correct field for you, there are a few aspects to consider. Think first about what it is about the past that most intrigues you.

Do you enjoy working in a museum, displaying exhibitions, undergoing research, or prefer working more with the public and relating historical events? If the former is your thing, choose museum studies, and if it's the latter, opt for Public History.

How to Start your History and Museum Journey

Beginning a career journey in History and Museum Studies has its unique educational path. Whether you are looking at internship, degree programs, or further advanced education, it's all covered in the headings below.

Educational Requirements

Associate Degree

History associate degrees are a good starting point for anyone interested in history who desires to pursue a professional career.

A history associate program expands your understanding of historical eras and develops your critical thinking abilities. With your associate degree, you earn entry-level positions such as Library Assistant with a median salary of $14.16 per hour in May 2021.

Bachelor’s Degree

The Bachelor's degree programs in history and museum studies are focused programs intended to help you acquire knowledge and administrative skills necessary for success in history and art.

Applicants with a Bachelor's degree in History and Museum are open positions such as Museum Curator, Archives director, etc. Earning a Bachelor's degree attracts improved salary options, and a Museum Curator has a median salary of $60,110 annually.

Master’s Degree

A Master's Degree program in History and Museum studies blends hands-on museum experience with rigorous

academic study. The Master's Program offers advanced learning about how civilizations and cultures work, preparing you for various careers in museums and other public history venues.

Bagging a Master's degree offers jobs like being a Historian, Archivist, or Archaeologist. An Archaeologist earns a median salary of $63,940

Doctorate in History and Museum

The Ph.D. in History will prepare you for a career as an academic, public and institutional historian, analyst, researcher, and writer, as well as for other sectors requiring analytical and research abilities.

A Doctoral degree in History and Museums is hands-on learning as you further grasp how historical research is carried out and interpreted. While learning you are encouraged to replicate the same in your original work.

Ph.D. applicants can choose to specialize in a related field or narrow their specialty to the type of History Museum they desire to work in.

Employment Prospects

The projected employment of archivists, curators, and museum personnel varies, and it is expected to rise as long as the general public remains interested in museums, natural history and other cultural institutions.

The anticipated growth would create only approximately 1,900 new jobs for curators and around 1,600 new positions for museum technicians and conservators over the projected ten-year period due to the limited job positions of these vocations.

History and Museum Career Forecast

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the anticipated employment for archivists, curators, and museum staff will increase by 12 percent between 2021 and 2031, substantially faster than the average for all occupations.

The 12 percent growth translates to an average of 4,700 jobs for archivists, curators, and museum staff.

Lucrative History and Museum Career Paths

If you are interested in history and museum and want to combine your knowledge and experience into a career, then there are job positions listed below:


Historians use archives and artifacts to search and assess the past and present. They assess genuineness and verify historical artifacts and events.

They frequently share their discoveries with the public to shed light on historical topics and conserve artifacts for museums and places.

Average Salary

The median Salary of Historians in the United States is $63,940, with the highest 10% salaries at $118,380 and the lowest salaries at $37,310.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Collecting historical information from various sources, such as libraries, archives, and relics.
  • Examining and evaluating historical data to establish its veracity and importance.
  • Tracking past trends in a specific field.
  • Preserving or archiving materials and artifacts at historical sites, visitor centers, and museums.
  • Give advice or direction on historical subjects.
  • Creates books, essays, and reports on historical discoveries and theories.

Industries Employing Historians

  • Museums
  • Archaeological agencies
  • Historical Societies
  • Research Organizations
  • Academia

Museum Curator

A Museum curator is a professional responsible for managing a museum’s collection of arts, collectibles, historical artifacts, and scientific specimens.

Average Salary

The median annual salary for a museum curator is $63,880.

Roles and Responsibilities

Enlighten the public and other curators about the institution's assets.

Arrange for the purchase, sale, exchange, or loan of collections and exhibits.

Inspect the property to determine whether repairs are necessary.

Conduct tours, workshops, and training events to introduce visitors to the resources and amenities of an institution.

Oversee the work and administration of interns and employees.

Industries Employing Museum Curators

  • Museums
  • Historical Sites
  • Art Galleries
  • Academia
  • Government Agencies
  • Private Agencies
  • Tourist Attraction Sites


Archaeology studies human history and natural history by excavating human remains and historical artifacts. Archaeologists are in the position to decode details,inscriptions about artifacts and interpret their findings.

Average Salary

The average salary of an archaeologist is $61,910, with the highest 10%earnings above $99,830 and the lowest 10% earning less than $37,870.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Analyze and preserve traces of human activity from earlier civilizations.
  • Explore and connect the discoveries and knowledge of former environments to understand people's history and way of life in those times.
  • Undergoes historical research on artifacts such as tools, pottery, human remains, cave paintings, and building ruins.
  • Oversee and safeguard archaeological sites to avoid interruption of research.
  • Provide public history education while working in historical sites or national parks.
  • Evaluate construction sites to ensure that construction plans adhere to federal legislation regarding site preservation.

Industries Employing Archaeologists

  • Museums
  • Private parastatals
  • Academia
  • Government Agencies
  • Historic Sites


A librarian oversees or holds a professional position at a library and is in charge of its operations.

Average Salary

The median annual wage for librarian was $61,190. The lowest 10% made less than $37,300, while the highest 10% earned more than $97,870.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Build and utilize databases of library resources in schools and other academic organizations.
  • Organize and assist library users with resources to make them simple to find.
  • Assist library users and visitors with their research so they can evaluate search results and reference sources
  • Update library collections with relevant books, catalogs, and resources.
  • Create and present programs for various audiences, such as children's storytime.
  • Train and manage library assistants, technicians, other support personnel, and volunteers.
  • Identifies needed equipment to be purchased to assist library users.

Industries Employing Librarians

  • Academic Institutions
  • Libraries
  • Law Firms
  • Media Firms

History Teacher

A History teacher teaches and instructs students about past events. They preserve histories of cultures, societies, and events by communicating them to students through education and other creative means.

Average Salary

The median salary for history teachers is $53,473 annually and may be higher or lower due to location and institution.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Prepares lesson plans for upcoming classes.
  • Educate students using lesson plans and guidelines.
  • Teach children about a variety of subjects from ancient history and events.
  • Set tests and grade students to determine performance.
  • Carry out other activities within schools to ensure smooth operations of activities.

Industries Employing History Teachers

  • Academic Institutions
  • Museums

Park Ranger

Park rangers control the preservation and maintenance of woodlands, forests, and conservatories. When they work in Museums they usually serve in Museums of Natural History.

Average Salary

The median salary of park rangers is $39.771 yearly and an hourly pay at $19.12.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Enforce park rules and regulations and issue fines to offenders.
  • Observes by patrolling Park sites on a boat, car, or horse.
  • Ensures visitors maintain order and necessary safety guidelines are maintained in the park or conservation site.
  • Assist in putting out wildfires where and when necessary.
  • Gives direction to visitors during tours.

Industries Employing Park Rangers

  • Museums
  • Historic Sites
  • State or National Parks
  • Private Parastatals
  • Government Agencies

Foreign Language Professor

Foreign Language Professors are responsible for the education of students in other languages.

Average Salary

The median salary of foreign language professors is $82,990 yearly as of May, 2021.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Teach literature and language classes in languages other than English.
  • Researches other languages
  • Sets up foreign language curriculum in schools.

Industries Employing Foreign Language Professors

  • Academia
  • Private Institutions

Diorama Model Maker

Dioramas are skilled artisans that use their talent to make or fabricate art pieces in a 3D dimensional work.

Average Salary

In the U.S., a diorama model maker makes an average salary of $45,359. The typical bonus for a diorama model maker is $1,102, or 2% of their annual compensation, and everyone who works in this field says they get bonuses yearly.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Construct typical models of historical artifacts and events.
  • Preserve historical details through diorama models.
  • Bring alive image perception of historical artifacts to the public entertainingly.

Industries Employing Diorama Model Makers

  • Museums
  • Academia
  • Historic sites
  • State Institutions
  • Private Agencies


Anthropologists investigate human origins, development, and behavior. They research people's cultures, languages, and physical features worldwide.

Average Salary

The median annual salary for anthropologist is $61.910, with the lowest 10%earning less than $37,870 and the 10% earning more than $99,830.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Plan and schedule cultural research on individuals, communities, and sites.
  • Collect data through observations, discussions, and written materials.
  • Adapt data collection methods to a particular area, subject, or project.
  • Find trends regarding human life and culture by analyzing data, lab samples, and other sources of information.
  • Advise organizations on how policies, programs, and products may impact people.
  • Keep track of field observations, manage them, and write reports to disseminate research findings.

Industries Employing Anthropologists

  • Academia
  • Human Research Organizations
  • State Institutions
  • Private Parastatals
  • Museums

Documentary Filmmaker

The job title of a documentary filmmaker is a film director or producer. They are in charge of putting together a cast or crew and "shooting" the scenes to turn a film project's concept into a final product.

Average Salary

The average annual salary for a documentary filmmaker in the United States as of November 21, 2022, is $58,696.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Manage a production team to ensure that every aspect of the production goes off without a hitch.
  • Creates and develops ideas into a feasible production.
  • Assist in obtaining funds for production
  • Assist actors in better comprehending their roles
  • Responsible for the admission of new members to the cast and crew where necessary.

Industries Employing Documentary Filmmakers

  • Performing Art Companies
  • Private Companies
  • Media


Conservators prepare museum collection items for storage, research, or display by restoring and maintaining them.

Average Salary

The average salary of conservators in the United States is $53,634 annually.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Manage and preserve documents, artifacts, and specimens.
  • Employ tools like x-rays, microscopes, special lights, and chemicals to analyze items.
  • Determine the best methods to preserve historical artifacts without losing their originality.
  • Engage in outreach initiatives, do specialized research, and produce scholarly journal articles
  • Preserving the natural history of places.

Industries Employing Conservators

  • Museums
  • Art Galleries
  • Historic Sites
  • Private Companies


Archivists evaluate, process, catalog, and archive historically significant and permanent records.

Average Salary

The median annual salary for Archivists in the United States is $60,050, with the highest earnings at $96,500 and the lowest 10% earnings at $30,450.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Maintain and preserve documents and artifacts.
  • Sort and classify the archive's materials.
  • Verify and evaluate the authenticity of old records and archives.
  • Establish and enforce rules for the public's access to materials.
  • Build a system to retain and protect electronic records and administer them.
  • Preserve records by making digital and film copies.
  • Search for and purchase fresh content for their archives.
  • Direct personnel to assist in arranging, displaying, and maintaining collections.

Industries Employing Archivist

Industries where archivists are gainfully employed are:

  • Museums
  • Academia
  • Historical Societies
  • Government Agencies
  • Non-profit Organizations

Exhibit Technician

Exhibit Technicians prepare museum collections and items for storage, research, or display by restoring and maintaining them.

Average Salary

The median salary of Exhibit Technicians, according to The United States Bureau of Statistics, is $53,030, and those working for Government executive branches earn up to $61,900.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Classifies and catalogs objects and exhibits and arranges them for display.
  • Managing collections of things, such as art pieces, documents, exhibits or other things, by researching them and correctly keeping them to prevent damage.
  • For effective presentations, utilize audiovisual tools like public address systems, microphones, and video cameras.
  • Performs administrative duties such as answering phones, welcoming guests, or helping with children's educational programs.
  • Educating museum visitors on the background, importance, or state of museum exhibits.
  • Assists museum curator and other personnels with museum administration.

Industries Employing Exhibit Technicians

  • Museums
  • Galleries
  • Historic Sites
  • Government Agencies
  • Private institutions and individuals


Professional genealogists use historical documents and public data to help clients locate their family's origin.

Average Salary

The average annual salary for a professional genealogist in the U.S. is $47,239 as of November 21, 2022. Salaries can be up to $101,500 and as low as $19,000, depending on location and years of experience.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Documents and analyzes data from DNA testing.
  • Examines personal records of clients to discover Family trees and lineage.
  • Assembles data by its relevance, importance, and authenticity.
  • Collects any tangible proof that is accessible, such as letters, photos, and certificates.

Industries Employing Genealogists

Genealogists work in different places, such as:

  • Libraries
  • Government Offices
  • Museums
  • Historical societies
  • Research Organisations
  • Private institutions and individuals


Dramaturgs are specialists and experts in studying plays, musicals, and operas. They are responsible for imparting critical information, analysis, and interpretation of the relevant theatrical work to the cast and crew.

Average Salary

The average annual salary for dramaturgy in the U.S. is $53,988 as of November 21, 2022. Annual incomes are as low as $18,000 and as high as $128,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Provides context and insight for directors looking to understand the play.
  • Assists actors in comprehending the actions and intentions of their characters.
  • Possess a thorough understanding of the play, including its themes, language, setting, history, and music.
  • Holds the current staging and production to a high standard of historical correctness.

Industries Employing Dramaturges

  • Theaters
  • Art Organizations
  • Media Firms

How to Boost your History and Museum Career

In history and museums, a great priority is prior employment and work experience. Employees are looking for graduates with relevant work experience in a related field.

Getting ahead in your career will require looking for a volunteer position or internship opportunities.

Utilize every chance to expand your network of connections and develop the abilities necessary for the position you want.

Joining a credible history and museum association is a sure way to remain relevant in your field. Memberships with such associations keep you updated with relevant information, and it is a great platform for interaction with other professionals in your field.

Examples of such associations are:

The American Alliance of Museums

AAM Committees/Networks

New England Museum Association

International Council of Museums

American Association for State and Local History

National Trust for Historic Preservation

Pros and Cons of History and Museum Careers

The fascination with history and museums doesn't necessarily translate to similar enthusiasm in the workplace. History and Museum careers have their ups and downs; let's discuss below:


  • It is a fascinating field as a lot of historical adventure comes into play.
  • Studying history brings an understanding of present possible solutions to the world.
  • Preserves cultures from extinction.
  • Work duties can expose you to different cultures and societies around the world.
  • Learning and adopting a wide range of transferable skills and thus having a wide range of opportunities in other fields.


  • Jobs in this field require a lot of work to make a living.
  • It can be a difficult career to enter because important skills, knowledge, and experience are necessary.
  • Job growth may easily be influenced by finance or funding.
  • There are fewer jobs than in other professions.

Skills You’ll Develop While Studying History and Museum

Studying History and Museum positions you to gain vital abilities that will support your long-term professional objectives.

Critical Thinking and Analysis

Critical thinking and analysis are at the heart of historical reasoning. Through learning, students are trained to discriminate between past, present, and future times and assess patterns of historical duration.

To effectively evaluate historical data, you need to grasp the historical context within which events occurred and give appropriate interpretations.

Software Skills

Acquiring valuable computer skills necessary for archivists as they build and operate complicated databases relating to the information they access and store.

Building up a purposeful and intentional digital literacy means understanding and applying the tools that help you become better at researching, computing, and interpreting data.

Management Skills

As a History and Museum professional, managing resources is vital. Poor management skills of data can lead to irreparable losses of historical facts and events. Management skills are important in handling historical artifacts to avoid data collection and interpretation distortions.

Interpersonal Skills

Working in a museum, park, or historical site means constantly interacting with people, and the need for effective communication cannot be overemphasized.

Excellent interpersonal skills assist in communicating with clients, superiors, and coworkers for efficient job procedures such as record shipment, exhibitions, storage, and sale.

Attention to Detail

Paying close attention to details is one skill that would help your History and Museum Career. From investigating relics and other historical things, you must be able to pay meticulous attention to detail.

There's the responsibility to take accurate records and documentation to ensure precise interpretation. An eye for detail is a skill that helps you make discoveries others may have ignored.

How to Prepare for a History and Museum Career

Starting your career journey with a bachelor's degree is a good option; advancing your career path with further studies and membership in credible associations is a better option. Prepare yourself for a remarkable career journey by following the useful information below:

1. Enroll for Bachelor's Degree

A Bachelor's degree in History and Museums is a great starting point for various occupations and advanced postgraduate study in various fields. A Bachelor's degree can assist applicants in obtaining the minimal level of education employers frequently set for these employees.

Bachelor's degree programs in history offer personal development while preparing students for professional change, advancement, or graduate study. Learners gain a deeper and broader understanding of history and conventional liberal arts.

2. Be Ready To Further Your Educational Experience

Even though you might be able to get a job position at a museum with just a Bachelor's degree, you'll certainly require a graduate school to take on additional responsibility.

Applicants should further their education with specialized short-term and graduate-level training such as a Master's or Doctorate in public history and museum studies. These courses are found in either a history related field or specific program.

3. Consider Pursuing An Internship or Volunteer Program

Volunteering and internships are the best approaches to building a career in history and museums. Volunteering presents opportunities for volunteers to investigate different employment specialties.

Volunteering in non-profit organizations in the Arts and History helps internships stay current on the key challenges and trends in the industry.

4. Stay Knowledgeable In This Field

Keeping up to date on the newest advances in your profession is a significant element of obtaining and keeping a career in history and museums. Museums and archival organizations provide workshops, courses, and on-the-job training to assist you in advancing in your career.

Reading books on areas of your field, joining organizations, and online forums for industry professionals can all be excellent means of creating connections that position you for your next job opportunity.

History and Museum Resources to Help Your Career

Valuable resources are available online to set you on a thriving career path in History and museum studies. A few of these resources in the links below:

Best Accredited Masters Degree Program in History

Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in History

How to Switch to a History and Museum Career

Educational background and training are essential in switching to a career in History and Museum studies. Various career choices are available in this field, and it is crucial to identify which career path one has chosen. Your chosen career path dictates the credentials and certifications necessary to thrive in that field.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is History and Museum?

Educational background and training are essential in switching to a career in History and Museum studies. Various career choices are available in this field, and it is crucial to identify which career path one has chosen. Your chosen career path dictates the credentials and certifications necessary to thrive in that field.

What certification do I need for a History and Museum career?

History and Museum study past events and people about the concepts, institutions, social norms, cultural practices, and physical settings in which they developed.

You can relate these historical facts to the public or be engrossed with the research behind these historical facts.

Can I get a History and Museum degree online?

Careers in History and Museum can start with an associate degree, earning you limited jobs.

But to attract better job roles and salaries, one must further their education with graduate and postgraduate degrees.

What fields can History and Museum professionals work in?

The workplaces for History and Museum professionals include the following: Museums, Historical Sites, Academia, Publishing Houses, Government Agencies, Cultural Organizations, Non-Profit Organizations, Media Organizations Military Outfits.

History and Museum graduates have open positions in Law Firms and political firms if they choose to further in those fields and earn relevant certifications.

Is there a high demand for History and Museum majors?

No, there is not a high demand for History and Museum jobs. However, specific careers within this field have a higher demand for employees than other fields, and demand is greatly affected by location and their appreciation of Culture and Natural History.

Final Thoughts

The world is always changing, and we must preserve accurate historical facts and events. Understanding human history is crucial to draw lessons from history and to rewrite our present and future.

History and museum jobs would keep evolving in their collection, preservation, and archiving methods, etc., with the advent of technology. The past is always intriguing, and as people's interests grow, so will history and museum careers.

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