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Historians Job Outlook

Employment of historians is expected to grow 18 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Federal, state, and local governments, which employ 57 percent of all historians, are expected to experience slower-than-average employment growth, which will lead to a limited number of new historian positions. Historians will experience more employment growth outside of government, in historical societies, research organizations, and historical consulting firms. However, many types of organizations that employ historians depend on donations or public funding, so employment growth from 2010 to 2020 will depend largely on the amount of funding available.

Job Prospects

Historians will face strong competition for most jobs. Because of the popularity of history degree programs, applicants are expected to outnumber positions available. Those with practical skills or hands-on work experience should have the best job prospects.

Many workers with a background in history will likely work in a closely related field. Because historians have broad training and education in writing, analytical research, and critical thinking, they can apply their skills to many different occupations. Many find work as researchers, writers, educators, or policy analysts.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition