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Research, analyze, and interpret history to cultivate knowledge and understanding of the past.

What does a Historian do?

If you love history and research, the job of historian may be for you! While there are many different types of historians and areas of expertise, the key roles they play are similar. Historians work independently or in various organizations such as colleges, government agencies, or museums. As a historian, you conduct historical and archival research to analyze and interpret the past. You support cultural resource management by working with historical artifacts and conducting oral history to preserve cultural heritage. Historians share their knowledge with others by teaching at high schools or colleges or presenting their findings at public educational programs and presentations.

In order to be a successful historian, you must have keen analytical skills to evaluate historical documents or verify the authenticity of historical objects. Problem-solving skills are important so that you can investigate and decipher historical information accurately. Historians need strong communication skills for presenting their findings and working with others on research. You should have effective writing skills in order to write reports, articles, and books on your findings. You may also want to specialize in a particular area of study such as American history, architectural history, or military history.

Historians are usually required to have a master’s degree or Ph.D. in history or a related field such as archaeology, museum studies, or historic preservation.