Career Details

Public Historian

Career Overview

A public historian typically research historical documents and sources to learn about the past. Ashley, the historian featured in the video, works in the environmental field. She often researches the historic use of a property to determine any environmental concerns.


A master’s degree in history or a related field is required to obtain this position. A doctorate may make a person more competitive during the job search, and it may be required in some organizations. A master's degree typically takes about two-three years to earn after earning a four-year bachelor's degree. Earning a doctorate may require an additional two-three years of college work.

Salary Expectations

Low End:
High End:
$28,000 /yr
$55,000 /yr
$102,000 /yr

Recommended Courses

  • Psychology
  • English - as much as possible!
  • Public Speaking
  • Take as many college-prep courses as possible!
  • History
Future Outlook

There will likely be strong competition for these positions. Opportunities may differ based on geographical location.

Jobs: Check Available Jobs!

Work Environment

Historians typically work for museums, historical societies, research organizations, or the government.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook

Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada