What Do Archivists Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Archivists

Archivists appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.

Salary
$61210
Becoming One
Very Hard
Education
Master's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match



Job Description

Job Description

Archivists appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials. They also organize archival records and develop classification systems to facilitate access to archival materials.

Other tasks include:

  • Provide reference services and assistance for users needing archival materials.
  • Prepare archival records, such as document descriptions, to allow easy access to information.
  • Establish and administer policy guidelines concerning public access and use of materials.
  • Research and record the origins and historical significance of archival materials.
  • Create and maintain accessible, retrievable computer archives and databases, incorporating current advances in electronic information storage technology.
  • Preserve records, documents, and objects, copying records to film, videotape, audiotape, disk, or computer formats as necessary.

We asked Archivists how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

72%

How meaningful is this job

51%


72% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 51% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Archivists create and maintain accessible, retrievable computer archives and databases, incorporating current advances in electronic information storage technology. They provide reference services and assistance for users needing archival materials.

A typical day for an Archivist will also include:

  • Direct activities of workers who assist in arranging, cataloguing, exhibiting, and maintaining collections of valuable materials.
  • Organize archival records and develop classification systems to facilitate access to archival materials.
  • Research and record the origins and historical significance of archival materials.
  • Prepare archival records, such as document descriptions, to allow easy access to information.
  • Preserve records, documents, and objects, copying records to film, videotape, audiotape, disk, or computer formats as necessary.

We asked some Archivists a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 63% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 9% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 78% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 34% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 0% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 19% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Archivists also locate new materials and direct their acquisition and display. They may also coordinate educational and public outreach programs, such as tours, workshops, lectures, and classes.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Archivists Research and record the origins and historical significance of archival materials. They might also Specialize in an area of history or technology, researching topics or items relevant to collections to determine what should be retained or acquired.

In addition, they Direct activities of workers who assist in arranging, cataloguing, exhibiting, and maintaining collections of valuable materials.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Prepare archival records, such as document descriptions, to allow easy access to information.

To some Archivists, it is also their responsibility to Select and edit documents for publication and display, applying knowledge of subject, literary expression, and presentation techniques.


Working life

Working hours

Standard 40 hour work week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as an Archivist, you can expect to work 40 hour work week.

Do Archivists work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
93%


Once a week
7%


Do Archivists work outdoors?

Never
76%


Once a year
24%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Organizers and The Thinkers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas..

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



Learn more about Archivists

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Related to Archivists Job Description

Archivists job description, what do Archivists do, typical day for Archivists, what is it like to work as an Archivist, how many hours do Archivists work, day to day work of an Archivist

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and-conservators.htm
http://www.statearchivists.org/
http://www.archivists.org/


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