Best Careers for History Lovers

Stan T.

Are you a history buff? You are someone who strives to go beyond your own roots to understand the history and culture of others. You get a kick when you learn something new about the past that contributed to our society today.

Here are 10 career options for you.

  1. Archeologists

  2. Archeologists conduct research to reconstruct record of past human life and culture from human remains, artifacts, architectural features, and structures recovered through excavation, underwater recovery, or other means of discovery.

    • Study objects and structures recovered by excavation to identify, date, and authenticate them and to interpret their significance.
    • Research, survey, or assess sites of past societies and cultures in search of answers to specific research questions.
    • Write, present, and publish reports that record site history, methodology, and artifact analysis results, along with recommendations for conserving and interpreting findings.
    • Describe artifacts' physical properties or attributes, such as the materials from which artifacts are made and their size, shape, function, and decoration.

  3. Curators

  4. Curators administer collections, such as artwork, collectibles, historic items, or scientific specimens of museums or other institutions. May conduct instructional, research, or public service activities of institution.

    • Plan and organize the acquisition, storage, and exhibition of collections and related materials, including the selection of exhibition themes and designs, and develop or install exhibit materials.
    • Develop and maintain an institution's registration, cataloging, and basic record-keeping systems, using computer databases.
    • Plan and conduct special research projects in area of interest or expertise.
    • Provide information from the institution's holdings to other curators and to the public.

  5. Historians

  6. Historians research, analyze, record, and interpret the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, interviews, films, electronic media, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.

    • Conserve and preserve manuscripts, records, and other artifacts.
    • Gather historical data from sources such as archives, court records, diaries, news files, and photographs, as well as collect data sources such as books, pamphlets, and periodicals.
    • Conduct historical research as a basis for the identification, conservation, and reconstruction of historic places and materials.
    • Research and prepare manuscripts in support of public programming and the development of exhibits at historic sites, museums, libraries, and archives.

  7. Anthropologists

  8. Anthropologists research, evaluate, and establish public policy concerning the origins of humans; their physical, social, linguistic, and cultural development; and their behavior, as well as the cultures, organizations, and institutions they have created.

    • Collect information and make judgments through observation, interviews, and review of documents.
    • Write about and present research findings for a variety of specialized and general audiences.
    • Teach and mentor undergraduate and graduate students in anthropology.
    • Plan and direct research to characterize and compare the economic, demographic, health care, social, political, linguistic, and religious institutions of distinct cultural groups, communities, and organizations.

  9. Archivists

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

    • Organize archival records and develop classification systems to facilitate access to archival materials.
    • 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.

  11. Park Naturalists

  12. Park Naturalists plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.

    • Conduct field trips to point out scientific, historic, and natural features of parks, forests, historic sites, or other attractions.
    • Prepare and present illustrated lectures and interpretive talks about park features.
    • Plan and organize public events at the park.
    • Provide visitor services, such as explaining regulations, answering visitor requests, needs and complaints, and providing information about the park and surrounding areas.

  13. Tour Guides and Escorts

  14. Tour Guides and Escorts escort individuals or groups on sightseeing tours or through places of interest, such as industrial establishments, public buildings, and art galleries.

    • Describe tour points of interest to group members, and respond to questions.
    • Escort individuals or groups on cruises, sightseeing tours, or through places of interest such as industrial establishments, public buildings, or art galleries.
    • Conduct educational activities for school children.
    • Monitor visitors' activities to ensure compliance with establishment or tour regulations and safety practices.

  15. Museum Technicians and Conservators

  16. Museum Technicians and Conservators restore, maintain, or prepare objects in museum collections for storage, research, or exhibit. May work with specimens such as fossils, skeletal parts, or botanicals; or artifacts, textiles, or art. May identify and record objects or install and arrange them in exhibits. Includes book or document conservators.

    • Install, arrange, assemble, and prepare artifacts for exhibition, ensuring the artifacts' safety, reporting their status and condition, and identifying and correcting any problems with the set up.
    • Repair, restore, and reassemble artifacts, designing and fabricating missing or broken parts, to restore them to their original appearance and prevent deterioration.
    • Classify and assign registration numbers to artifacts and supervise inventory control.
    • Study object documentation or conduct standard chemical and physical tests to ascertain the object's age, composition, original appearance, need for treatment or restoration, and appropriate preservation method.

  17. Geographers

  18. Geographers study the nature and use of areas of the Earth's surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena. Conduct research on physical aspects of a region, including land forms, climates, soils, plants, and animals, and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area, including social characteristics, economic activities, and political organization, as well as researching interdependence between regions at scales ranging from local to global.

    • Create and modify maps, graphs, or diagrams, using geographical information software and related equipment, and principles of cartography, such as coordinate systems, longitude, latitude, elevation, topography, and map scales.
    • Analyze geographic distributions of physical and cultural phenomena on local, regional, continental, or global scales.
    • Write and present reports of research findings.
    • Gather and compile geographic data from sources including censuses, field observations, satellite imagery, aerial photographs, and existing maps.

  19. Political Scientists

  20. Political Scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. May study topics, such as public opinion, political decision-making, and ideology. May analyze the structure and operation of governments, as well as various political entities. May conduct public opinion surveys, analyze election results, or analyze public documents.

    • Disseminate research results through academic publications, written reports, or public presentations.
    • Teach political science.
    • Develop and test theories, using information from interviews, newspapers, periodicals, case law, historical papers, polls, or statistical sources.
    • Identify issues for research and analysis.

  21. Sociologists

  22. Sociologists study human society and social behavior by examining the groups and social institutions that people form, as well as various social, religious, political, and business organizations. May study the behavior and interaction of groups, trace their origin and growth, and analyze the influence of group activities on individual members.

    • Analyze and interpret data to increase the understanding of human social behavior.
    • Collect data about the attitudes, values, and behaviors of people in groups, using observation, interviews, and review of documents.
    • Prepare publications and reports containing research findings.
    • Plan and conduct research to develop and test theories about societal issues such as crime, group relations, poverty, and aging.