Public Historian

What Does A Public Historian Do?

A public historian typically research historical documents and sources to learn about the past.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.

How Do I Become A Public Historian?

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.

What is the Average Salary For A Public Historian?

High – 102,000
Median – 55,000
Low – 28,000

What Courses Should I Take To Become A Public Historian?

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

What Is The Work Environment For A Public Historian?

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

What Is The Future Outlook For A Public Historian?

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


  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada

What Degree Should I Consider If I Want To Be A Public Historian?