How to Make Money with a History Degree (Best 26 Jobs)

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by Timothy Ronaldson

Updated

People who are wondering how to make money with a history degree don’t have to worry about a lack of choices.

There are many exciting and interesting jobs that people with a history degree can have, and many of them are high-paying.

In fact, ZipRecruiter says that the average annual salary for jobs with a history degree is almost $60,000.

Here are the 26 highest paying jobs with a history degree.

26. Paralegal

Paralegals do a lot of research and writing, two skills and tasks that many history majors are very well trained to do.

So, even though people may not think of law as how to make money with a history degree, it’s a really good area of focus.

This career is one of the more popular jobs for psychology majors as well.

One thing to note is that the salary of a paralegal can vary greatly by state, and by the size of the law firm for which one works.

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Median Salary: $40,000 (ZipRecruiter) 

25. Social Media Marketing Coordinator

Yes, history majors can be current and with the times, too, even though much of their studies are based on the past.

Social media marketing coordinators are some of the most sought-after positions for younger generations.

To be successful in the position, one needs to have an intense knowledge of the past, not just as it relates to the company they represent, but the world around them.

The marketing field is full of people from diverse academic backgrounds, ranging from biochemistry majors all the way to economics majors.

This is a great job for anyone with a history degree that likes to study social situations.

Median Salary: $45,242 (Glassdoor) 

24. Journalist

It’s hard for a journalist to do their job properly without putting current times into context.

To do that, journalists need to have a keen knowledge of history.

This is why a lot of history majors actually end up going into journalism, either right out of college or eventually in their career path.

Media is notoriously competitive, so ensure you are avoiding the biggest reasons people don’t get hired.

The median salary for a journalist isn’t high, especially early on, but it can rise as one climbs the ladder. The interesting part about being a journalist is no day is ever the same.

Median Salary: $46,602 (Payscale)

23. Museum Technician

People who love walking around museums and looking at the wonders that have been cobbled together will love being a museum technician.

This is one of the best jobs with a history degree for people who like doing things like putting a puzzle together.

Museum technicians will work with fossils to build the massive displays at various museums, from old gear worn by ancient members of the military to enormous T-Rex bones.

Median Salary: $49,900 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

22. Dramaturge

What even is a dramaturge? It’s a very unique position you could consider when looking for jobs with a history degree.

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People who hold these jobs work with playwrights and other theater companies to research the past to help them accurately portray history in a play.

This is a great way to learn how to make money with a history degree if you like the arts and theater. Just know that it can be low paying.

Some people even only make a stipend between $2,000 and $5,000 for each job completed, instead of a full salaried position.

Median Salary: $51,826 (ZipRecruiter)

21. Genealogist

History is based around how to connect the past with the current times, and help predict the future.

This is also the crux of genealogy, which helps trace and link the past of different people so they can better understand their future.

Genealogists have a very rewarding job.

They can sometimes help people connect with long-lost family members, or discover that they have ancestry from a completely different culture than they knew of when they grew up.

Median Salary: $55,000 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

20. History Writer

One of the most common jobs with a history degree is a history writer. Many people with this degree choose to become researchers who then write books and papers about particular topics of their interest.

Being a writer can be very rewarding, and it also awards people who have the job by giving plenty of flexibility in terms of where they can work and when they have to work.

At the same time, the salary for history writers can vary greatly based on their commercial success, which is hard to predict.

Median Salary: $55,522 (Glassdoor) 

19. Librarian

Librarians don’t just need to be knowledgeable about organization and the Dewey Decimal System.

They need to have an intense knowledge of history. Librarians don’t just categorize and source books, although that is a part of their job.

They also get to have a lot of fun creating educational programs for the community and making resources available to researchers of all kind.

Median Salary: $60,820 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

18. Museum Curator

Being a museum curator is a lot like being an artist. This position requires someone to have a lot of creativity and imagination when they are designing a layout of a museum, and how it can tell a story to those who walk through.

Museum curators are lucky enough to get to see their work first-hand as people walk through the museum and gaze at the work they’ve put together.

Median Salary: $61,048 (Salary.com)

17. Park Naturalist

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A park naturalist helps to plan, conduct and develop programs that inform the public of scientific, natural and historical features of local, state and national parks.

This is a great job for people with a history degree, because park naturalists will need to draw on immense knowledge of the past to show how it shaped the natural present.

One of the great things about the job is that a park naturalist gets to spend a lot of time outdoors in some of the most beautiful settings in the country.

Median Salary: $61,110 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

16. Archivist

Archivists spend a lot of time with paper and a lot of time on their own. People who love to analyze documents for authenticity and value will love this job with a history degree.

It’s an extremely important job, too, as archivists are in charge of maintaining historical information, recording it and cataloging it so it can be found in the future.

These jobs can be held at universities, research institutions and libraries around the world.

Median Salary: $61,210 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

15. Archaeologist

Archaeologists need to draw from fields of study that include history, soil science and geology, to name a few.

They help to unearth pieces of history that help piece together cultures, people, animals and topography of the past. The field is known as a scientific study of the past of humans.

Archaeologists often discover new species of animals that weren’t known before, or are able to draw conclusions about the specific things that happened at a location just by digging up fossils and other things from the ground.

Median Salary: $61,220 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

14. Professor

People with history degrees can easily transition to become a professor of college. Drawing from their unique experiences in education, they can help to teach future generations topics that they love.

One of the great parts about having a history degree is that it pertains to so many different fields of study.

In other words, people who have a history degree can become a professor of multiple subjects — foreign languages, literature, science, philosophy and others, in addition to history.

This can also be a great side job for accounts, due to their expertise across a wide range of business and math related topics.

Median Salary: $61,380 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

13. College Administrator

People with a history degree can also climb the ladder into an administrator position with a high school, college or university.

History majors are very well-trained and qualified for this position, as they always must bring together different ideas and deal with complex problems.

They also must manage multiple personalities and ways of doing things.

Being a college administrator can be quite rewarding, as they get to interact with a new group of students each year, and see them work hard as they start on their adult lives.

Median Salary: $62,852 (Payscale)

12. Living Historian

Living historians help the past literally come to life.

They work at historic sites, fairs and museums, helping visitors fully immerse themselves in the past by playing a role of what life was like in that time period and in that region.

People who like dressing up and acting like people of the past will love being a living historian. They not only get to do research and educate people, but they get to play fun roles while doing it.

Median Salary: $64,423 (Salary.com)

11. Grant Writer

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Every year, organizations all around the country apply for grants to help them finance a project or a specific part of their organization.

And at the center of it all is a grant writer, who must not only have knowledge of where we are today, but where we want to go.

Historians are great grant writers, as they use the research and organizational skills they learn in the classroom and in the field and apply it to a particular writing goal.

Median Salary: $73,032 (Salary.com)

10. Sociologist

Sociologists are one example of how to make money with a history degree in a field that’s related to the topic of study.

Sociologists study the society based on humans and social behaviors of humans as well.

They do this by examining social institutions and groups that people form, in addition to political, business, religious and other social organizations.

One of the coolest parts about being a sociologist is they get to do a lot of research independently and with colleagues. This provides a great change-of-pace to the work day.

Median Salary: $73,760 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

9. Geographer

Geographers of today don’t just draw new maps — although they do that if they discover and chart previously-unexplored territories.

They also study the use and nature of the surface of the Earth. They then interpret and related the interactions of various cultural and physical phenomena.

Geographers can study a wide variety of topics, such as nutrition and food security, the politics of various public spaces, ethical horse racing and climate change.

Median Salary: $74,260 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

8. Business Consultant

The job of a business consultant can take on many different forms, which is why it’s such an interesting and exciting job.

Business consultants can almost pick and choose who they want to work with, especially if they’ve built a following and gained expertise in a highly-specialized field.

It’s a great job for a person with a history degree, because consultants always must draw on the past in order to try to predict the future — or at least plan for it.

Median Salary: $85,000 (Zippia)

7. Political Scientist

A political scientist studies the development, origin and operation of the political systems. These studies can be done on a local, national or international basis.

There are quite a few specialties that one can focus on when they become a political scientist.

They can become an officer of a foreign service or a diplomat, a lobbyist, a political consultant or even a business executive. There’s quite a lot one can do as a political scientist.

Median Salary: $99,730 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

6. Marketing Manager

When most people think of how to make money with a history degree, they don’t often think of marketing. That’s a field usually relegated for communications majors.

But, marketing managers need to have in-depth knowledge of the background of what they’re marketing, which is what history majors do best.

This job can be very rewarding, as marketing managers can help build companies from the ground-up.

Median Salary: $100,000 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

5. Researcher

Researcher is another position that can take on many forms and many shapes. And history majors are great fits for this position, as research is at the core of all they do.

This is a cool position because it awards people the opportunity to work independently, even if they are working for another company and/or working on a specific timeline.

Median Salary: $105,048 (Erieri)

4. PR Manager

how-to-get-a-marketing-job-with-no-experience

A manager of public relations may not seem like it fits with other jobs with a history degree, but it’s a perfect match, actually.

PR managers need to draw on the past to help companies, people and entities spin the present and future through their messaging.

A PR manager also needs to do a lot of research, which people with a history degree know how to do.

PR managers get to work on exciting projects and help influence people to make monumental change in the world.

Median Salary: $115,000 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

3. Project Manager

There are project managers in just about every field, including some directly related to the jobs above and some that are not.

Project managers carry a lot of weight and responsibility on their shoulders, but they are paid handsomely in return.

One of the best parts about this job is seeing a project from idea stage to completion. Seeing work actually come to fruition like that can be quite rewarding.

Median Salary: $116,000 (NorthEastern.edu)

2. Lawyer

All current law is based on past precedent, which positions people with history degrees perfectly to eventually be a lawyer.

This position would require an advanced and specialized degree in law — as well as specific credentials — but it’s a straightforward path for history majors.

Lawyers can focus on any number of specialties, from family to criminal to civil law. It’s what makes being a lawyer so cool.

Median Salary: $122,960 (USNews)

1. Judge

Lawyers can eventually become judges, after years on the job. Instead of arguing for why one position is right over another, judges get to make final determination in cases that can set precedents for years to come across the country.

Judges, again, must draw on the past and also put situations in historical context to make proper decisions.

It’s a very rewarding job, and it’s one that is never the same from case to case.

Median Salary: $136,900 (CareerExplorer)

Conclusion

While some of these jobs may not be the first thing that comes to mind for history majors, they are great examples of how to make money with a history degree.

There are plenty of high-paying jobs with a history degree, too, which makes it a great field to enter.

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About the Author

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Tim is a classically-trained journalist who loves to share knowledge and information with others. In the past, he has worked in TV, online and print media, and currently works with companies to help design, create and strategize their messaging.

2 thoughts on “How to Make Money with a History Degree (Best 26 Jobs)”

  1. God bless you. Thank you so much for your informative and inspirational article! You have convinced me to pursue a History Degree as 70% of the jobs you listed here are occupations that I can see myself doing! God bless you!

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