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and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, interviews, films, electronic media, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters.
Sample of reported job titles: County Historian, County Records Management Officer (County RMO), Historian, Historic Interpreter, Historic Sites Registrar, Historical Interpreter, Research Associate, Researcher
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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 from 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.
- Present historical accounts in terms of individuals or social, ethnic, political, economic, or geographic groupings.
- Organize data, and analyze and interpret its authenticity and relative significance.
- Research the history of a particular country or region, or of a specific time period.
- Conduct historical research, and publish or present findings and theories.
- Recommend actions related to historical art, such as which items to add to a collection or which items to display in an exhibit.
- Determine which topics to research, or pursue research topics specified by clients or employers.
- Speak to various groups, organizations, and clubs to promote the aims and activities of historical societies.
- Advise or consult with individuals and institutions regarding issues such as the historical authenticity of materials or the customs of a specific historical period.
- Prepare publications and exhibits, or review those prepared by others, to ensure their historical accuracy.
- Trace historical development in a particular field, such as social, cultural, political, or diplomatic history.
- Organize information for publication and for other means of dissemination, such as via storage media or the Internet.
- Interview people to gather information about historical events and to record oral histories.
- Collect detailed information on individuals for use in biographies.
- Edit historical society publications.
- Coordinate activities of workers engaged in cataloging and filing materials.
- Translate or request translation of reference materials.
- Teach and conduct research in colleges, universities, museums, and other research agencies and schools.
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- Analytical or scientific software — IBM SPSS Statistics ; Statistical analysis software
- Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Microsoft SharePoint
- Data base management system software — Database management systems; Relational database management system RDMS
- Data base user interface and query software — Gutenberg-e; Microsoft Access ; Reference management software; Structured query language SQL
- Data mining software — Text mining software; TokenX
- Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign ; QuarkXPress
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat ; Web Scrapbook
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Enterprise application integration software — Extensible markup language XML
- Geographic information system — ESRI ArcGIS software ; Geographic information system GIS software
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- Industrial control software — Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software ; Wonderware software
- Information retrieval or search software — Archival databases; ArchiveGrid; Searchable online catalogs; Smithsonian Institution digital archives (see all 11 examples)
- Internet browser software — Page markers; Web browser software
- Map creation software — Digital mapping software
- Music or sound editing software — Audio editing software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Scanning software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver; LinkedIn
- Web platform development software — Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP
- Word processing software — Corel WordPerfect; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- History and Archeology — Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
- Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
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- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
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- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Prepare materials for preservation, storage, or display.
- Collect archival data.
- Conduct historical research.
- Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
- Collect information from people through observation, interviews, or surveys.
- Instruct college students in social sciences or humanities disciplines.
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- Freedom to Make Decisions — 56% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 63% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 50% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 29% responded “Very important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 58% responded “Very important.”
- Contact With Others — 41% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 24% responded “Very important results.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 47% responded “About half the time.”
- Deal With External Customers — 39% responded “Extremely important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 35% responded “Important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 57% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Physical Proximity — 56% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 40% responded “Fairly important.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 28% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
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|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master’s degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|18||Some college, no degree|
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Interest code: I Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
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- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$30.33 hourly, $63,100 annual|
|Employment (2020)||3,100 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||300|
|Top industries (2020)||
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Alliance of Museums
- American Association for State and Local History
- American Historical Association
- American Research Center in Egypt
- American Watchmakers – Clockmakers Institute
- Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference
- Midwest Archives Conference
- Mormon History Association
- National Association for Interpretation
- National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors
- National Council on Public History
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Historians
- Organization of American Historians
- Society of American Archivists
- Society of Biblical Literature
- The Southern Historical Association
- Western Museums Association
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