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5 Cool Careers for History Buffs

Business News Daily Editor
Business News Daily Editor

Tired of being told that studying history can only lead to a teaching job? Here are 5 unique, history-inspired career paths you can take instead.

  • Teaching jobs are not the only jobs available to those with a history degree.
  • You can easily earn more than $100,000 per year with a history degree.
  • If you have a degree in history, you can consider a unique career path.

History buffs often feel limited to jobs like teaching, researching and working in an archive. However, those careers aren't appealing to everyone.

If you have a passion for the past but would prefer to take a more unique career path, you're in luck: There are many interesting careers for those with history degrees. Here are some that might be right for you.

What is the highest paying job with a history degree? 

Public relations manager

According to HistoryDegree.net, one of the highest paying jobs for those with a history degree is a public relations manager. This is not one of the usual jobs you typically think about when you think of a history degree, but it requires you to be an effective communicator. Your ability to research gives you the skills to identify audiences according to client needs and budget. The average income for a public relations manger can earn close to $115,000 per year. As you gain experience, your income can continue to rise.


One of the most interesting things about studying history is learning how people lived in different eras and how they are connected with people today. Working as a genealogist would allow you to use your love of history and your research skills to do just that. Genealogists work with individuals or families to trace their backgrounds and research their ancestors, using documents like birth and marriage certificates, court records, obituaries, and more. And every case is exciting because you never know what you'll find – your next client could be related to a past celebrity or important historical figure. A genealogist in the U.S. can earn a salary that ranges from $50,000 to $86,000 per year. 

Museum technician

Fascinated by fossils? Museum technicians are the people behind the displays you see in museums. They work with fossils and skeletons, art, books and other artifacts, and prepare them for research and exhibits (or proper storage, when a collection is no longer on display.) This is a great job for people who love museums but want a more hands-on approach to working with history. The average salary of a museum technician could be anywhere from $24,000 to $36,000, based on experience. [Read Related Article: 9 Strange Businesses You Didn't Know Existed ]

Living historian

Speaking of hands-on history jobs, if you're the type of person whose life revolves around their job, you might want to consider working as a living historian. Living historians work at museums, fairs and historic sites; dress in period-specific clothing; and perform activities as people from that period typically would. Living historians are different from historical re-enactors, however. While re-enactors recreate specific historical events like the Civil War, living historians portray the day-to-day life and activities of their chosen period in history and educate visitors while they do so. Living historians can earn a salary that ranges from $40,000 to $60,000. However, those in the District of Columbia area could earn as much as $84,250.

Underwater archaeologist

Underwater archaeologists study and examine shipwrecks, sunken aircrafts, historical remains and artifacts found underwater and once-inhabited areas that have since become submerged due to natural disasters. Depending on where your interests lie, you can be involved in anything from locating wrecks and historical sites to deep-sea excavation and artifact recovery, restoration and conservation. An underwater archaeologist may earn a salary that ranges from $30,000 to as much as $90,000.


If your head says "history" but your heart says "theater," then a career as a dramaturge could be the perfect way to combine your skills and interests. Dramaturges work with playwrights and theater companies to research and adapt plays and ensure that they are culturally and historically correct and relevant. This is a great job for history buffs who want to contribute to the art world as well. A dramaturge does not usually get a salary. They often get a stipend instead. The stipend could range from $2,000 to $5,000.  


If you have an interest in studying the Earth and how it interacts with other parts of the universe, then this might be the job for you. You will be responsible for teaching physical and cultural phenomena. You might be able to teach at a college or work with a government agency. HistoryDegree.net found that a geographer usually starts around $74,000 per year.

Political scientist

In this job, you study political systems, their origins, process of development and operations. You also study the way all of those pieces work together. According to HistoryDegree.net, the middle of the road salary in this position is around $100,000.


A person is in this position assesses if a piece of information has value. Then the archivist maintains the information and stores it appropriately. The information that an archivist handles can go across many media types, such as pictures, videos, documents or letters. An archivist must preserve the information so that it can be found and understood. The hourly salary of an archivist can range from $14.63 to $43.10, which translates to an annual salary of anywhere between $30,440 to $89, 652.


This may seem like an odd job for those who are studying history, but history buffs make great paralegals. You will not find law and legal procedures and processes in typical history classes, but many of the skills that you develop in your classes are great for the legal world. In a job as a paralegal, you write and research, just like you did as a history major. Those in this position could earn anywhere from $40,000 to $73,000.

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