Research Summary. Here are some key points about hiring historians in the United States:

  • In the United States, the median cost per hire a historian is $1,633.
  • It takes between 36 and 42 days to fill the average role in the US.
  • Human Resources use 15% of their expenses on recruitment on average.
  • On average, it takes around 12 weeks for a new historian to become settled and show total productivity levels at work.

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How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Historian

Hiring a historian comes with both the one-time cost per hire and ongoing costs. The cost of recruiting historians involves promoting the job and spending time conducting interviews. Ongoing costs include employee salary, training, benefits, insurance, and equipment. It is essential to consider the cost of historian recruiting as well the ongoing costs of maintaining the new employee.

Historians earn a median yearly salary is $57,376 a year in the US. However, if you're looking to find historians for hire on a contract or per-project basis, hourly rates typically range between $12 and $60.

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How to hire a Historian, step by step

To hire a historian, you should create an ideal candidate profile, determine a budget, and post and promote your job. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to hire a historian:

  • Step 1: Identify your needs
  • Step 2: Create an ideal candidate profile
  • Step 3: Make a budget
  • Step 4: Writing a historian job description
  • Step 5: Post the job
  • Step 6: Interview process
  • Step 7: Send a job offer and onboard your new historian
  • Step 8: Go through the checklist for the hiring process

Identify Your Needs

The first step in the historian hiring process is determining what type of worker you actually need. For example, certain roles might require a full-time employee, whereas others can be done by part-time workers or contractors.

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Hiring the perfect historian also involves considering the ideal background you'd like them to have. Depending on what industry or field they have experience in, they'll bring different skills to the job. It's also important to consider what levels of seniority and education the job requires, and what kind of salary such a candidate would likely demand.

Here's a comparison of the average salaries of common historian roles:

Type Of HistorianDescriptionHourly Rate
HistorianHistorians research, analyze, interpret, and present the past by studying historical documents and sources.$12-60

Create An Ideal Candidate Profile

Ideally, you should have the perfect candidate profile in mind before you write a historian job description. This means you should have a clear idea of the skill set they need to be proficient in, what their main responsibilities will be, and what kind of background they'll have.

Here is a list of skills that are commonly associated with historian:

Common Skills:
  • Cultural Resources
  • Historical Research
  • Historic Resources
  • Oral History Interviews
  • Historic Properties
  • Archival Research
  • Historic Places
  • Alumni Events
  • Facebook
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Historic Sites
  • Instagram
  • PowerPoint
  • Biographies
Check All Skills

Here are the most common historian responsibilities:

  • Manage publicity and advertisement for club and alumni events through social media
  • Develop communication skills by conducting weekly meetings with the president of the fraternity and attending multiple leadership schools as an elect officer
  • Analyze giving in database and produce reports.
  • Collect detail information on individuals for use in biographies.
  • Create profiles and biographies of the life and locations of soldiers.
  • Represent and vote for the recruitment committee in an executive member forum
Check all Duties

Beyond the nuts and bolts, cultural fit is an important factor. It might help to ask yourself how your ideal historian will live by the company's mission statement and contribute to the team dynamic you already have in place. Clearly communicating this vision in your historian job description will help attract candidates who are better suited for the role.

Most Common States For Historians In The US

Rank #State# Of Jobs% of PopulationAvg. Salary
2New York60%$73,474

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Make A Budget

Including a salary range in the job description can help attract top candidates to the position. A historian salary can be affected by several factors, such as the location of the job, the level of experience and seniority of the candidate, any certifications they may hold, and the prestige of the company they will be working for. For example, the average salary for a historian in Kansas may be lower than in Alaska, and an entry-level historian may earn less than a senior-level historian. Additionally, a historian with certifications may command a higher salary, and working for a well-known company or start-up may also impact an employee's pay.

Updated March 16, 2023

Historian Salary Estimate


$27.58 hourly

Entry level Salary
$26,000 yearly

Historian Average Salary By Location

RankStateAvg. SalaryHourly RateJob Count
4New Jersey$73,267$354
5New York$73,258$35

Historian Average Salary By Company

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1BP America Inc$155,000$74.52
2Human Rights Foundation$95,902$46.11
3Jacobs Engineering Group$81,489$39.18
4Civil & Environmental Consultants$81,380$39.131
5National Institute for the Psychotherapies$76,585$36.82
7National Park Foundation$72,335$34.78
8State Bar of Michigan$71,188$34.23
10Michael Baker$69,543$33.43
11TRC Companies$66,522$31.98
12The State of Oregon$66,109$31.78
13American University$63,351$30.46
14Tetra Tech$62,752$30.172
15Estée Lauder$57,940$27.86
16B & P Enterprises$56,914$27.36
17Woods Services$56,789$27.30
18RGA Environmental, A Terracon Company$53,814$25.872
19SAI Communications$51,420$24.72

Writing a Historian Job Description

A good historian job description should include a few things:

  • Summary of the role
  • List of responsibilities
  • Required skills and experience
Including a salary range and the first name of the hiring manager is also appreciated by candidates. Here's an example of a historian job description:

Example of Full Job Description

Why work for HELIX? We prioritize our employees. We have been an employee-owned firm since 2004, providing employees a vested interest in the firm's success through our Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). HELIX placed in the top three for environmental consulting firms and in the top ten for firms in our size range (100 to 199 employees) nationwide in the ZweigWhite Best Firms to Work For 2021 survey. Our employees describe us as team-oriented, caring, flexible, and driven by our standards of integrity. In addition to our competitive benefit package, we also have robust, award-winning wellness, professional growth, employee development training and community volunteer programs, and we support a hybrid work environment that balances the ability to work in the office and from home, when needed.

HELIX offers a competitive benefits package, that includes:

· Health Coverage (Medical, Dental, Vision)

· Life Insurance

· Personal Time Off

· Bonus Program

· ESOP participation

· 401K participation

The successful applicant will assist in conducting cultural resources/built environment studies for a wide range of project types throughout California, reporting to the Cultural Resources Group Manager. Responsibilities will include proposal preparation, research, field surveys, evaluations, impact analyses, report preparation, and communications with other cultural resources and environmental planning staff, subconsultants, clients and agency staff. The ideal candidate will have knowledge and training in historical resources in California, with at least eight years of related experience.

Candidates must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills and analytical abilities. The applicant must have a strong work ethic, positive attitude, and work well with others. Knowledge of the California historical, environmental, and regulatory setting is desired.

HELIX is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and an inclusive work environment. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply regardless of gender, race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), parental status, national origin, disability, age, genetic information (including family medical history), political affiliation, military service or veteran status. These protections extend to all management practices and decisions, including recruitment and hiring, appraisal systems, promotions, training, and career development programs.

Salary DOE


#CulturalResources #Archaegology #ArchitecturalHistorian


Minimum Requirements for Senior Architectural Historian:

• Graduate Degree in historic preservation, historic architecture, history, or a closely related field;

• A minimum of eight years of professional experience in applying the methods and practices of historic preservation in the identification, evaluation, and treatment of historic resources;

• Strong research, writing, organizational, and verbal communication skills;

• Knowledge and experience with historic preservation and cultural resources management within the State of California; and

• Knowledge of the federal and California laws and regulations pertaining to cultural resource protection and management, and ability to evaluate compliance with relevant federal and state regulations, policies and procedures pertaining to cultural resources.

Additional skills considered a plus for Senior Architectural Historian:

• Historic archaeology experience and capabilities;

• Experience with development/implementation of research designs, preservation plans, and mitigation measures (e.g., HABS/HAER documentation);

• Experience with development/implementation of construction monitoring plans and programs;

• Experience in the marketing of historic resource services.


Post A Job

To find historians for your business, try out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Consider internal talent. One of the most important talent pools for any company is its current employees.
  • Ask for referrals. Reach out to friends, family members, and your current work to ask if they know any historians they would recommend.
  • Recruit at local colleges. Attend job fairs at local colleges to recruit entry-level historians with the right educational background.
  • Social media platforms. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have more than 3.5 billion users, and they're a great place for company branding and reaching potential job candidates.

Post your job online:

  • Post your historian job on Zippia to find and recruit historian candidates who meet your exact specifications.
  • Use field-specific websites.
  • Post a job on free websites.

Interview Process

Your first interview with historian candidates should focus on their interest in the role and their specific background experience. As the hiring process goes on, you can learn more about how they'd fit into the company culture in later rounds of interviews.

It's also a good idea to ask about candidates' special skills and talents to see if they map with your ideal candidate profile. If you think a candidate is good enough for the next step, you can move on to the technical interview.

The right interview questions can help you assess a candidate's hard skills, behavioral intelligence, and soft skills.

Send A Job Offer And Onboard Your New Historian

Once you have selected a candidate for the position, it is time to create an offer letter. In addition to salary, the offer letter should include details about benefits and perks that are available to the employee. It is important to make sure that your offer is competitive, as qualified candidates may be considering other job opportunities. The candidate may wish to negotiate the terms of the offer, and it is important to be open to discussion and reach a mutually beneficial agreement. After the offer has been accepted, it is a good idea to formalize the agreement with a contract.

It's also important to follow up with applicants who do not get the job with an email letting them know that the position is filled.

Once that's done, you can draft an onboarding schedule for the new historian. Human Resources should complete Employee Action Forms and ensure that onboarding paperwork is completed, including I-9s, benefits enrollment, federal and state tax forms, etc. They should also ensure that new employee files are created for internal recordkeeping.

Go Through The Checklist For The Hiring Process

  • Determine employee type (full-time, part-time, contractor, etc.)
  • Submit a job requisition form to the HR department
  • Define job responsibilities and requirements
  • Establish budget and timeline
  • Determine hiring decision makers for the role
  • Write job description
  • Post job on job boards, company website, etc.
  • Promote the job internally
  • Process applications through applicant tracking system
  • Review resumes and cover letters
  • Shortlist candidates for screening
  • Hold phone/virtual interview screening with first round of candidates
  • Conduct in-person interviews with top candidates from first round
  • Score candidates based on weighted criteria (e.g., experience, education, background, cultural fit, skill set, etc.)
  • Conduct background checks on top candidates
  • Check references of top candidates
  • Consult with HR and hiring decision makers on job offer specifics
  • Extend offer to top candidate(s)
  • Receive formal job offer acceptance and signed employment contract
  • Inform other candidates that the position has been filled
  • Set and communicate onboarding schedule to new hire(s)
  • Complete new hire paperwork (i9, benefits enrollment, tax forms, etc.)
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Hiring Historians FAQs

How Much Does A Good Historian Cost?

A good historian costs $27.58 an hour in the US. However, it can vary based on factors such as the historian experience, abilities, industry, and the specific requirements of your business.

What Are The Duties Of A Historian?

The duties of a historian are:
  • Manage publicity and advertisement for club and alumni events through social media
  • Develop communication skills by conducting weekly meetings with the president of the fraternity and attending multiple leadership schools as an elect officer
  • Analyze giving in database and produce reports.

Should I Hire A Historian With No Experience?

Yes, you should hire a historian with no experience. Hiring an entry-level historian with no experience offers versatility for your team. They may lack some qualifications, but are adaptable and have not yet formed problematic habits. However, more training may be required compared to experienced.

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