What Degree Do I Need to Become an Archivist?

Most archivists hold a master's degree in library science, archival science or a related field. To learn more about the education requirements, job duties and employment outlook for this field, keep reading. Schools offering American History degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Becoming an Archivist-Overview

To work as an archivist, a graduate degree is generally required, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). You can obtain a master's degree in library science or history, which provides you with research and information management skills needed to carry out archivist duties. Concentration or dual-major options in archival studies are also available, covering topics like appraisal methodology, the Encoded Archival Description records system, modern culture, and archival media. Demonstrating proficiency in a foreign language, writing an original research thesis, and partaking in an internship are common graduation requirements.

Important Facts About Archivists

Professional Certification Available through the Academy of Certified Archivists
Key Skills Analytical thinking, computer competency, customer service oriented, organized
Work Environment Museums, government organizations, universities, corporations and other institutions
Similar Occupations Anthropologists, archaeologists, craft and fine artists, historians, librarians

Career Overview

Though archivists commonly work alongside museum curators, you'll typically handle information in forms like letters, manuscripts, maps, and film clips, rather than working with symbolic items like paintings or hand-made woven items. You might even work with ancient scrolls or original documents in foreign languages. Universities, government agencies, and historical centers are a few other places where you might utilize your archival talents.

As an archivist, it would be your responsibility to research materials, determining their significance and history while appropriately preserving them. You'll often work on a computer database, tracking the results of your research and your placement of significant documents in files or displays. If you work in a museum, you might choose collections to highlight in an upcoming exhibition. You'll collect and manage rather large amounts of valuable information, so it's important for you to prioritize and organize your research appropriately and be cautious when handling materials. Since archive work is often done electronically, computer savvy is another beneficial talent.

Salary and Job Outlook

In a May 2014 report, the BLS indicated that the mean annual salary for archivists was $52,930. The BLS predicted that employment in this profession would increase by 7% between 2014 and 2024. Competition was expected to be tight in such job fields. However, the need for all things computerized and electronic spurs demand for archivists, and you'll have better prospects with training in computer record keeping and web development.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Johns Hopkins University

    Johns Hopkins University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Johns Hopkins University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Argosy University

    Argosy University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Argosy University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Western Washington University

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Bellingham
  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available