Sports Historian: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements to become a sports historian. Get the facts about job options, duties, employment outlook and education requirements to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Education - Sports Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Sports Historian?

Sports historians conduct research in the combined fields of sports and history. They typically use a variety of sources, such as electronic media, films, government records, interviews, letters and newspapers. They may study a particular sport, team, player, coach and more. Their work may be used in documentaries, books, movies and other media outlets. These professionals may work for historical societies, museums or research organizations. Individuals with extensive knowledge of history may also become college professors or work as journalists. See the following chart to understand more about this field.

Historian Postsecondary Teacher Reporters and Correspondents
Degree Required Master's degree typically required; some positions require a doctoral degree Ph.D is most commonly required Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Problem solving, communication, research, writing Communication, writing, critical thinking Interpersonal communication, writing, objectivity, stamina
Job Growth (2014-2024) 2% for all historians* 13% for all postsecondary teachers* -8% for all reporters and correspondents*
Average Salary (2015) $61,120 for all historians* $76,670 for all postsecondary history teachers* $46,560 for all reporters and correspondents*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Degree Programs Are There?

Degree programs that specifically focus on sports history aren't widely available. However, some schools offer bachelor's programs in sport studies that cover the history of sports, as well as sport psychology and sports in the media. In addition, standalone courses on the history of sports in America are available at many colleges. You may be able to focus on sports history for an undergraduate honors project, a master's-level thesis or a doctoral dissertation.

What Types of Positions Are Available?

If you decide to become a historian or postsecondary teacher, keep in mind that these careers usually require a doctoral degree. If you're not interested in pursuing graduate-level education, related positions may be available. For example, job postings found on and indicate that a background in sports history may be helpful for sports journalism or sports marketing positions. Education requirements for these kinds of jobs often include a bachelor's degree.

What Salary Might I Earn?

Your salary depends on the type of position you hold within this field. According to the BLS, historians earned an average wage of $61,120 per year as of May 2015. During the same time, postsecondary history teachers earned an average salary of $76,670. Reporters and correspondents earned an average wage of $46,560 per year as of May 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are several related careers for one to pursue, including those of economists, political scientists and sociologists, all of which require master's degrees. Economists study and analyze the market trends and distribution of goods. They often apply their work to solving various economic issues. Political scientists study different types of political systems, ideas, political trends and more. They may also help analyze various policies and laws. Sociologists observe cultures, social institutions and other groups of people to study social behavior. They explore the different ways that humans interact and work together.

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