Careers in Public History
Perspectives occasionally publishes ads for public history positions. A range of other resources listing job opportunities outside the academy are available:
Museums: the American Association of Museums, Job HQ (formerly Aviso).
Historical societies, small museums, and other history organizations: the American Association for State and Local History, Career Center.
Federal government: Office of Personnel Management. This web site lists all available federal jobs, so job seekers will have to do a subject search to find relevant listings. Many (but not all) history positions are classified under the "GS-170 Historian" job classification. Also check the web sites of the federal agencies that hire historians, including the National Park Service, the Department of State Office of the Historian, and the Senate Historical Office. The Society for History in the Federal Government is a valuable resource for information and employment listings.
State and local government: check the web sites of individual states and cities. A list of links can be found at http://www.statelocalgov.net/50states-jobs.cfm
Archives: Society of American Archivists, Online Career Center.
Libraries: The Western European Studies Section (WESS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) provides listings for opportunities in academic or research libraries.
The National Council on Public History maintains a searchable job listing.
The Chronicle of Higher Education employment listings include a category for "positions outside academe."
Relevant H-Net lists, particularly H-Public and H-Museum, also post position announcements.
General Information about Working in Public History
The AHA offers a free, premium-content subscription to Versatile PhD as a member benefit. Versatile PhD is a confidential web-based resource that aims to prepare PhDs and ABDs for careers outside academia. It works to identify and demystify nonacademic careers, and reveal interesting professions that require the skills historians cultivated (or are currently cultivating) in graduate school. To start using your free premium-content subscription to Versatile PhD, log into member services on the AHA website. To learn more about this service, visit Versatile PhD.
Careers for Students of History, a joint publication of the AHA, the NCPH, and the faculty and students of the Public History Program at the University of South Carolina, provides an overview of career options for professional historians. You may order the print edition, or consult the on-line edition.
Beyond Academe, offers history PhDs information about employment opportunities outside the academy.
The Chronicle of Higher Education regularly publishes first-person articles by PhDs employed or seeking employment outside academe and maintains an archive of articles on employment outside the academy. The Chronicle's web site also includes an excellent article on converting a CV to a resume.
Public History Resource Center includes employment information, web site reviews, interviews with public historians about their career path, and other resources.
Museum Job Resources Online, provides basic information about museum careers.
Public History: Essays from the Field, James B. Gardner and Peter S. Lapaglia, eds. (2004), provides a useful introduction to the field.
Directories maintained by professional associations can give you an idea of the range of employment opportunities open to the professional historian. Useful sources include the Directory of Federal Historical Programs and Activities compiled by the Society for History in the Federal Government, the Directory of Historical Consultants maintained by the National Council on Public History, and the American Association for State and Local History's Directory of Historical Organizations in the United States and Canada. The AHA's Directory of History Departments, Historical Organizations, and Historians is another valuable resource.
Last Updated: April 23, 2013 12:49 PM