Historians research the history of human activity and prepare accounts of findings.
Specialisations: Art Historian, Cultural Historian, Economic Historian, Geographical Historian.
A bachelor degree in history is usually needed to work as a Historian. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.
Assembles historical data by consulting sources of information such as historical indexes and catalogues, archives, court records, diaries, newspaper files and other materials.
Organises, authenticates, evaluates and interprets historical, political, sociological, anthropological and linguistic data.
Undertakes historical and cultural research into human activity, and prepares and presents research findings.
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Social Professionals, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 49% of people employed as Historians work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 17 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 44 hours per week in their main job. This is the same as the all jobs average.
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Historians work in industries like:
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Education and training
- Arts and recreation services
- Public administration and safety.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Historians||All Jobs Average|
Around 81% of Historians live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
The Australian Capital Territory and Victoria have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Historians is 53 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 65 years and over.
Females make up 63% of the workforce. This is 15 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Historians||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||24.3||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor degree in history is usually needed to work as a Historian. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Historians||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||62.3||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.6||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Social Professionals who have good leadership and planning skills, with a strong ability to communicate.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Talking to others.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Teaching people how to do something.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
48%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
45%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
43%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
41%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Looking for ways to help people.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
78%History and archeology
Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
57%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
55%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
54%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
53%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
51%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
Compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
50%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
43%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
35%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
32%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
30%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
29%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
22%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Read and understand written information.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Communicate by speaking.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
46%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
39%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
See details that are far away.
Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
Do two or more things at the same time.
Pay attention to a certain sound when there are other distracting sounds.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
72%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
72%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
72%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
70%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
69%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
68%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
67%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
66%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
65%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
65%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
65%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
65%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
62%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
58%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
53%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
53%Giving expert advice
Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.
51%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
50%Providing office support
Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.
50%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
91%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
Talk on the telephone.
86%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Use electronic mail.
84%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
Work with people in a group or team.
83%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
80%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
79%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
77%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
70%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
69%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
65%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
64%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
61%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
Deal with conflict or disagreements.
57%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
Talk to a group of people.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-3093.00 - Historians.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.