What Do Archivist Do?
Job Description: Appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.
Life As an Archivist: What Do They Do?
- Provide reference services and assistance for users needing archival materials.
- Locate new materials and direct their acquisition and display.
- Specialize in an area of history or technology, researching topics or items relevant to collections to determine what should be retained or acquired.
- Establish and administer policy guidelines concerning public access and use of materials.
- Coordinate educational and public outreach programs, such as tours, workshops, lectures, and classes.
- Research and record the origins and historical significance of archival materials.
Qualities of an Archivist
When polled, Archivists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Types of Archivist
- Museum Librarian
- State Archivist
- Records Manager
- Records Administrator
- Collections Director
Is There Going to be Demand for Archivists?
There were about 6,800 jobs for Archivist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 14.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,000 new jobs for Archivist by 2026. The BLS estimates 800 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Archivist are Nebraska, Kentucky, and Georgia. Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, Vermont, or Oklahoma. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Archivist Average Salary
The salary for Archivists ranges between about $30,440 and $90,830 a year.
Archivists who work in District of Columbia, California, or Georgia, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Archivists in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$74,860|
What Tools do Archivists Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Archivists:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Hypertext markup language HTML
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Word processing software
- Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- Database software
- FileMaker Pro
- Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
- Extensible markup language XML
- Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
- Apple Final Cut Pro
- Presentation software
- Dynamic hypertext markup language DHTML
- Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Suite
How to Become an Archivist
Individuals working as an Archivist have obtained the following education levels:
How Long Does it Take to Become an Archivist?
The table below shows the approximate number of Archivists employed by various industries.
Those thinking about becoming an Archivist might also be interested in the following careers:
Image Credit: Jorge Royan via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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