Architectural Historian

Prove the historical importance of buildings in an effort to preserve them.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$26,000 – $96,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Architectural Historians do?

Wildlife Biologists study endangered species, Architectural Historians study endangered buildings. An expert in design, an Architectural Historian evaluates old buildings to determine when they were built and whether they should be preserved. As an Architectural Historian, you spend much of your time in the field, examining structures or working on restoration projects for museums and historical societies.

When a town wants to tear down an unused building or level a neighborhood, you’re called in to investigate. You take photographs and scribble notes before typing up your formal report on the style, time period, and significance of the architecture.

You’ll also be the first person to learn about the renovation of an old plantation or the home of a famous historical figure. Suddenly, you’re a Doctor, diagnosing what ails the house — termites, rot, or overgrown shrubs — and working with Construction Workers to treat it.

You spend many hours in the library, searching for photographs and articles on the building and the popular styles of that time. From the wood siding to the shingles used on the roof, you find out how to recreate history and keep a piece of the past alive.

Should I be an Architectural Historian?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: College Archivist, Librarian, Special Collections

    How to become an Architectural Historian

    Most Architectural Historians have a Doctorate or a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:axat9y&chl=|certificate+%2818%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2815%25%29|master%27s+%2848%25%29|doctorate+%2819%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,48
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