Film Archivist

Catalog and protect old films.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$25,000 – $81,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Film Archivists do?

Film decays at a rapid pace. In fact, most of the silent films made in the 1920s have already decomposed to the point of no return. A Film Archivist is responsible for collecting, preserving, organizing, and displaying old footage, usually for a museum, library, educational institution, or historical site.

As a Film Archivist, you’ll get to watch hours and hours of video, and decide what to do with it. Your job as a Film Archivist involves editing films to pull out the most important footage, describing scenes with historical significance, and cataloging clips so that researchers and the public can access them as needed.

You may also get the chance to create an exhibit or collection featuring footage around a certain theme. By using your creativity and doing all the proper research, you’ll boil down all those hours of recordings into a format that the public will be able to understand in a matter of minutes.

Your hard work will make the medium of film a useful and accessible resource for understanding history, improving education, and preserving culture.


Should I be a Film Archivist?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • How to become a Film Archivist

    Most Film Archivists have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:acaj9a&chl=|certificate+%283%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2813%25%29|master%27s+%2884%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,84
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