Most people think of history as a subject that you learn in school and then forget about. However, many of us underestimate the role that historians play in our society.

Historians help us understand the past and how it has shaped the world we live in today. And it is by studying the past that we can estimate the future, because as the old saying goes – History repeats itself.

But just how do historians make money?

The truth is that making a living as a historian can be difficult. While there are different ways with which to make money as a historian, not all of them are equally lucrative. While some of the world’s top historians make a lot of money, most historians find it difficult to find work that keeps them busy enough or gives them enough satisfaction.

But, all is not lost. If you’re a historian or planning to become one, there will still be ways to monetize your knowledge and skills. You just need to look for them harder and be a bit creative.

In this article, we will explore seven different income sources that historians can use to make a living. We will discuss how each method works and provide tips on how you can get started!

What do historians do?

Historians are people who study history. That is, they collect and analyze information about past events. This includes studying written records, researching oral histories, and looking at artifacts from the past. In short, historians try to answer questions about how and why things happened in the past.

While this may seem like a simple task, it’s actually quite difficult. After all, we can’t just ask people who were there what happened – most of them are long gone. This is where historians come in. By piecing together information from a variety of sources, they help us make sense of the past.

There are many different types of historians, each with their own focus. For example, some focus on military history, while others focus on the history of art. There are also those who specialize in specific time periods, such as Ancient Rome or the Middle Ages. No matter what their focus is, all historians share one goal: to understand the past and how it has shaped the present.

How do historians make money?

So how do historians make money? Let’s take a look at seven different income sources that are generally available to historians.

  1. Teaching
  2. Writing Books
  3. Working as a Consultant
  4. Starting a History Blog
  5. Becoming a Researcher
  6. Becoming an Educator
  7. Working for a Thinktank

1. Teaching

One of the most common ways for historians to make money is by teaching. Historians can become teachers in a variety of settings, such as colleges, universities, and even primary and secondary schools.

Historians who teach at undergraduate and graduate schools typically have a Ph.D. in history. They may also have other degrees, such as a Master’s in Philosophy or a Bachelor’s in Education. Those who teach at the primary and secondary levels usually only need a Bachelor’s degree in history.

The salary of a historian depends on a number of factors, such as their qualifications, experience, and the type of institution they work for. For example, historians who teach at Ivy League schools tend to make more money than those who teach at state or community colleges.

If you’re interested in making money by teaching history, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting a job. First, you should consider getting a Ph.D. While this may not be necessary for all teaching positions, it will give you an advantage over those who don’t have a doctorate.

You should also try to gain experience by teaching classes as an adjunct professor or working as a teaching assistant. This will not only give you valuable experience, but it will also help you build a network of contacts in the field.

2. Writing Books

Another way for historians to make money is by writing books. This can be a great way to share your knowledge with the world and potentially make a lot of money.

Of course, writing a book is no easy task. It takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication. But if you’re up for the challenge, it can be a very rewarding experience.

The key to making money by writing books is to find a niche market. There are literally thousands of history books out there, so you need to find a way to make yours stand out. One option is to write about a topic that is underrepresented in the history genre. For example, you could write about the history of women or minorities in specific countries.

Another option is to focus on a specific time period or region that interests you. This will make your book more appealing to people who are interested in that particular topic.

Another type of book is a biography. If you can write a biography about an interesting person, the subject of your book itself can help sell your book.

No matter what you choose to write about, remember that your book needs to be well-researched, well-written, and at least mildly interesting. If it’s not, it probably won’t be successful.

3. Working as a Consultant

If you’re an expert in a particular area of history, you can make money by working as a consultant. This involves providing advice and guidance to clients on a variety of topics.

For example, you could be hired by a company to help them understand how their products or services fit into the historical context. Or you could be hired by a government agency to help them with their historical research of a foreign country.

Sometimes when a war breaks out, governments need access to experts who can help them understand the historical context of the conflict. This is where consultants can really make a difference. They can explain the motivation of one group Vs another and how an invading army might be perceived and how grievances, real and imagined, could be handled.

4. Starting a history blog

If you’re a good writer, you can make money by writing articles or blog posts about history. This is a great way to share your knowledge with others and potentially make some money in the process.

A well-researched and well-written blog on history is bound to attract recurring readers. And if your blog is popular, you can make money through advertising or affiliate marketing.

Of course, starting a successful blog takes time and effort. But if you’re passionate about history and willing to put in the work, it can be a very rewarding experience.

5. Working as a Researcher

If you enjoy doing research, you might want to consider working as a researcher. This involves conducting research on behalf of clients and helping them to find the information they need.

Working as a researcher can be a great way to make money, but it’s important to remember that it takes a lot of time and effort. You need to be able to find reliable sources of information and have the patience to sift through all of the data.

Attend conferences and events related to your area of expertise, and grow your network to find people who may need your research skills.

Established writers often look for researchers to help them fill the gaps in their books. News organizations or magazines need researchers to help them verify historical facts or find experts to interview.

6. Working as an Educator

If you’re a certified teacher, you can make money by teaching history to students of all ages. This could involve working as a teacher in a traditional classroom setting, or it could involve teaching online courses.

The amount of money you can make as an educator depends on your qualifications and experience. However, it is possible to charge hourly rates of $50 or more.

If you decide to teach online you could record your courses and sell them through marketplaces for online courses. You could also conduct live courses or webinars that you charge money for. You could pitch to get speaker invitations (paid, of course) at conferences or corporate events.

7. Working for a Thinktank

Thinktanks, especially those working in the geopolitical arena, sometimes need historians to make sense of geopolitical shifts caused by revolutions, wars, and economic upheaval.

Much of the work can involve educating internal staff about the history of a particular country. It can involve writing reports and analyzing current events through a historical context.

For instance, think tanks in Washington DC and London needed experts to share their historical perspectives on Baltic countries and other former Warsaw Pact nations joining the European Union and NATO.

While working for think tanks can be extremely rewarding these jobs are sought-after as may see them as a gateway into government employment.


Being a historian is usually a labor of love. People become historians because they have a passion for history, not because they want to make a lot of money. But historians, like everyone else, need money to survive!

And how do historians make money? In this article, we reviewed 7 income sources that are available to historians.

The most common of these is to earn a living as a teacher. Everyone needs history teachers – from schools to colleges to universities.

Another lucrative source of income could be royalties on book sales. Historians usually have a lot of information that they have studied and absorbed and putting it all in a book can be a great way to monetize their knowledge and expertise. However, history books are notoriously difficult to sell and need to be very good to become popular and earn their author’s a decent amount.

Historians can also work as consultants to companies and governments. They can become online writers and learn how to monetize a history blog. They can go a step further and start teaching online and build an online community around their website and their brand.

And finally, they could lend their services to think tanks which could use their expertise and knowledge of the history of a certain part of the world or a certain era to affect government policies.

So if you’re an up-and-coming historian or planning to become one, remember that there are ways in which you can monetize your skills, expertise and knowledge, and earn a living doing what you love.