Architectural historian
NamesArchitectural historian
Occupation type
Activity sectors
CompetenciesHistorical knowledge, Heritage conservation and Management skills
Education required
see professional requirements
Related jobs
Art Historian

An architectural historian is a person who studies and writes about the history of architecture, and is regarded as an authority on it.[1]

Professional requirements

As many architectural historians are employed at universities and other facilities for post-secondary education, in addition to bachelor's degree, it is normal for colleges and universities to require the PhD degree for new full-time hires and a master's degree for part-timers.

United States

According to Secretary of the Interior's Guidelines[2] the minimum professional qualifications in architectural history are a graduate degree in architectural history, art history, historic preservation, or closely related field, with coursework in American architectural history, or a bachelor's degree in architectural history, art history, historic preservation or closely related field plus one of the following:


Professional architectural historians typically work in colleges and universities, archival centers, government agencies, museums, and as freelance writers and consultants. In broad terms, they can be grouped into following two categories:

Academic titles

Common titles and job descriptions within Universities and research organizations might be as follows:

Non-academic titles

Most non-academic positions in architectural history can be grouped into one of the following five categories[3]...

This employment category is similar to Main Street management listed below and is interrelated with the following historical research and evaluation category. Professionals in the present field are primarily concerned with the planning and administration of preservation programs, providing technical support to the community and attending public meetings. Positions in this category are typically more office based and require more interpersonal skills than the following category.
Principal employers are state and local government agencies, including historic preservation offices and nonprofit organizations.
This field is the counterpart to preservation planning and administration, above. It involves completing field surveys, conducting research and completing the reports reviewed by state and local government agencies. Compared to preservation planning and administration this field is less office oriented, requiring more on-site work and travel.
Principal employers are architectural firms, cultural resource firms and government agencies.
This field is analogous with museum curatorship but often includes aspects of historical research and evaluation, above and/or historic foundation management and administration, below.
Principal employers are local governments or private, nonprofit organizations.
Positions in this field are rarely entry level and generally require experience in nonprofit organization administration coupled with a background in architectural history. In many cases duties include those of historic site management as well.
Principal employers are historic foundations.
Professionals in this field implement and manage downtown revitalization and preservation programs known as Main Street programs. These programs are assisted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Main Street Center. In addition to sharing many of the activities in the preservation planning and administration category, Main Street managers are also involved with marketing and fundraising.
Principal employers are nonprofit organizations.

Professional organizations


Following are averages of salary ranges as listed in position announcements, excluding additional benefits. The upper salary level listed in such announcements may represent qualifications exceeding the minimum requirements specified for the position.

United States

According to a survey conducted by the architectural history department, Savannah College of Art and Design, on professional career opportunities in architectural history, was compiled in January 2010 from positions listed January–December 2009,[3] averages of salary ranges in United States are below.

Positions requiring:

See also


  1. ^ Crist, B (2006), Careers for Historians: Architectural Historians (PDF), North Carolina Museum of History, p. 1, archived from the original (PDF) on 4 June 2011, retrieved 17 July 2011, .
  2. ^ US Department of Interior (2011). "ARCHEOLOGY AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION:Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines [As Amended and Annotated]". National Park Service. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  3. ^ a b Savannah College of Art and Design (2011). "Survey of professional career opportunities in architectural history". Blog of the Architectural History department. Retrieved 3 August 2011.