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Archivists look after and preserve collections of historical records and documents.

Annual Salary

£21,000 to £60,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm;

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Archivist jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • store materials correctly and keep them in good condition
  • use archive management software to date, catalogue and index materials
  • create and set up programmes to digitise records and materials
  • help people use the archives
  • make records available to users in formats such as photocopies, microfiche and online
  • carry out research
  • give talks and organise presentations, displays and exhibitions
  • negotiate the buying or donation of archive material

Working environment

You could work in an office.

Your working environment may be physically demanding, cramped and dusty.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship

You'll need a degree and postgraduate training to do this job. Most degree subjects are accepted, but you may find it useful to take a degree like:

  • history
  • information science
  • law
  • languages

After you complete a degree, you can do a postgraduate qualification in archives or records management recognised by the Archives & Records Association (ARA).

You'll usually need some relevant work experience to apply for a postgraduate course. This is a great way of finding out if a career as an archivist is for you.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
For more information

You could do an Archivist and records manager degree apprenticeship.

This typically takes 36 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and study with an approved university.

For more information
Volunteering and work experience

It's important that you get some paid or unpaid experience in archives or records management work. This will help when you apply for courses and jobs.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Archives & Records Association and get access to industry news, professional development courses and networking events.

You can also join the Information and Records Management Society.

The IRMS offers industry news, events, resources and the opportunity to apply for accreditation once you have several years experience in the role.

Further information

You'll find more details about careers and training in archives from the Archives & Records Association.

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With experience, you could work with large and prestigious organisations, like national archives and museums, businesses, church foundations and charities.

You could supervise or manage a team of archivists, be responsible for funding bids and advise on strategy and planning.

You could become self-employed.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • an interest and knowledge of history
  • analytical thinking skills
  • administration skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • concentration skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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