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Career and Education Opportunities for Archivists in Birmingham, Alabama

Archivists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Birmingham, Alabama area. There are currently seventy working archivists in Alabama; this should grow 14% to eighty working archivists in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for archivists are expected to grow by about 6.5%. Archivists generally appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents.

Archivists earn approximately $25 hourly or $53,890 annually on average in Alabama. Nationally they average about $21 per hour or $45,020 annually. Earnings for archivists are better than earnings in the general category of Libraries and Museums in Alabama and better than general Libraries and Museums category earnings nationally. Archivists work in a variety of jobs, including: librarian, curatorial specialist, and photographs curator.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Birmingham area, including two within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree to start your career as an archivist. Given that the most common education level for archivists is a Master's degree, it will take about six years to learn to be an archivist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Archivist

Archivist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, archivists appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. They also participate in research activities based on archival materials.

Archivists preserve records and objects, copying records to film or computer formats as needed. They also furnish reference services and assistance for users needing archival materials. Finally, archivists organize archival records and design classification systems to enable access to archival materials.

Every day, archivists are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for archivists to authenticate and appraise historical documents and archival materials. They are often called upon to direct efforts of staff who help in arranging and maintaining collections of valuable materials. They also establish and administer policy guidelines concerning public access and use of materials. They are sometimes expected to develop and maintain accessible, retrievable computer archives and databases, incorporating current advances in electric data storage technology. Somewhat less frequently, archivists are also expected to direct educational and public outreach programs, such as tours and classes.

Archivists sometimes are asked to direct educational and public outreach programs, such as tours and classes. And finally, they sometimes have to establish and administer policy guidelines concerning public access and use of materials.

Like many other jobs, archivists must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Curator. Administer affairs of museum and conduct research programs. Direct instructional, research, and public service activities of institution.
  • Kindergarten Teacher. Teach elemental natural and social science, personal hygiene, and literature to children from 4 to 6 years old. Promote physical, mental, and social development. May be required to hold State certification.
  • Museum Technician. Prepare specimens, such as fossils, skeletal parts, and textiles, for museum collection and exhibits. May restore documents or install, arrange, and exhibit materials.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Archivist Training

Birmingham Southern College - Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254. Birmingham Southern College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,458 students and an admission rate of 69%. Birmingham Southern College has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated seven students in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has a master's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated two students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.