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Career and Education Opportunities for Archivists in Seattle, Washington

Archivists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Seattle, Washington area. There are currently 140 jobs for archivists in Washington and this is projected to grow 17% to about 170 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for archivists, which sees this job pool growing by about 6.5% over the next eight years. In general, archivists appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents.

A person working as an archivist can expect to earn about $21 per hour or $44,120 yearly on average in Washington and about $21 hourly or $45,020 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Libraries and Museums, people working as archivists in Washington earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Libraries and Museums nationally. People working as archivists can fill a number of jobs, such as: museum registrar, records manager, and archival records clerk.

There are sixty-five schools of higher education in the Seattle area, including two within twenty-five miles of Seattle 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.


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It is important for archivists to authenticate and appraise historical documents and archival materials.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 Seattle 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.
  • Librarian. Administer libraries and perform related library services. Work in a variety of settings, including public libraries, schools, colleges and universities, museums, corporations, government agencies, law firms, non-profit organizations, and healthcare providers. Tasks may include selecting, acquiring, and maintaining library materials; and furnishing reference, bibliographical, and readers' advisory services. May perform in-depth, strategic research, and synthesize, analyze, and filter information. May set up or work with databases and information systems to catalogue and access information.
  • Library Information Technian. Assist librarians by helping readers in the use of library catalogs, databases, and indexes to locate books and other materials; and by answering questions that require only brief consultation of standard reference. Compile records; sort and shelve books; remove or repair damaged books; register patrons; check materials in and out of the circulation process. Replace materials in shelving area (stacks) or files. Includes bookmobile drivers who operate bookmobiles or light trucks that pull trailers to specific locations on a predetermined schedule and assist with providing services in mobile libraries.
  • 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.


Seattle University - Seattle, WA

Seattle University, 900 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122-4340. Seattle University is a medium sized university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,560 students and an admission rate of 65%. Seattle University has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA

University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has 2 areas of study related to Archivist. They are:

  • Museology/Museum Studies, master's degree which graduated 22 students in 2008.
  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated eight, eight, and one students respectively in 2008.


Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.