The public history job market is so bad right now that a job was recently posted that admitted “salary is minimum.”
It’s so bad that a job was recently posted offering a yearly salary of $14,000.
If our field can’t support a trained professional for much more than the minimum wage, how sustainable is it? We’re heading for a fall, folks. Both federal and foundation funding is down (except for the IMLS–thanks, Mrs. Bush). Our traditional volunteer base is dying. Recent studies indicate that a majority of nonprofit executive directors are planning to leave in the next 10-15 years, and a majority of young people working at nonprofits are planning to leave the sector. We’re going to see a wave of local history museum closings, and we’re going to see it soon, unless we tackle some major structural issues around funding, staffing, consolidation and sustainability.