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Archivist

Archivists acquire, appraise, arrange, describe, preserve and facilitate access to records that have ongoing and permanent value. Archivists work along the entire life cycle of records, from their creation, maintenance and use to their disposal or retention in archives.

  • Avg. Salary $81,200.00
  • Avg. Wage $44.16
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Archivists (5113) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Archivists (F013) 
  • 2011 NOC: Archivists (5113) 
  • 2016 NOC: Archivists (5113) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

N/A
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Archivist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Archivists
METHODICAL

Interest in operating automated reference searches; and in planning the computerized management of archives and the management of electronic archives

INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating information to develop cataloguing and retrieval systems and finding aids that allow access to archival materials, and to design programs for managing, disseminating and storing archives of all types such as documents, photographs, maps, manuscripts and audio-visual and other archival materials

SOCIAL

Interest in instructing and assisting users with their searches

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 01, 2021

Duties and responsibilities vary from one position to another but, in general, archivists:

  • Oversee and provide advice about the development of reliable record-keeping systems
  • Oversee and provide advice on procedures for creating and maintaining records
  • Develop and manage records classification systems and retention and disposition schedules
  • Work with possible donors in order to acquire records for their holdings
  • Develop preservation systems for digital records
  • Develop records conservation programs and carry out conservation activities as needed
  • Identify valuable records and acquire them for preservation and subsequent research
  • Arrange and describe records to facilitate access to them and to the information contained in them
  • Authenticate records and their reproductions
  • Prepare physical displays and online exhibitions to showcase archival holdings
  • Perform outreach work for an archive and the profession in general to promote public awareness
  • Apply knowledge of legislation such as the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Copyright Act
  • Conduct research to identify and document the context of records, and describe archives using content standards
  • Meet challenges presented by technological changes
  • Manage programs, records and archival units within organizations and archival institutions
  • Supervise the work of colleagues, graduate students, interns, assistants and technicians

Archivists may participate in and contribute to professional associations, conferences and educational events. They may also write scholarly articles for professional journals, books, reports and white papers.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 01, 2021

Archivists' working environments vary depending on the nature, type and size of the organization they work for, the type of records they work with and their responsibilities:

  • When appraising records or acquiring records from individuals and families, they may need to work in storage rooms, warehouses, attics or basements
  • When processing records acquired for permanent preservation, archivists often work in an office environment
  • When assisting researchers or other users, they may work in large reference rooms or in office environments

Temperature and humidity are controlled in the storage areas of most archives. Some archives have dust ventilation systems.

Archivists usually work standard office hours, alone or with other people. They are often part of interdisciplinary teams with information technology (IT) professionals, records managers, lawyers, donors and financial officers. When providing reference services, they may work with a wide variety of researchers and may be required to work some evenings and weekends. Travel may be required to where records are created or stored, to do initial appraisals or to discuss records transfer or gifting processes with donors or records creators.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 01, 2021

Archivists need:

  • Strong organizational and analytical skills
  • Strong computer skills
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Time management skills
  • Interest in research and scholarly endeavors
  • Interest in helping people and preserving historical documents

They should enjoy taking a methodical approach to their work, coordinating information and developing innovative solutions to problems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 01, 2021

Archivists need:

  • Well-developed research skills
  • Thorough knowledge of the concepts, principles, methods and practices of records and archival management
  • Computer skills and knowledge of information technology for record-making, record-keeping and preservation
  • Knowledge of the administrative history of the organization for which they work
  • Knowledge of legislation, regulations and administrative contexts in which the records they are responsible for are created, managed, used and preserved

Since conservators are rarely on staff at archives, archivists also need basic conservation skills and knowledge. Audiovisual archivists require technical knowledge related to the processes and equipment involved with photographs, negatives, film, video and sound archives.

The preferred qualification for archivists is a master's degree in archival studies, although some archivists may have master's degrees in history, library science or political science with a concentration in archival studies. Candidates who have a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (B.Sc.) degree may be considered if they also have recognized archives or records management training or extensive experience in those fields.

No master's programs in archival science are offered in Alberta. For information about history, library science and political science degree programs, see the Curator, Historian, Librarian and Political Scientist occupational profiles.

Outside of Alberta, these post-secondary schools offer 2-year master's degree programs in archival studies:

McGill University offers a 2-year Master's Degree in Library and Information Studies with a concentration in Archival Studies.

For current information about these programs, prospective students should refer to the appropriate university calendar or website.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 01, 2021

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 01, 2021

In Alberta, archivists are employed by:

  • Provincial government archives
  • Municipal archives
  • University archives
  • Regional archives
  • Community archives
  • Religious archives
  • Private businesses
  • Museums

Archivists also may work in records management in organizations such as oil companies and government departments, or have responsibilities related to freedom of information and protection of privacy legislation.

In Alberta, most people employed as archivists work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Employment prospects are best for archivists who are willing to work on a contract basis.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 01, 2021
Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $31.28 $38.43 $35.70 $35.83
Overall $35.83 $50.38 $44.16 $43.92
Top $37.31 $50.38 $46.14 $47.40

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

N/A

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

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Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

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Vacancy Rate

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Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Education and Library Studies
  • Humanities and Languages
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 01, 2021

Archives Society of Alberta website: archivesalberta.org

Association of Canadian Archivists website: archivists.ca

Canadian Council of Archives website: archivescanada.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 01, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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