An archivist stores documents and other materials of important value in an organized manner, providing access to them on demand. Archivists are also often asked to verify the legitimacy of certain documents, or transfer them on more modern storage mediums, such as copying books in an electronic format. An archivist may also be required to seek out a particular piece of information not present in the archives, and add it subsequently.

Archivists need to be well-familiar with the subject of their archives – for example, an archivist working in a historic archive should demonstrate strong knowledge in history, usually not just through a formal degree but also activities at an earlier age. An archivist also needs to be knowledgeable in working with both old information storage devices, as well as modern, cutting-edge technology ones, while also possessing the skills necessary to transfer information from one type to another. Archivists also need good memory skills, as they’re often tasked with retrieving pieces of information from large and complex archives.

In 2008, archivists earned an average of $45,000 a year. Some of the more successful ones earn between $60,000 – $75,000 a year, though this is attained through a lot of experience and working in the particular area. The highest-paid archivists don’t usually go over $80,000/year in their salaries though, and the job is not considered a high-paying one in general. Archivists working in museums generally have better potential for earnings, some reaching around $85,000 annually.