Conservation OfficerJob Description:
Conservators preserve and restore objects, artworks and buildings of historical importance.Job Category:
What you will do:
Conservators look after historical objects or artefacts in a museum or private collection. They use a range of scientific methods, materials and equipment to preserve and restore them.
You could be working with paintings, books or furniture in a museum, art gallery or private house, or a property and grounds owned by a charity.
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- preserving objects to stop deterioration
- checking the condition of objects
- making sure that conditions are right for display and storage
- keeping written and photographic records
- working in a team with other conservators
- giving presentations to visitors, including school groups
- setting up exhibitions and arranging safe transportation
- giving advice on collections
- an interest and knowledge of history
- knowledge of the fine arts
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
As well as:
To become a Conservation Officer, you typically do not need specific subjects, but certain subjects and skills can be beneficial in preparing for a career in conservation and environmental protection. Conservation Officers are responsible for managing and protecting natural resources, wildlife habitats, and ecosystems. Here are some relevant subjects:
- Biology: Biology provides a strong foundation in understanding living organisms, ecosystems, and ecological principles, which are fundamental to conservation work.
- Environmental Science or Geography: courses in Environmental Science or Geography can provide insights into environmental issues, ecosystems, and geography that are relevant to conservation.
- Mathematics (Maths): Basic numeracy skills are important for data analysis, budgeting, and conducting research related to conservation projects.
- English Language: Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential for documenting research findings, writing reports, and communicating with colleagues and the public.
- Chemistry: While not mandatory, Chemistry can be useful for understanding chemical aspects of environmental processes and pollution.
You’ll usually need a degree in conservation. If your degree is in another subject, you’ll usually also need a postgraduate qualification in conservation.
You’ll also need some work experience or some work-based training like an internship.
You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.
Working Hours and Environment:
You’ll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week.
You could be employed or self-employed. Employers may include art dealers, auction houses or private collectors.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll often manage your own time and the hours you do would depend on how much work you have.
You’ll usually be based in a workshop, studio or laboratory, or on site. You could be outdoors if you’re doing work like restoring stone masonry.
Career Path & Progression:
You could move into project management, although this may mean stepping away from ‘hands on’ practical conservation work.
You could go into teaching or academic research or work as a freelance consultant.