For those considering a career change into the heritage sector, it is worth taking into account the amount of time and money that you are likely to need to invest in yourself. Careers in the technical side of building conservation, as a specialist, a craftsperson, or a researcher, require both training and experience. Before committing to this, it is worth finding out more about the day-to-day realities of your chosen role by attending a short course, arranging a work experience placement or volunteering.
It is often easier for career changers to find work in the ‘Support’ or ‘Education’ category, especially if your previous roles have equipped you with relevant skills, such as finance, marketing, teaching, or fundraising. However, it will still be necessary to develop an understanding of the heritage sector and adapt your existing knowledge accordingly. Volunteering roles are a good way of gaining relevant experience. Be aware that competition for paid jobs in this field can be high, and that jobs are often lower paid than the equivalent roles in other sectors.
Once you have secured a position within the sector, it is often much easier to move roles within it. Many of those working in building conservation will wear a number of different hats during their careers, so it does offer opportunities to change path as your interests develop.