Felicity, the membership officer at the SPAB, writes about her route into building conservation, the local development campaign that got her interested in the sector and the best careers advice she was given.
For those who want to be involved more broadly with building conservation, but do not want to take the specialist or crafts route, careers will usually start with either a relevant undergraduate degree, such as history, archaeology, history of art etc, or a qualification and experience in an equivalent role in a different industry. This might be followed by a postgraduate qualification in historic building conservation or similar, though it is rarely a requirement of such roles.
You will need to develop the relevant professional skills for your chosen role. Examples of these may include marketing, book-keeping, IT, PR, and customer service. These can be developed through relevant work experience, volunteer work and short courses.
It may be difficult to find a starting role without experience, as competition for jobs in this field can be fierce. However, there are often volunteering opportunities within organisations such as the SPAB and others that can help you gain experience. The value of networking is not to be underestimated as volunteering and short-term roles can offer further opportunities and a chance to move into longer-term, paying jobs. If you are just starting out, you may find it necessary to work for a few years in a similar role within a different sector to build your experience and professional skills.
If you are already working and are looking to move into building conservation from a different sector, the section on career changers may also be of help.