Britain is known all over the world for its heritage sites. Whether it’s a castle or a stretch of protected coastline, there are a number of organisations managing them. People who work in this area have varied backgrounds, but they all share an enthusiasm for the value of the sites. You could be a technician, a warden or be involved in conservation. The other choice is a more managerial role, where you could have responsibility for fundraising, visitor and media relations, or staff administration.
Your career in the heritage sector can start as a volunteer – either while still at school or university or alongside your ‘day’ job. You might be dressed in historical costume guiding visitors through a mansion house or helping to construct coastal defences on a Devon beach. You can choose between a more hands-on role working to maintain sites or an office job, depending on your skills and preferences.
Getting in and getting on
A genuine interest in history is a vital requirement when working to preserve sites of cultural interest. Motivation and commitment are also important in this area of work. You will be asked to demonstrate relevant skills for your job role, whether technical or administrative. Make sure you mention any voluntary work in your applications as it will show your commitment to a job in cultural heritage. It can be a very competitive sector so prior work experience is almost always a must. Candidates should also be mobile and flexible since jobs are often offered with a fixed term contract and your career could see you moving around different locations in the UK.