Heritage manager: job description
Heritage managers conserve, manage and provide access to heritage sites such as historic buildings, landscapes, museums and ancient monuments.
Heritage managers look after historic properties and sites, keeping them and their contents in good condition so that visitors can enjoy them.
Other typical responsibilities include:
- managing budgets
- financial/project planning
- recruiting, training and supervising staff and volunteers
- liaising with council departments, funding agencies, community organisations, voluntary and local history groups, tourist bodies and private companies
- generating income via fundraising activities, membership, grants and retail activities
- ensuring artefacts are cared for
- developing heritage attractions to enhance and increase visitor access
- attracting customers through marketing and using IT
- devising outreach activities
- writing reports
- undertaking customer surveys and assessing the results.
managing restoration and conservation projects
- The National Trust
- English Heritage
- Historic Environments Scotland
- Independently owned historic houses and spaces
Jobs are advertised on general job sites, industry-related sites such as the Museums Association and conservation charities' sites. These organisations also share job opportunities on social media. Casual and non-specialist jobs may also be advertised in community news sources, such as newsletters and local charities' newsletters.
Most applicants will have a degree, often in a subject such as heritage, archive or museum studies, archaeology, history, art conservation, history of art, fine art, visual art, marketing or business studies. A postgraduate qualification in heritage/museum management is beneficial and may be a requirement for some positions.
Prior relevant voluntary and/or paid work experience is essential. Look for short-term volunteering opportunities and a small number of placements with organisations such as The National Trust, English Heritage and the Churches Conservation Trust.
Employers seek candidates displaying a genuine enthusiasm for, interest in and understanding of heritage work. Other essential qualities and skills include:
- the ability to work in a team
- good communication skills and the ability to explain complex concepts to visitors
- commercial awareness
- planning and project management experience.