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Icon welcomes individuals and organisations from all backgrounds who identify with the conservation and preservation of our cultural heritage.  Our membership embraces the entire conservation community as well as members of the public who are keen to learn more or show their support for conservation work.

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Careers & Training PDF Print E-mail

paulnewell-gracielaainsworth.jpgCAREERS IN CONSERVATION

Conservation of the cultural heritage is a fascinating and rewarding career - linking arts, science, history and craft. The scope of conservators' work has widened in recent years and conservators now expect to be involved with exhibitions, conservation science, preventive conservation, project management and advocacy work. There are a variety of entry routes; for many the first step is an academic course at one of the institutions listed in the conservation Higher Education Course Directory. Conservation graduates can expect to work in the public or private sector and to start on relatively low rates of pay, often less than £22,000. (ref. our salary guidelines here). The majority of Higher Education courses focus on conservation of fine art (paper and paintings) or objects and archaeology. In fields such as stained glass, furniture, textiles and books, formal academic conservation training does exist but is rare. For materials such as stone, large metalwork, archives or natural history no courses exist and so work-based development is an alternative route: an internship or apprenticeship, following training in the relevant craft or technology.  The basics needed to enter the profession are manual dexterity, a good general education, preferably including Chemistry, an enthusiasm for history, art or science and some evidence of a committment to a career in this field: related work or voluntary experience, membership of Icon, proof that you have informed yourself about conservation.











The red menu above left will take you to training courses, internships and other placement opportunities. Sources of grant-aid for training are listed, as well as information on and resources for monitoring your learning process. Links to PACR are on the Accreditation page.

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