How to become a heritage officer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
There are lots of subjects that can be useful for a career in heritage. Examples include:
- cultural heritage studies
- building conservation
- Earth or natural sciences
A postgraduate qualification can give you an advantage when you're looking for jobs. You could study subjects like:
- heritage management
- historic conservation
As well as a degree you'll also need relevant work experience in the heritage sector. It's important to look for internships and work experience opportunities while you study. Many people get into paid roles through volunteering at first.
You'll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
You can start out by doing an historic environment advice assistant higher apprenticeship.
English Heritage, Historic England and the National Trust are developing this route as an alternative to going to university. You would start off as a heritage trainee or technician.
To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You may be able to move into heritage officer work if you have relevant skills or experience in other professions. For example:
- construction project management
- local authority planning
- building surveying
Work experience and volunteering are really important for getting into this type of work. You can look for opportunities with organisations like:
You could try your local council as they may own historic buildings or sites. There may be opportunities in departments, such as planning or regeneration, where you could get useful experience.
You can also search for private companies in the heritage sector through the Historic Environment Provider Service Recognition scheme.
Some organisations have internship programmes to encourage people from black and minority ethnic communities to think about a career in heritage. For example Historic England summer placements.
You may be able to apply directly if you've got several years' experience in a related industry like civil engineering, construction management, planning or conservation.