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Conservators preserve and restore historical objects, artworks and buildings.

Potential salary
£24,000 to £60,000
Working hours
39 to 41 variable
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • knowledge of the fine arts
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • preserving objects to stop deterioration
  • checking the condition of objects
  • restoring items
  • making sure that conditions are right for display and storage
  • keeping written and photographic records
  • working in a team with other conservators
  • giving presentations to visitors, including school groups
  • setting up exhibitions and arranging safe transportation
  • giving advice on collections or buildings

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

You could work in a workshop, in a creative studio or in a laboratory.

You could move into a management job, although this will usually mean stepping away from 'hands on' practical conservation work.

You can find out more about careers in conservation from The Institute of Conservation.

You can also find out more about working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

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