What Skills or Educational Background do I Need For a Career in Historic Preservation?Updated
A 2000 National Trust for Historic Preservation survey of state and local nonprofit preservation groups found that a majority of preservation professionals had fewer than 10 years experience in preservation. This reflected the relatively recent development of degree programs in preservation and the high rate of growth in preservation jobs over the past two and a half decades. For a copy of this survey, contact the National Trust's Information Center at email@example.com.
The educational backgrounds of respondents were diverse although preservation was dominant. Planning, history, art history, architecture, education, and engineering were also common backgrounds. Main Street jobs are most commonly filled by people with backgrounds in preservation, business, and planning. The current trend is to hire Main Street managers with business experience who have worked as community group volunteers or advocates.
The success of preservation-related organizations requires a combination of both proficiency in historic preservation as well as skills in management, communication, fundraising, board relations, marketing, and event planning. Larger preservation organizations are more likely to have a number of very specialized positions requiring specific training and experience.
Preservation employers look for commitment and experience through internships, volunteering, being active in community advocacy, and attending preservation conferences. Community preservation organizations, historical societies, and historic sites offer a significant number and range of volunteer opportunities.