Preservation Jobs + Internships

We’d all like to stroll around historic districts everyday!


How do you find a preservation job? It depends on where you live, of course. And like everything else in life, it helps to have good connections, whether to put in a good word for you or to alert you about employment opportunities. However, you should still seek out and apply for any job that suits you.

As President of the University of Vermont Historic Preservation Alumni Association, I feel a certain level of responsibility to connect the current students, recent grads, and alums looking to change HP directions with good links for job searching. Here’s my updated list:

HistPres, although no longer a website, has an excellent Twitter account, with jobs and opportunities you might not see elsewhere. https://twitter.com/histpres. Also, take note of where the jobs are posted and continue to search those sites, especially if you are looking for a similar style job. Note: you do not need a Twitter account to view this page.

PreserveNet remains the stalwart of preservation job listings.

Preservation Directory is another good option, sometimes with different listings than the above.

Saving Places: The National Trust lists jobs within the organization.

The University of Mary Washington keeps its historic preservation job board current.

LinkedIn: Search for “Historic Preservation” and see what’s been posted recently.

You’re school preservation department likely has listings, and be sure to connect with your alumni group. You never know what could come your way. And if you’re looking to work in the private sector, reach out to that firm and ask if anything is available.

Good luck! If you have other favorite sites, please share in the comments.

The Preservation Job Hunt

Recently, many people have found their way to Preservation in Pink while searching for historic preservation jobs or something to that effect.  They find their way to this post, Historic Preservation Job Search, which is my own experience and advice for job hunting, as well as some resources for job hunting.  Since it’s the time of year when students are intensifying their job and internship searches, I thought I’d include a few new sites for jobs.  A lot of these can be find through the academic department sites. And if you have any advice, please, feel free to share. Everyone has a different experience looking for jobs. With the state of economy, we can all use the advice.

Historic & Cultural Preservation Job Resource – a partner of PreservationDirectory.

National Trust for Historic Preservation Current Openings

Global Museums – there is a page for jobs in the USA, outside of the USA, and internships

Archaeology Fieldwork or ShovelBums

Higher Ed Jobs

Job Link: Historic Preservation & Public History Employment Site (its own collection of job sites)

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I’m not an expert on job hunting, but I tend to assume that people know about these sites and then I find out that they do not.  So hopefully have them collected will help anyone who needs it.

Historic Preservation Job Search

The economy has seen better times; thus, the historic preservation job market has seen better times. Many 2008 graduates, whether in a bachelor’s or master’s program, have had a difficult time finding work in the field.  It can become disheartening and make other fields seem more appealing.  How in the world is anyone supposed to find a job when budgets are being cut everywhere?

I’m not an expert and I’m not in the market for a new job, so take my suggestions however you like.  I was lucky enough to have an internship following graduation and a full time job before the internship ended.  My philosophy for finding my first preservation job was quite simple: “I will go anywhere and do anything that is preservation related.”

And that is the advice that I will continue to offer: do not limit yourself geographically or in just one sector.  And if you don’t know exactly what you want to do, then an internship is a great, short term way to experiment.

Take an internship with the National Park Service or the National Council for Preservation Education or just a local organization. Sign up for the Student Conservation Association, where you can find preservation related jobs. Stay in the field. Do not be afraid to start at the bottom. An internship on the other side of the country for a few months may give you great experience. You can do anything for a short period of time. Do not be afraid of applying for a job that requests a M.A. if you have a B.A. – but keep in mind that if it requires 10 years of experience, you might be under qualified.  Consider something with ICOMOS or ICCROM. There are endless opportunities when you think tangentially.

Most of all, keep applying, keep searching, and keep thinking of unconventional options. Try not to obsess. You will find a job and although it might not be your dream job, you have to start somewhere.  And if you love historic preservation, your efforts will be worth it in the end. For now, hang in there and stay in the field in whatever way you can. Showing continued enthusiasm will give you an edge over other applicants.

Some of the best job boards (in my opinion) are found here:

PreserveNet (see also NCPE internships)

UVM Historic Preservation  

Mary Washington Historic Preservation

UVA School of Architecture 

Student Conservation Association

eCulturalResources

There are many other resources for jobs. Generally, all of the academic preservation programs have job boards.  And of course, Google provides additional search options. I hope this helps. And I hope I remember this the next time I’m searching for a job.

Good luck!