Careers and Employability Service

I want to work in the Heritage Sector

Job roles

What is heritage? At one time, it was purely thought of as historic monuments and artefacts. Today we recognise that buildings and objects need not be ancient or monumental to be valuable — small, everyday buildings and items can also tell an important story or hold major significance. 

A broad definition is: Those things from the past which are valued enough today to save for the people of tomorrow.
The “heritage sector” covers museums, historic buildings, archaeology, archives and conservation. Archaeology [5] and archives [6] have separate sections on this site.
A degree in a subject, such as History [7] or Classics and Archaeology  [8]can be useful but is by no means essential. Museum collections cover everything from militaria to medicine, from rock music to rowing and from fashion to freemasonry, so there is scope for using a wide range of interests and qualifications. There is a shortage of science graduates [9] in this sector, especially those with a knowledge of the history of science and technology.
The key to getting into this sector – museums, art galleries, historic buildings and conservation – is to gain relevant experience. This must usually be through volunteering [10], but there are some paid posts available for students and graduates – English Heritage, for example, regularly recruits Seasonal Custodians to work at sites including Dover Castle and St Augustine’s Abbey. See the companies tab for further details


Careers and Employability Service - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7ND, T: +44 (0)1227 764000 ext. 3299

Last Updated: 12/09/2019