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Heritage consultant

Heritage officer, historic buildings officer

The job of a heritage consultant is to manage construction and restoration projects on heritage sites, such as historic or listed buildings, landscapes, museums and other properties, by providing guidance on heritage issues and formulating strategies to manage them.

Average salary*

£17000

-

£60000

Typical hours per week

37 - 40

How to become a heritage consultant

There are several routes to becoming a heritage consultant. You could complete a university or college course, an apprenticeship or apply directly to an employer for work.

You should explore these routes to becoming a heritage consultant, to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

University

You could complete an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as:

  • History
  • Geography
  • Cultural heritage studies
  • Building conservation
  • Architecture
  • Archaeology
  • Earth or natural sciences.

Many employers also look for candidates who have a relevant postgraduate degree such as heritage management or historic conservation, and work experience in the heritage sector.

You’ll need:

  • 2 - 3 A levels, or equivalent (undergraduate degree)
  • An undergraduate degree in a relevant subject (postgraduate degree).

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a university course

> Funding advice 

College/training provider

You could complete a college course in construction, history, environmental studies or surveying, and then complete further specialist training to become a heritage consultant.

You’ll need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for any of these routes.

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a course near you

> Funding advice

Apprenticeship

You could complete an historic environment advice assistant apprenticeship to become a heritage consultant. This will take two years to complete.

You’ll need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent qualifications, including maths and English, to apply.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

> Find an apprenticeship near you

> Guide to apprenticeships

Work

If you have relevant experience or skills in construction project management, architecture, local authority planning or building surveying, you may be able to apply directly to an employer for a job as a heritage consultant.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a heritage consultant. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV. Many cultural organisations offer volunteering opportunities which will give you a taste for heritage work and develop your skills and contacts.

> Find out more about work experience

Skills 

Desirable skills for someone considering a career as a heritage consultant include: 

  • A passion for historic sites and buildings
  • Excellent research skills
  • Ability to manage time and meet deadlines
  • Strong communication skills
  • Knowledge of architectural history
  • Well organised and thorough approach to work.

What does a heritage consultant do?

A heritage consultant advises on construction work due to take place in a historic building or setting, so that sites of significant cultural or historic importance can be conserved for generations to come.

The duties of a heritage consultant include: 

  • Inspecting historic sites and structures to assess project requirements
  • Researching the history of heritage sites and buildings
  • Considering modern building regulations and requirements when planning new work
  • Providing technical advice to construction managers, architects, conservationists and clients
  • Sourcing rare or traditional building materials and fixtures
  • Researching original paint colours, materials and finishes
  • Recruiting and supervising specialist tradespeople to undertake restoration and renovation work
  • Preserving and incorporating heritage features into the planned renovation or restoration of the building
  • Producing plans and reports for clients and senior managers
  • Responding to public and visitor enquiries
  • Reviewing building plans and historic documents
  • Working on-site and in an office.

How much could you earn as a heritage consultant?

The expected salary for a heritage consultant increases as you become more experienced.

  • Newly qualified heritage consultants can earn £17,000 - £25,000
  • Trained heritage consultants with some experience can earn £25,000 - £40,000
  • Senior, chartered or principal heritage consultants can earn £40,000 - £60,000.*

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do. Salaries may improve with chartered status. 

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Jobs

Check out the latest heritage consultant vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

As a heritage consultant, you could progress into a more senior role and become a heritage project manager.

You could work for a construction company, local authority, architectural practice, or set yourself up as a self-employed heritage consultant.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Heritage consultant Provide guidance, research sites & help manage heritage issues on construction p...
    Read more
  • Current role Archaeologist When working on historical construction projects, Archaeologists are involved in...
    Read more
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