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Careers & Training

Conservation of our cultural heritage is a fascinating and rewarding career, linking arts, science, history and craft

A conservator requires a wide range of knowledge, understanding and practical skills - all of which continue to develop over the course of their career.

A conservation career calls for in-depth knowledge of a particular specialism, such as fine art, ceramics or even industrial machinery or artefacts of natural history. Conservators can work alone and with other professionals such as curators, technicians, engineers and educators. They can be freelance, part of a studio or part of a heritage organisation.

In recent years, the scope of conservators' work has widened and conservators now expect to be involved with exhibitions, conservation science, preventive conservation, project management and advocacy work. 

Icon’s Professional Standards set out the accepted principles of conservation.

You may also wish to read the features below for an idea of the benefits and challenges of a career in conservation:

Support throughout your career

As the professional body for conservator-restorers, Icon provides support to you throughout your career. We can provide guidance about your training and development from when you start thinking about conservation as a career right through to supporting you achieve Accredited status and your continuing professional development

Image: Icon intern; Matt Wreford