Careers in Historic Preservation
Employment in historic preservation falls into five major categories:
- State employment. Preservation-related jobs are found within the Department of Cultural Resources (the State Historic Preservation Office, the Historic Sites Section, and the Museum of History); the Department of Transportation (Planning and Environmental staff), and the Department of Commerce (Division of Community Assistance, North Carolina Main Street Program).
For a listing of current job openings in these agencies, visit the state employment web site at http://www.osp.state.nc.us/jobs/
. Click on "By Agency," and select a department.
For a full description of the programs and staff positions of the State Historic Preservation Office, browse the HPO Web site at http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov. Most of the professional jobs in the HPO are filled by people with degrees or employment backgrounds in architectural history, history, historic preservation, architecture, landscape architecture, planning, cultural geography, folklore, or related fields with an emphasis in material culture. See Preservation Education Links for information about preservation-related degree and certificate programs. See Other State Historic Preservation Offices for links to other states' programs.
- Local Government: There are over 90 local historic preservation commissions in North Carolina, many of which employ professional staff, though most have backgrounds in planning. See the Preservation Commission Roster (PDF file) for a complete listing of commissions and contact information.
- Private non-profit preservation groups: There are a number of such groups in the state that employ paid staff. See the roster of Historic Preservation Advocacy Organizations for contact information. Some local museums also employ staff with preservation-related training or experience.
- Private for-profit consultants and consulting firms: These are individuals and companies that do preservation consulting, such as environmental review contract work, National Register nominations, and historic building surveys. See Architecture Consultants and Consulting Firms for Environmental Review Projects and National Register Consultants. (Both lists are in PDF Format. Download a free copy of the Adobe Reader).
- Rehabilitation architects, contractors, artisans and craftspeople: Designers, builders, and craftspeople with the knowledge, skills, and sensitivity for working with historic buildings are the bedrock of the historic preservation movement. Without them nothing can happen, even when the will and the money are otherwise available. The Restoration Branch of the State Historic Preservation Office maintains informal rosters of persons and firms experienced or claiming to be experienced in historic preservation projects. The roster is not posted on the Web because of frequent changes and because it is sometimes misinterpreted as an official roster of recommended contractors and specialists, which it is not. Contact the restoration specialist for your area to discuss contractors and craftspeople. Other sites of interest include The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training and the National Park Service's Technical Preservation Services for historic buildings.
Other Preservation Career Links:Preservation Employment Opportunities posted by Preserve/Net, Cornell University.
National Council for Preservation Education, with job opportunity links.
Survey of Professional Career Opportunities posted by the Savannah College of Art and Design.