Careers in Heritage
There is more to archaeology than digging holes. From surveying
sites to studying pottery, archaeologists use a range of skills and
study all periods of human history. Bronze Age settlements,
medieval monasteries and twentieth-century defences have all been
surveyed, excavated and analysed in Kent.
Archaeology is a rewarding and challenging career, but before
you dust off your trowel and sign up for a course, you should know
that the supply of archaeologists can often outweigh demand.
We suggest that, before you decide if a career in archaeology is
for you, you have a look at the Council for British
Archaeology's Profiling the
To build a career in archaeology, you need to consider how
you can make your CV attractive to potential employers. A blend of
theory and practical experience is becoming increasingly important
as a minimum requirement for future archaeologists.
Qualifications and courses
degree in archaeology will increase your chances of building a
career in archaeology. It will also help you
develop a range of transferable skills that will be useful
for other professions.
You can search for archaeology courses on the UCAS and
University of Kent websites.
In addition to degree-level courses, there are a number of
other academic qualifications, including diplomas and foundation
These are usually shorter than a full degree and may suit those
who do not wish to, or cannot commit to, a full-time three or four
year degree course.
These can still give you theoretical and practical training in
If you're unable to study full-time, then you can learn about
Kent's history and archaeological remains at one of our adult
To find a suitable course, visit our Kent
Adult Education Service section.
In addition to academic qualifications, you will need some field
experience. You may even want to work on an excavation, before
starting a formal qualification. You can find opportunities for
field experience for inexperienced 'diggers' by visiting a dig.
On a degree course, you will learn the advanced field techniques
that form an essential part of professional training. Most
commercial archaeological units will require a certain level of
proficiency before they will employ an archaeologist.
Other websites with archaeological careers information are:
For fact sheets on a wide range of archaeological
issues, visit the Council for British Archaeology
For great opportunities for children to learn about the main
methods and techniques of archaeology, visit the Young Archaeologists Club
Like archaeology, it can be hard to develop a career in building
conservation. There are relatively few jobs and you will need
considerable training and experience.
However, it is a wide field and opportunities include
conservation officers working in local authorities, specialist
building conservation contractors, millwrights, paint conservators
A number of universities and colleges offer degree courses in
building conservation and more information on these courses can be
found by visiting the UCAS website. You may also need to take
additional courses and gain a post-graduate qualification.
A range of specialist short courses are available from the
Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Many of these are
really designed for professionals working in the field of building
conservation, but some are for owners of historic buildings.
If you would like to learn more about historic buildings, you
can find a series of short courses that provide a fascinating
overview of historic buildings in Kent through the Kent Adult
Many building preservation trusts rely heavily on volunteers for
their support and you can find information on the Society for the Protection of Ancient
Buildings website, and the National Trust website.
For links to a number of amenity societies and preservation
trusts that can provide volunteering opportunities, visit the
Architectural Heritage Fund
For further information about careers and training opportunities
in building conservation, contact the Society for the Protection of