Conservators plan, organise and undertake the preservation and conservation of materials and objects in private, public and community collections, including libraries, archives, museums, art galleries, art centres, and historical and archaeological sites.
To become a conservator you usually have to complete a degree in heritage, museums and conservation at university. Alternatively, you can complete a science, arts or fine art degree with a major that is relevant to cultural materials conservation, followed by a Master of Cultural Materials Conservation at the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Most universities in Australia offer relevant degrees. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks. Before enrolling in an undergraduate degree, you should consult the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation for information about degrees and majors that will allow you to enter their postgraduate program.
Conservators may perform the following tasks:
Most conservators are employed in cultural institutions such as museums, libraries, art galleries, archives, historic houses, art centres and cultural, heritage and digital industries. An increasing number of conservators are taking up positions in the private sector. Competition may be strong for the limited number of positions available.