Conservator opportunities scarce
Opportunities for conservators are very limited due to:
- the small size of the occupation, with fewer than 100 positions in New Zealand
- conservators tending to stay in the same job for many years, which limits the number of vacancies that come up
- high competition for any vacancies that do arise.
According to the Census, 87 conservators worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Internships and volunteer work offer a foot in the door
It's a good idea to approach museums or galleries directly to see if you can get:
- volunteer work or internships with conservators
- short-term contract work as a conservation assistant or technician.
These can lead to conservator work later.
Many conservators gain experience by working overseas before returning to New Zealand to work.
Most conservators work for museums or art galleries
Most conservators work for large museums or art galleries. They may also work for:
- heritage libraries (libraries that hold historic documents and materials)
- historical societies
- private businesses that specialise in preserving and restoring paper, furniture, paintings or other art objects.
A third of conservators are self-employed and work on short-term contracts at different institutions.