Conservators plan and organise the conservation of materials and objects in libraries, archives, museums, art galleries and other institutions.

Specialisations: Art Conservator.

You usually need a bachelor or postgraduate degree in heritage, museums and conservation or cultural materials conservation to work as a Conservator.

Tasks

  • Researches history of items.
  • Analyses and test items to determine the material they are made of, their condition, and to confirm their identification and authenticity.
  • Consults with curators, owners or custodians about items.
  • Takes photographs of items before and after treatments.
  • Chooses the best method of treatment and treats items.
  • Keeps records of all decisions and the results of any treatments carried out.
  • Is involved in the disaster recovery of items (treating items that are water damaged).
  • Researches aspects of conservation such as the materials and techniques used to create a group of artefacts.
  • Ensure items going on exhibition are in good condition.
  • Advises staff or collectors on how to best care for artefacts, including how to store, display and transport them.
  • May advise and consult with community groups, over the treatment of cultural artefacts.

All Other Natural and Physical Science Professionals

  • $2,094 Weekly Pay
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Conservators

  • 460 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 62% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 40 hours Average full-time
  • 46 years Average age
  • 67% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Conservators (in their main job) stayed about the same over 5 years:
from 470 in 2011 to 460 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Conservators work in many parts of Australia. The Australian Capital Territory has a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in Arts and Recreation Services; Information Media and Telecommunications; and Public Administration and Safety.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (62%, similar to the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 40 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 46 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (53%).
  • Gender: 67% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Arts and Recreation Services61.1
Information Media and Telecommunications14.7
Public Administration and Safety8.3
Other Services4.1
Other Industries11.8

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateConservatorsAll Jobs Average
NSW33.831.6
VIC22.025.6
QLD11.220.0
SA8.47.0
WA6.210.8
TAS3.72.0
NT0.71.0
ACT14.11.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketConservatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.7-5.05.0
20-242.2-9.39.3
25-3414.6-22.922.9
35-4429.2-22.022.0
45-5424.8-21.621.6
55-5911.1-9.09.0
60-648.5-6.06.0
65 and Over8.9-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationConservatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate38.9-10.110.1
Bachelor degree36.9-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma10.4-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV7.7-21.121.1
Year 122.5-18.118.1
Year 110.7-4.84.8
Year 10 and below3.0-12.512.5

You usually need a bachelor or postgraduate degree in heritage, museums and conservation or cultural materials conservation to work as a Conservator.

Membership with the Australian Institute for Conservation of Cultural Material may be useful.

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Other Natural and Physical Science Professionals who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. English Language

    70% Skill level

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  2. History and Archeology

    65% Skill level

    Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.

  3. Fine Arts

    65% Skill level

    Compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

  4. Chemistry

    64% Skill level

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  5. Computers and Electronics

    61% Skill level

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 25-4013.00 - Museum Technicians and Conservators.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Electronic Mail

    95% Important

    How often do you use electronic mail?

  2. Structured versus Unstructured Work

    93% Important

    How much freedom do you have to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals?

  3. Indoors, Heat Controlled

    92% Important

    How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

  4. Freedom to Make Decisions

    92% Important

    How much freedom do you have to make decision on your own?

  5. Telephone

    89% Important

    How often do you talk on the telephone?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 25-4013.00 - Museum Technicians and Conservators.

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