|Archaeology of Buildings|
|Beacon Planning Ltd|
|Library, museum and information services|
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A day in the life of a Heritage Consultant in the United Kingdom
My career history
I spent some time in the financial services sector working for Halifax and Aviva, followed by the voluntary sector in various heritage roles. I then gained employment part time at BEAMS Ltd, the commercial arm of the Hertfordshire Buildings Preservation Trust.
Where I hope to be in 5 years
At this point I am keen to progress in the role I am in, taking on more complex projects, and just generally gaining a greater understanding of development in the context of England's heritage. In the long run, I am keen to apply my knowledge and skills working with global heritage protection, especially in the arena of climate change, its impact, and how we can try and mitigate against some of the undoubtedly negative impacts it is likely to have on the world's historic sites and buildings.
My advice to students considering work
My advice is to persevere. Try to remember money isn't necessarily the end goal, in the end it's best to be paid slightly less and enjoy your day, than hate every moment yet earn lots.
This sector is going through quite momentous change as public spending is cut and local authorities lose staff members. The future is undoubtedly in the private sector consultancies, and there is a wealth and breadth of projects out here to get your teeth into. Try to maintain your integrity though, and don't expect to earn millions.
My advice about working in my industry
The sector is going through quite momentous change as public spending is cut and local authorities lose staff members. The future is undoubtedly in the private sector consultancies, and there is a wealth and breadth of projects out here to get your teeth into. Try to maintain your integrity though, and don't expect to earn millions.
What I do
My current role is a heritage consultant, working in a planning consultancy. The role involves working with a variety of clients on projects of different sizes which involve so called 'heritage assets' (listed buildings, conservation areas, Scheduled Monuments etc), which are protected by planning legislation and policy. I provide design advice and support, as well as producing statements of significance which identify the most important or sensitive parts of the listed buildings or areas, and then heritage statements which take that information, couple it with a proposal, and balance it all against planning policy. This can sometimes be quite complex, and making sure that the report conveys the right information in the right way is all important.
The role takes me across the country on site visits, or to archives to carry out research. Notable site visits recently include clambering around the roofspace of a 13th century farmhouse, and another was looking out from the top of a large 18th century country house across its parkland.
Skills I use and how I developed them
I use many of the skills I developed during my Masters degree, including historic research and analysis of documents and structures. This is an ongoing process, and I regularly attend CPD and other training events to keep the learning process going.
What I like most
I like the variety of different projects I get to do, and the historical research. It is also fulfilling when projects that you believe are beneficial to the historic building or site you're working with come to fruition and you know you've played a positive part in helping that happen.
What I like least
I live almost 40 minutes drive away on the M11, which is draining at times. In previous roles I commuted by train or bicycle, which was either less stressful or much healthier.
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