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


  • 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.

To become a Conservator

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

    Find a Bachelor of Arts (Culture and Heritage)

  • Interested in developing your digital skills? Try one of 2000 free online courses at

    SkillFinder is a project funded by the Australian Government, through the Digital Skills Platform Program.

Skills employers are looking for

  • Research

  • Communication Skills

  • Staff Management

  • Problem Solving

  • Presentation Skills

  • Conservation Services

Careers to explore