Professional Designation

The American Institute for Conservation gives professional designation to those conservation professionals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to our mission.

They are conservators, conservation scientists, educators, or others professionally involved in conservation who have had their training, knowledge, and experience reviewed by a body of their peers.

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January 1
July 1

October 1

Who can apply for Professional Associate Designation?

An applicant must:

  • be a current Associate member
  • have earned an undergraduate university degree or the international equivalent (a waiver may be attained by writing to the Membership Committee explaining any equivalent education)
  • have two years (2) of full-time formal education or related supervised training in a conservation method and theory or in field appropriate to other professional involvement in conservation (e.g., chemistry for conservation scientists, library science for library preservation administrators, art history for museum conservation administrators, business management for administrators).
  • have three (3) years of full-time work or its part-time equivalent in conservation or in a conservation related profession after training. Program training internships may not be counted toward this requirement.

Why apply?

There are many additional benefits you will receive with Professional Associate or Fellow designation:

  1. It does not cost any more than your regular dues. Professional Associates do not pay any more dues than regular members of AIC. So, you get more member benefits for the same rate!
  2. Listing in the public “Find a Conservator” tool on our website
    Membership at this level puts you in touch with the greatest number of potential clients by being approved to be listed in the online guide Find a Conservator.This benefit may be particularly attractive for those in private practice or interested in private work.
  3. Ability to Use the marks in marketing materials
    Only Professional Associate and Fellows are allowed to use the AIC PA and/or Fellow Mark in the marketing of their private practice to the public. The use of our logo distinguishes you from the many businesses that do not abide by our Code of Ethics.
  4. Resume recognition when applying for jobs, contracts and grants
    Peer-reviewed designation is valued on job and grant applications for many institutions and governments agencies. In fact, some government issued RFQs (requests for quotes) require that applicants are Professional Associates or Fellows.
  5. Eligibility to apply for certain Professional Development Opportunities
    Some workshops and courses run by the Foundation of AIC are only open to Professional Associate and Fellow members of AIC.
  6. Eligibility to apply for Individual Professional Development Scholarships
    When you find yourself in a position where you want to attend a meeting but do not have the funds to attend, being able to apply for this funding can help defray costs for your professional development activities, including attending workshops, courses and conferences.
  7. Eligibility for many volunteer leadership positions, including serving on the Board of Directors. AIC has a large volunteer leadership made up of a board of directors, various committees, networks, and specialty groups, which contribute to health and vitality of the organization. Volunteering with a national organization is a great way to build your resume and show your leadership skills in the field.
  8. Respect from among your peers and colleagues
    The respect and appreciation of peer-reviewed designation among conservators in the United States is very evident. If you want other conservators to advocate for you, provide them with the means to do so-getting peer approval designation in a profession is the easiest way to do this. The colleagues you respect and admire think that being a Professional Associate and Fellow is a valuable part of being a professional conservator, aspire to join them as well.

Application Deadlines: January 1, July 1, and October 1.


Contact us at 202.661.8065 or


Contact us at 202.661.8065 or

Note to the Public

Professional Marks

AIC's professional members may use the following logos, or marks, to share their status.

AIC Professional Associate

While most professional members are listed in our Find A Conservator tool, some choose not to be listed publicly. These marks, associated with a member's name, show their designation within the association. Contact us to confirm designation status as well.

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Federal Government & AIC

"All conservation procedures should be fully documented, as reversible as possible, and follow the guidelines of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic &Artistic Works (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice...the conservator must have qualifications and
experience equivalent to those required to be a Professional Associate or Fellow
of the AIC."

-Section 4.4.10 of the U.S. General Services Adminstration's Fine Arts Policies and Procedures