Conservation Fellowship Compensation Resource


For direct access to this resource, please email the ECPN Chair:



ECPN has compiled data on Fellowship compensation to supplement the overview report for the 2014 AIC/FAIC Conservation Compensation Research Survey (see link below to access the full report published in 2015 by the Foundation of the American Institute of Conservation (FAIC)*). This report made available a wealth of data, and the extensive analytics are helpful for understanding compensation levels across specializations, geographic regions, employment setting, years of professional experience, and more. The AIC/FAIC report includes the median salary for professionals based on years of experience in the field, grouping this data into 5-year periods (e.g. 0-5 years, 6-10 years, 11-15 years, and so on). The data included in this first bracket -- “fewer than 5 years of professional experience”-- is of the most interest to emerging conservation professionals, but is not analyzed separately or in relation to position title (e.g. Fellow vs. Contract/Project Conservator vs. Assistant Conservator). Our purpose in collecting Fellowship compensation data is two-fold: to increase transparency about typical Fellowship compensation, and to provide a useful resource for early-career professionals. What the data does and does not include, and how it was collected, is explained in greater detail below.

Conservation Fellowships

One of the commonly cited job titles in the FAIC report is “Fellow.”** Fellowships are traditionally designed for emerging conservation professionals who have recently completed an advanced degree (typically a Masters but, in some instances, PhD). These positions provide opportunities for advanced practical training and in-depth research. Fellowships are typically full-time, paid term positions that last 1-3 years and usually correspond to the academic year calendar. They may be funded by grants, a designated endowment, by the host institution, or by some combination. It varies by institution whether Fellows are considered regular employees (with access to full benefit packages including health insurance, retirement planning, annual and sick leave) or are compensated with a stipend.


Fellowship Compensation Spreadsheet

The data in the spreadsheet was collected from published advertisements for Fellowships, starting in 2015. The data is therefore a non-random survey of Fellowship compensation in the field, as it is limited to public position postings that detail compensation (salary or stipend, professional development or research funds, health benefits, etc.)

Because the data was compiled from public postings, by definition it does NOT reflect the following:

  • Possible increased compensation or additional benefits resulting from negotiations;
  • Possible annual cost of living or scheduled increases in base salary or stipend over the course of a multi-year fellowship;
  • Supplementary funds provided by an institution to increase the baseline salary or stipend provided by a grant or endowment (as noted above, the funding and administration of Fellowships varies widely);
  • The full breadth of Fellowship positions available in the field. For example, FAIC administers a number of Kress Conservation Fellowships per year, but only those publicly advertised by the host institution are included in the attached spreadsheet. 

Additionally, it is important to note that in the spreadsheet "Funding Source" refers to the the grant, endowment, or institution that either sponsors the position and/or after which the position is named. The administration of Fellowship positions varies by institution; as a result, the donor that has provided an endowment used to fund a Fellowship position may play no role in administering or in determining compensation levels for said position. PDF versions of the original postings that are included in the spreadsheet can be found here.


Future Steps

We intend for this resource to evolve over time, with periodic updates to include recent postings. ECPN also plans to conduct a more thorough survey on Fellowship compensation in the future, opening a broader dialogue about the practice and purpose of Fellowships in our field. This survey would be administered to current Fellows, professionals who have held Fellowships, and to host institutions.


If you believe that any portion of the data represented is somehow inaccurate or if you wish to add data to this resource, please reach out to the ECPN Chair via email at We also welcome comments, questions, and concerns.



* 2014 AIC/FAIC Compensation Survey

** Not to be confused with the peer-review designation “Fellow,” which is administered by professional organizations such as AIC and IIC and requires a minimum of ten years of professional experience.