Become a conservator banner

Post Graduate

Graduates of conservation degree programs are considered to be conservators; however, additional training and experience may be desired. Many permanent conservator positions require a few years of experience after graduate school. Fellowships and contract positions can provide that conservation experience, as well as give an opportunity to work in a variety of settings and with professional mentors.


Fellowships are paid term positions that have an educational component. They generally last 1–3 years and are designed specifically for recent graduates of a conservation master’s program. Fellows participate actively in the operations of the conservation department, learn from more experienced colleagues, and complete advanced conservation treatments. Fellowships may also include a research component.
Career Path: Fellowships provide an opportunity for recent graduates of conservation programs to gain important work experience. Many fellows also complete and publish a research paper, which can enhance their profile within the field.

Contract/Project Positions

Conservation departments may receive funding to complete a specific project, creating a term position. These positions are project-based, focused on completing a particular initiative, and may or may not provide opportunities for research and/or publication.
Career Path: Term positions provide conservators with professional-level work experience, strengthening a conservator's resume and network.

Find an Opportunity

Post-graduate fellowships and contract/project opportunities are typically advertised on the Conservation DistList, AIC Online Community Jobs blog, or on specialty group community announcements. You must be an AIC member and a member of the specialty group to access specialty group communities.

Other links to help connect to opportunities include:

New to the field?
Learn more about conservation from AIC’s Emerging Conservation Professionals Network (ECPN)