So you’ve got this great degree! Where do you go from here?
Employment in historic preservation generally falls into seven major categories:Federal Government
Federal agencies have preservation-related jobs in a wide variety of agencies. In addition to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the National Park Service, you find preservationists throughout the federal government. In particular, there is employment in the Department of the Interior (National Park Service and other divisions), the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the departments of Agriculture, Transportation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Smithsonian, National Archives, Housing and Urban Development, General Services Administration, and Defense.
Private non-profit preservation groups
There are a wide variety of non-profits that employ professionals trained in historic preservation. Local preservation organizations, historical societies, museums, land trusts, environmental organizations, or other organization help manage historic properties.
Private for-profit consultants and consulting firms
Companies that do preservation consulting, such as environmental reviews, National Register nominations, preservation planning, tax incentive assistance, and historic resource surveys frequently hire preservation graduates. There are also opportunities for individual consulting work.
Rehabilitation architects, contractors, artisans and craftspeople
Preservationists with design, buildings, or craft knowledge and skills are in demand by architectural, engineering, and construction firms specializing in rehabilitation or restoration.
The Master of Historic Preservation is a terminal professional degree and individuals holding the degree have opportunities for teaching and administrative positions.
Alumni of the UGA MHP program have gone on to have successful careers with a variety of organizations. Some of our former students have gone on to jobs with the National Trust of Great Britain and the United States, the National Park Service, various state historic preservation offices, regional planning agencies, county and city governments, local and statewide non-profit organizations, local Main Street programs, museums, and many other careers in the preservation field.
I was lucky enough to find my career niche through the MHP summer internship opportunity. While interning with the National Park Service, I found a place where I could utilize my interests in historical research and public education to promote our collective history. In preserving the nation’s cultural resources, I rely on my education in historic preservation on a daily basis as I restore historic buildings, process Section 106 compliance reviews, and work with interpretive staff on the presentation of historic assets. I’m thrilled to serve as the Superintendent at Saratoga National Historical Park where I work with a great team to preserve, protect, and interpret a pivotal battlefield of the Revolutionary War. The MHP program gave me the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the National Park Service.
Since graduating in 2013, I have coordinated the Alabama Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program and the Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage for the Alabama Historical Commission and State Historic Preservation Office. I hold a unique position to help shape the future of the preservation in ethic in Alabama and the Southeast, which would not have been possible without my training at UGA. The MHP program provided me with a strong academic base, a vast alumni network, and a brimming toolbox of strategies to use in the real-world application of preservation principles. The program’s reputation for producing quality professionals is unsurpassed and the skills I obtained have proven invaluable.
Most recently, I have been able to join the City of Columbia, SC as a Preservation Planner. I use the basis of my education at UGA daily to make interpretations of our city design guidelines, ordinances and other city planning issues to guide the preservation of the city. I cannot think of a single day of work that I do not rely on some skill that I gained at UGA.
If I’m being honest, I had no idea what to expect out of UGA’s MHP program. With an undergrad major in history with minors in art and English, I was hunting for a practical application of those interests. The built environment and historic preservation has been a natural fit for my background and passions. I love my job as Executive Director of Historic Macon Foundation, largely because it’s always interesting and an impossible blend of all of my disciplines. Simply put, without my experience at UGA I would not be in the position I’m in and likely would have never known that a career dedicated to saving old buildings is possible.
Garlington’s work was recently featured in a National Trust for Historic Preservation newsletter and was the subject of an article by Macon’s 11th Hour Magazine.
My time in UGA’s MHP program provided a firm foundation in the fundamentals of National Register evaluations and Section 106 compliance. I’ve been able to use that knowledge and build upon it while performing work for a major engineering firm. From surveying the remnants of an 1800’s mill town on the Canadian border in Maine to assessing project impacts to a historic district exemplifying the National Park Service’s trademark rustic design in California to developing a historic building management plan at Fort Des Moines National Historic Landmark in Iowa, my work is always interesting and has taken me to 20 states. Meanwhile, I’ve been able to stay connected to my former UGA MHP classmates. Whether it’s asking for help with a technical question or just meeting up for a drink when in town, I’m grateful to have the friends I made during my time in the program.
My career in cultural resource management began just after completing the MHP program at UGA. The combination of program coursework and my internship and assistantship as a FindIT field surveyor for the Center for Community Design & Preservation were essential to my employment. The preparation I received through the program helped me establish myself as an architectural historian in Georgia and led to continued work throughout the southeast and beyond.
The MHP program at UGA gave me the knowledge and practical skills that allowed me to transition from being an electrical engineer to running two local historic preservation non-profits. I always tell people that what I learned in the two-year program prepared me for almost any job in the cultural heritage field. The most valuable part of the experience was the interaction with others, many of whom were also transitioning from other disciplines. It is a well-rounded program for well-rounded learners of any age or background.
There are many advantages to having a Master’s degree when heading into the field of Historic Preservation. Daniel J. Vivian, a historian with the National Register of Historic places, explains some of these in “The MA and a Career in Historic Preservation”
What are the advantages of earning your MHP?
Click here to find out All job openings and internship opportunities received by the MHP Program are posted to the student listserv and the UGA Historic Preservation Linkedin Group. The following organizations list preservation-related job and internship opportunities. The UGA Career Center provides the following services to graduates students AND alumni:
UGA Career Center
All job openings and internship opportunities received by the MHP Program are posted to the student listserv and the UGA Historic Preservation Linkedin Group. The following organizations list preservation-related job and internship opportunities.
The UGA Career Center provides the following services to graduates students AND alumni: