The heritage sector contains many different institutions and activities requiring a variety of skills. Many of the web sites on this page indicate the range of jobs that exist and what qualifications employers seek.
Many people build careers in heritage by working on contract. Contracts can be let for many activities, including planning, research, curating exhibitions, or conserving a specific group of artefacts. As well, Historical Resource Impact Assessments (HRIA) are carried out by contractors who have the necessary professional qualifications.
Contract work is common in the heritage sector because funding is often limited, and work is sometimes seasonal and project specific. For the employee, the advantages of contract work are personal flexibility, job variety and intellectual challenge; the downsides are lack of permanency and employment benefits.
In some cases, a contract can be negotiated one-to-one with a museum or agency. In other cases, an individual submits a tender or teams up with colleagues to do so.
A tender, or a proposal, is the document that is submitted in response to a call for proposals. The proposal sets out the contractor's fees and how she or he would approach the job. For guidance on preparing one, see the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals' “Tendering Guidelines”.
How do you find out what contract work is available?
Information about current developments is important for anticipating where jobs might be available. One way of staying current is through web sites such as those of professional organizations at the regional, national, and international level. Among the many relevant ones are:
There are also museum and heritage agencies coast-to-coast-to-coast. For examples, see:
List Serves are also a good source for up-to-date information. You need to research which ones best match your needs. There are different types including national, sectoral, regional and local ones. Here are a few examples:
There are many web sites with job listings. These sometimes also list calls for proposals for contract projects. Here is a sample:
Museums and agencies — at least the largest ones — sometimes post openings on their web sites. While these are usually also found on the general job lists such as the CMA, be sure to watch the page of any institution you are interested in. For examples, see:
Updated April 28 2017 by Student & Academic Services