“Architecture should speak of its time and place but yearn for timelessness. — Frank Gehry”
History has a significant impact on our lives, showing us the reflection of the past society and shaping our future. We realize that preserving our world’s heritage is an essential investment in the present and future as we move ahead. It is a tool to revitalize neighbourhoods and helps to keep the community beautiful, lively, and worthy of living, connecting people to their past and each other, bringing many opportunities to work towards the protection and promotion of our heritage. This leads to creating various exciting career options for people who have a passion for history and ways to be a part of our fascinating past by preserving it!
A historic buildings inspector promotes the conservation of the historic environment. They will advise and encourage while restoring the landmark buildings, structures, and unique historical, architectural, or artistic interest areas. They visit sites, inspect and survey landmark sites and buildings, assess buildings and spaces for conservation, and produce area assessments and schedules of work.
Some of their responsibilities frequently entail working outside and site checks and inspections carried out in all weathers. They ensure that all work meets internationally recognized environmental standards and safety guidelines and promote compliance with laws and regulations protecting endangered buildings or protected areas.
Certain skills are required that will give you an upper hand while entering the field of conservation as a historic buildings inspector. They are:
- Interest in history and conservation
- Communication and negotiation skills
- Ability to understand technical drawings of the buildings
- Knowledge of law and rules of the particular area of the located site
- Understanding in design
- Knowledge of working out budgets or other money-related responsibilities
- Project management
There are many ways to enter this field because there are no specific academic requirements. Still, a degree in history, architecture, building maintenance, civil engineering, or environment can help you achieve excellence. Entry without a degree is feasible only if one has experience or additional training in architecture or conservation. There are master’s degree programs (Duration 1 or 2 years depending upon the university) specializing in Architectural Conservation.
Here’s a list of some universities providing this specialization course:
The University of Edinburgh – Architectural Conservation (MSc)
School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi – Architectural Conservation (M. Arch)
The University of Sydney – Master of Heritage Conservation
University of Kent – Architectural Conservation (MSc)
USC Architecture – Masters of Heritage Conservation
As a historic buildings inspector, one would juggle between the office and onsite work. This frequently entails working outside and site visits and inspections. One might use safety equipment, such as protective boots and helmets, onsite because sometimes the work might be physically demanding. Working at heights, using ladders, or visiting difficult-to-access places could be required for site inspections. General working hours are generally 9 am to 5 pm, but this depends on the day’s agenda, so sometimes the timings can be extended. One might also have to stay overnight on site.
If you are a school student who wants to know more about architectural history or just wants to increase your general knowledge regarding this field, some online courses are free and can be an excellent resource to refer to; here are some online courses listed below:
Diploma in Architectural Conservation and Historic Preservation – NPTEL
Courses in Edx related to Architectural History –
For a historic buildings inspector, there are many job opportunities in the government sector as they conduct various regeneration or restoration programs. The average salary depends from place to place. As there are more government opportunities, there are more chances to get higher pay in public than in the private sector. The advantage is receiving a pension after retirement. In India, a fresher in this field can earn about 40000 /- per month. As one gains experience, on average a historic building inspector earns about 3-6 Lacs per annum, which can be increased with time and experience.
In Europe, being one of the centres of architectural icons, one can earn £22,000 – £27,000 as a fresher and about £40,000 – £70,000 as a senior inspector. Countries in Europe offer a lot of courses in architecture conservation and also a lot of job opportunities. As India and many other Asian countries are historical treasures of a wide range of architectural styles, that opens up many exciting job opportunities.
The future of this field is positive and promising! A historic building inspector is focused on preserving heritage buildings for the future and preserving the history of our country. If you are someone who has a keen interest in history, environment, and preservation, you should explore this career field, and as Peter Westbrook once said, “So much of our future lies in preserving our past.”
www.Shiksha.com (n.d.). how can I become a historic buildings inspector conservation officer what kind of starting salary can I expect – Shiksha.com. [online] ask.shiksha.com. Available at: https://ask.shiksha.com/how-can-i-become-a-historic-buildings-inspector-conservation-officer-what-kind-of-starting-salary-can-i-expect-qna-4393444 [Accessed 14 Aug. 2021].
Chynoweth, C. (n.d.). How do I become… a historic buildings inspector. www.thetimes.co.uk. [online] Available at: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/how-do-i-become-an-historic-buildings-inspector-zqzf78trfkt [Accessed 14 Aug. 2021].
Sen, S. (2020). How to bring the past to life, brick by brick. [online] mint. Available at: https://www.livemint.com/mint-lounge/business-of-life/how-to-bring-the-past-to-life-brick-by-brick-11584546260693.html [Accessed 14 Aug. 2021].
Apnaahangout. (2018). M.Arch. Architectural Conservation: Details, Colleges, Eligibility & Jobs. [online] Available at: https://www.apnaahangout.com/m-arch-architectural-conservation/ [Accessed 14 Aug. 2021].
onlinecourses.nptel.ac.in. (n.d.). Architectural Conservation And Historic Preservation – Course. [online] Available at: https://onlinecourses.nptel.ac.in/noc20_ce14/preview [Accessed 14 Aug. 2021].
nptel.ac.in. (n.d.). NPTEL :: Architecture – NOC:Architectural Conservation And Historic Preservation. [online] Available at: https://nptel.ac.in/courses/124/105/124105003/.