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Employment for architectural historians picks up (finally)

July 6, 2012

After a prolonged decline, employment opportunities for architectural historians are clearly on
the rise.  During the first six months of 2012 we recorded 46 permanent, full-time position
announcements compared to only 22 for the same period in 2011.  Some of the decline began prior
to the onset of the current recession due to the changing nature of the field and our criteria
for recording only permanent, full-time positions in the careers survey.  Since 2004 there has
been a gradual decline in Main Street management positions suitable for architectural historians
as established Main Street programs became more focused on marketing and economic development
than on the historic fabric of Main Street commercial districts.   In 2003 Main Street positions
represented about one third of the total listings recorded, since then that number has declined
to about twelve or thirteen percent.  More recently there has been an increase in the number of
temporary or contractual positions in the field of architectural research, and these do not meet
our criteria for inclusion in the careers survey.  It is unclear at present to what extent this
trend may be recession driven.  From 2000 to 2008 the number of positions listings recorded in
the careers survey ranged from 162 to 224 per year with an annual average of 191.6.   In 2009
the total dropped to 144, in 2010 to 99, in 2011 to 55.  The 46 positions listed in the first
half of 2012 indicate a solid rebound.   Despite the weak number of positions listings over the
past few years some, perhaps five percent, remain unfilled and are relisted, suggesting a lack
of qualified applicants.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2012 6:59 pm

    Can you divulge the sources from which you compile this data? Do you know where the unfilled positions are located and what the requirements demand?

    • oozlefinch2 permalink
      July 10, 2012 2:05 pm

      We use a variety of sources for compiling the careers survey data but most can be found at the National Trust Forum site and Preservenet. For geographic distribution, qualifications, etc., see the Careers Survey on this site.

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