Published July 12, 2023

Person standing in front of historic ruins in the desert, wearing a hatIf you’re considering a career in cultural heritage management, you likely already know that the work of preserving and promoting cultural resources, traditions, and artifacts is vital. So vital, in fact, that many sectors of the field are experiencing growing demand for qualified professionals. Those professionals help to foster intercultural understanding and dialogue, protect our history, and promote a greater appreciation of the incredible diversity of human culture.

What Is Cultural Heritage Management?

The field of cultural heritage management focuses on preserving and making accessible all of our heritage, from intangible elements such as music, food, dance, and dress, to tangible elements ranging from natural habitats to the built environment—like historic buildings, monuments, and cities. It is a dynamic interdisciplinary field involving a range of stakeholders, including governments, non-governmental organizations, local communities, and the private sector. Dedicated professionals in a wide range of roles, including archaeologists, historians, and park naturalists, among others, engage in the essential work of cultural heritage management.

Cultural Heritage Management Jobs

The career outlook for cultural management professionals is excellent: job openings have increased over the last twelve months, a trend expected to continue. For example, over the next ten years, the U.S. cultural resource industry is projected to add 8,000 new archaeological jobs, with 70% of those expected to require advanced degrees, according to a report in the journal Advances in Archaeological Practices.

More broadly, expanding U.S. infrastructure spending and accelerating environmental and social challenges will ensure demand for forward-thinking cultural resource management leaders in the years ahead.

Read on to learn more about popular cultural heritage management jobs, role descriptions, and median salaries.


  • Median Salary: $59,604 mid-level; $108,088 senior level
  • Annual Growth: 0.80% (Average)

Archaeologists study the physical remains of past societies. They use various methods to unearth these remains through fieldwork and then interpret their findings through laboratory analysis and historical research. Today’s archaeologists often combine archaeological heritage knowledge with pragmatic skills in digital and geospatial documentation, risk management, and project management. A graduate degree program in cultural heritage management can provide those skills and the qualifications needed to meet 36 CFR Part 61 and RPA standards, which are essential for leadership and management roles in the Cultural Resources Management sector.

Tour Guide/Public Interpreter/Educator

  • Median Salary: $31,486 mid-level; $64,389 senior level
  • Annual Growth: 1.03% (Faster than average)

Professionals in this role create public education programs and serve as tour guides for cultural heritage sites like monuments, national parks, and museums. They may have some involvement in the site’s marketing and outreach campaigns.


  • Median Salary: $59,890 mid-level; $101,526 senior level
  • Annual Growth: 1.2% (Faster than average)

Museum and historic site curators are responsible for acquiring, conserving, and displaying museum collections. They work to ensure artifacts are handled appropriately so that they remain intact. If you have a high level of curiosity about historical artifacts and a knack for organizing archives, this position may be a good fit.


  • Median Salary: $62,848 mid-level; $122,278 senior level
  • Annual Growth: 0.31% (Average)

Historians are responsible for analyzing, researching, and recording the past. Historians can also use their talents and skills to teach others what they have learned. Their experience and expertise can lead to many career paths, including teacher, tour guide, and museum curator.

Museum Technician/Conservator

  • Median Salary: $47,530 mid-level; $82,173 senior level
  • Annual Growth: 1.14% (Faster than average)

Conservators are experts who restore and maintain museum collections and cultural artifacts. They examine the condition of objects, identify problems, and create treatment plans. Conservators frequently work with botanicals, artifacts, books, documents, art, textiles, and fossils.


  • Median Salary: $59,604 mid-level; $108,088 senior level
  • Annual Growth: 0.80% (Average)

Professionals in this field study what makes us human, including the origin, development, and behavior of human culture. Their roles include collecting and interpreting data through fieldwork, ethnography, and cultural analysis. They strive to understand why people act a certain way, why they make the decisions they do, what they believe, and how they live.

Industry, occupation, compensation, and projected growth data are supplied by Lightcast. Visit JHU’s MA in Cultural Heritage Management program page to review career outlook data in more detail.

Earning a Master’s in Cultural Heritage Management

By pursuing graduate education in cultural heritage management, you will gain the knowledge, skills, and credentials needed to advance in the field and to contribute to the forward-thinking strategies that safeguard cultures and preserve our built and natural environments.

Johns Hopkins University’s MA in Cultural Heritage Management is an innovative online graduate program with a focus on emergent technology and an impact on conservation, preservation, and engagement, along with an integrated approach to management, consultation, and outreach.

At JHU, exceptional faculty members provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the field. Take the first step toward a fulfilling career in cultural heritage management and contact an admissions representative today. Stay up to date on our degree offerings and global opportunities here.

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