Job Listing
🔗Preservation Conservator

  • Full Time
  • Mount Vernon, VA
  • starting at $50,000 USD / Year
  • Job Qualifications:
    • MA or MS degree in conservation, historic preservation, architectural history, architecture or a closely related field with course work in materials conservation required.
    • Familiarity with the conservation of wood, glass, metals, plaster, brick and stone masonry, and bone and other organic materials. Ability to identify and conduct conservation procedures, historic building maintenance and repairs in situ or in the laboratory.
    • Ability to document research findings and to assist in recording structures and field conditions as well as produce basic measured drawings.
    • Sound knowledge of philosophy and fundamental principles of conservation and historic preservation, including the identification, evaluation, documentation and treatment of historic architecture and archaeologically recovered materials.
    • Ability to develop and implement short-term conservation goals designed to realize comprehensive long-term conservation strategies to achieve the preservation of 18th-century fabric.
    • Knowledge of 18th-century building materials and technologies.
    • Familiarity with portable x-ray fluorescence (pXRF) and conservation science technologies.
    • Excellent communication, project management, and diplomatic skills and the ability to multi-task and work collaboratively within a team structure.
    • Flexibility, reliability, and the ability to work beyond a normal work day.
    • Ability to successfully complete a security background check.
  • How to Apply:

    Please apply with a resume or CV at the application URL.  Be prepared to submit a cover letter as well.

  • Job benefits: Health, Vision, Dental, Life Insurance, Paid time off, etc
  • Application URL:

Website George Washington's Mount Vernon

Open 365 days of the year, Mount Vernon is the most popular historic estate in America. Over 96 million people have visited Mount Vernon since 1860, when the estate officially opened to the public. Today, Mount Vernon welcomes an average of one million guests each year. The estate, gardens, and farm of Mount Vernon totaled some 8,000 acres in the 18th century. Presently, an estimated 500 acres of this historic property have been painstakingly preserved along the banks of the Potomac River.

Preservation Conservator

The Preservation Conservator is a full-time, exempt-status position, working within the Department of Historic Preservation and Collections under the direct supervision of the Curator of Preservation Collections (“Preservation Curator”).  In addition to supporting the overall mission of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and the department to preserve the historic resources of Mount Vernon, the Preservation Conservator is charged with a leading role in planning the conservation, storage, maintenance, and care of the historic standing structures, archaeological resources, and the architectural and archaeological collections.

Negotiations start at $50,000

Expected Hours:
40 hours/week

Essential Functions:

  • Assists the Preservation Curator and the Director of Preservation (“Director”) in planning architectural conservation, archaeological conservation, and restoration projects, securing funding and managing budgets, and in collaborating with colleagues throughout the department and in the field to achieve the greatest level of scientific analyses, best practices, communication and effective implementation possible.
  • Conserves Mount Vernon’s historic architectural fabric and archaeological resources utilizing the latest scientific methods, coordinating as needed with outside consultants and contractors.
  • Conserves Mount Vernon’s architectural and archaeological collections for long-term preservation and, in some cases, for museum display; assists in determining the prioritization of object conservation needs, developing long-term collections storage protocols, and developing related budgets.
  • Oversees the work of contract conservation work, both on and off site. Prepares “Requests for Proposals” (RFPs), identifies qualified bidders, develops scopes of work, and reviews contract conservation proposals.
  • Conducts primary and secondary research and investigation on Mount Vernon’s built environment as needed to support the work of preservation and department staff for project planning and reporting. This includes physical examination of structures, architectural collection objects, archaeological features and archaeological collection items; produces documentation and reporting on the same.
  • Conducts and oversees proper sampling of materials for laboratory identification and/or analysis, and cohesively synthesizes findings in written form.
  • Works with the Preservation Curator and Director to develop and execute a comprehensive long-range plan for conserving, restoring and maintaining the Estate’s historic structures.
  • Assists in the execution of routine maintenance of the historic structures working closely with the Architectural Historian, Preservation Specialist, Preservation Technician, other Mount Vernon staff, and outside contractors. Identifies ways to improve issues with ongoing maintenance issues.
  • Collaborates with the Architectural Historian and architectural preservation team on bi-annual inspections of the historic buildings, both interior and exterior, resulting in written recommendations for their care.
  • Collects and analyzes data on the Mansion environment and the effects of HVAC on the building fabric, making recommendations for system settings.
  • Supports the architectural preservation team with research on and recommendations about materials and supplies to use in cleaning and maintenance routines, including conducting experiments to ascertain effectiveness and maintaining metrics to track effectiveness and consider ways to improve the cleaning regime.
  • Works with the Director and Preservation Curator to develop and supervise internships for graduate students and young conservation professionals.
  • Represents Mount Vernon at conferences, symposia and committees concerning architectural conservation and care and management of Mount Vernon’s built environment.
  • Undertakes other duties as assigned.


  • 403(b) Retirement plan with employer matching
  • Employee recognition at 5 years of service
  • Monthly employee events
  • Employee referral program
  • On-site Library
  • Discount on Public Event Tickets
  • Discount in the Mount Vernon Shops
  • Discount at the Mount Vernon Inn and Food Court Pavilion
  • Free parking
  • Health, Vision, and Dental insurance
  • Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability, and Life Insurance
  • Paid leave for Sick Time, Vacation and Holidays
  • Flexible spending account for medical care

Mount Vernon is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we are committed to building and retaining a team that represents a variety of skills, experiences and perspectives.  All employment decisions are based on business needs, job requirements, performance, and qualifications without regard to race, religion or belief, national or ethnic origin, gender/sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital or domestic partnership status, veteran and military status, family or parental status, or any other status protected under federal, state, or local law. Mount Vernon will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics.

  • NCPE Internships: Eligibility & How to Apply


    All NCPE interns received an hourly stipend, the rate is listed at each position description. Additionally, interns receive paid time off (PTO), paid Federal holidays if working full-time, and access to NCPE's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for career and personal counseling, coaching, and referrals. Project sites may also offer a housing allowance and/or commuting stipend; this information is also listed in the description or offered during the interview.

    Eligible NCPE interns who successfully complete their internships may count their position towards earning a Public Land Corps (PLC) Non-Competitive Hiring Authority certificate. To be eligible to earn a PLC certificate, an intern must be 30 years old or younger (or 35 if a veteran). Once earned, the PLC hiring authority certificate may be used to apply for eligible Federal temporary, term, or permanent positions. Successful completion of a NCPE internship does not guarantee Federal employment. Contact for more details.


    To be eligible, applicants must be at least 18 years old, currently enrolled in a degree-seeking academic program at the college level (or recently graduated within the past 12 months), and be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident. Interns are not eligible to work more than 1200 hours total in the program; previous interns must stay within this overall limit. The length of an internship can vary from 10 to 30 weeks if full time (40 hours per week) or longer if on a part-time schedule. If selected, the exact starting date will be determined by you and the NPS supervisor. The stipend rate is $17.00 per hour unless otherwise listed.

    The successful candidate is responsible for finding and paying for travel to and housing at the internship location; some exceptions apply. The supervising office may be able to assist in locating housing but it is ultimately up to the individual accepting the internship to find accommodation.

    The National Council requires all interns working in-person at Federal facilities and/or with Federal employees receive the Covid-19 vaccination. Please be advised that you may also be required to wear a mask, depending on the protocols adopted by your work site. Also be aware that, due to Government-wide security requirements, a background check will be required if you are selected for a position. This will include providing information about recent housing and employment history. The position supervisor will have more information about these requirements and procedures at the time of hiring. You may direct any questions to NCPE's Internship Program Director, Julee Johnson, at

    Please note that interns are not NCPE or NPS employees. Stipends are academic awards and taxes are not withheld, nor are social security contributions made on your behalf. These funds may be taxable, however, so consult a tax preparation professional if you have questions.

    How to Apply

    You may review NCPE's internship opportunities during the Summer and Winter application rounds without registering. Use the search function to find listings by location, keyword, or area of interest/category. Once you identify one or more positions of interest, there is a 3-step application process.

    Step 1: Click on the Apply for Job button, then select Universal Application. Click on Register to create a User Account, which requires a username and email. A link will be sent to you from to create a password. We suggest that you add this email to your safe senders list so you don't miss receiving this important link. You will be instructed to Log In to Preservenet using your user name or email and password, which will take you back to the Universal Application.

    Step 2: The Universal Application is required to apply for all NCPE internships. You fill out this form only once. In addition to contact information, educational status, work history, and experience, it requires two attachments: (1) the 2 most recent years of academic transcripts. These may be unofficial transcripts if official versions are unavailable. PDF only, labeled Your Last Name_Your First Name_Transcript. (2) a resume or CV (curriculum vitae). Please limit to a maximum of 4 pages; 2 pages preferred. May be .doc, .docx or PDF. Label Your Last Name_Your First Name_Resume. This form may be saved as a draft and completed later. Use the link provided to return to the form.

    Step 3: Once you submit the Universal Application, you may browse and apply for NCPE internships using the link provided. Complete the application process by clicking on the Apply for job button found at each internship listing and upload the required Essay. Use the essay to explain why you are applying for an internship, including how your interest areas will benefit the National Park Service (NPS) and how the internship will further your studies and career goals. Be as specific as possible; there is a 400-word maximum length. Submit the essay to finish the application for that position. You may apply for a maximum of 6 internships during this application round. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!

    Once the deadline for submission has passed, NPS supervisors will review the applications and may contact candidates for a phone interview. Candidates who are not selected will be notified. Please allow about 4 weeks after the deadline before inquiring about the status of your application.

Logging in with a Registered User Account and completing the Universal Application is required to apply for NCPE Internships. Please visit the Universal Application page to register for an account and complete the form. After logging in and completing the form, refreshing this listing will display the Job Application to apply online.