Starting your archives career

There are several routes to becoming a qualified archivist. The two main routes are via an accredited Master’s degree in Archive Management or a Level 7 Archivist and Records Manager apprenticeship.

Accredited postgraduate courses

The Archives and Records Association accredits postgraduate courses that you can study at any stage of career to become a qualified archivist, whether you’ve just finished an undergraduate degree or are mid-career. Courses vary from full-time to part-time, with distance learning options available.

Level 7 Archivist and Records Manager apprenticeships

The Level 7 Archivist and Records Manager apprenticeships are a new route into the sector and are equivalent to the postgraduate courses for becoming a qualified archivist.

Level 3 Library, Information and Archive Services Assistant apprenticeships

The Level 3 apprenticeships help people get into assistant-level jobs within the library and archive sectors. Unlike the Level 7 Archivist and Records Manager apprenticeships, people who finish the Level 3 apprenticeship are not qualified archivists.

The Archives and Records Association

The Archives and Records Association (ARA) is the professional body for the archive sector. The ARA was created to ensure that archives and records are properly looked after and preserved for posterity and that all those working hard on this task receive the proper training and support to do so.

The ARA works to provide a coherent voice on all matters relating to the record-keeping sector and aims to broaden the care, management, access and use of records and archives by everyone. They embrace all those working in archives, records management, archive conservation, archive learning, research and outreach as well as anyone in the wider community with an interest in records and archives including users, owners and volunteers.

They are responsible for and committed to maintaining high standards and developing the archives sector workforce through its members.

ARA provides support to the workforce by:

  • setting the standards of professional conduct and maintaining a professional register
  • providing, monitoring and developing training and continued professional development for the current and future workforce
  • providing professional help and advice
  • promoting the exchange of expertise and experience among its members through open discussion
  • identifying employment opportunities and marketing the skills of its members to potential employers
  • representing the interests of the record-keeping profession nationally

Visit the Archive & Record Association’s careers hub