Historic Stewards

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Program Overview

Our Historic Stewards Program targets students currently enrolled in trades, construction or other hands-on, preservation-related fields of study to introduce them to best practices for stewardship of NPS historic resources. Historic Stewards join HPTC work crews during their summer breaks (and post-graduation), receiving informal skills training and formal education in preservation theory as they complete critical preservation work for the NPS. 

Interns are expected to physically report to HPTC in Frederick, MD, but some travel may be required based on the needs of the project. Typically, internships last for 12 weeks during the summer or up to six months between the months of June-December. Occasionally, opportunities may occur during other times of the year.

Internships may vary slightly in duties or requirements depending on the needs of the section or project work assigned. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to review the application materials carefully for more information about the expectations and requirements of the specific internship position they are seeking.

Who can apply?

  • Youth between 18 and 30 years of age.
  • Veterans between 18 and 35 years of age and possess a DD214 with a discharge status of Honorable or General under Honorable Conditions.
  • Previous experience with historic trades or construction is required.

How to apply?

The Historic Stewards Program is conducted through a cooperative agreement with one of HPTC’s Corps Network Partners, Conservation Legacy. Most positions are advertised in late winter. Applicants can visit Conservation Legacy’s website to search and apply for open positions.


Under the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps initiative, young adults participating in Historic Stewards must be between the ages of 18 and 30 years to participate. Veterans qualify up to the age of 35 years of age and must possess a DD214 with a discharge status of Honorable or General under Honorable Conditions. Applicants typically have some previous construction or historic preservation experience or education, but all individuals interested in this field are encouraged to apply.

Historic Stewards internships are based in Frederick, MD at the Historic Preservation Training Center, or at an approved HPTC project site location. Some overnight travel may be required depending on the project site location. 

Work may be conducted indoors or outdoors, including in environmental conditions such as rain, mud, and extreme heat or cold. Participants must be willing to work hard and get dirty. Moderate to heavy physical effort is required for this position, including occasional lifting or handling of heavy objects using proper techniques.

The program has a minimum 40 hour per week commitment for the duration of the internship, so holding another job is not recommended. Students are encouraged to participate as their school break schedule allows.

No. While National Park Service employees provide day-to-day supervision and mentorship, your employer of record is our partner organization, Conservation Legacy.

Participants will receive hands-on training opportunities in historic preservation and conservation while earning a stipend, living allowance, and/or wage. A main goal of the program is to support youth with increasing their marketable skill sets in historic preservation. 

For participants interested in pursuing a career in federal service, Historic Stewards can help pave the path toward a federal government career through the Public Land Corps (PLC) hiring authority. Program participants are eligible to receive and use the PLC noncompetitive hiring authority when applying for eligible federal jobs within two years of completing program requirements.

There is no guarantee of employment upon program completion. However, throughout the duration of the program, participants will have the opportunity to build their professional network, expand their skills in the historic trades, and explore or apply for potential job opportunities. In addition, participants who complete all program requirements are eligible for the Public Lands Corps (PLC) Hiring Authority to use when applying for federal positions. All these factors can help make participants more competitive when applying for jobs.

While there are many similarities, there are a few key differences between the Historic Stewards Program and the Traditional Trades Advancement Program (TTAP). TTAP internships are placed at designated National Park Service sites around the country and focused on helping individuals with little or no trades experience gain marketable skills in historic preservation.  The Historic Stewards Program is based out of HPTC in Frederick, Maryland, and targeted toward individuals with some prior experience in historic preservation or the traditional trades.

Yes. Depending on the situation, a prior criminal record could impact your selection, but it will not immediately disqualify you. The only automatic disqualifiers are a murder charge/conviction and registration on the National Sex Offender Registry. Participation in the program is contingent upon passing a background check as well as a name-based search in the National Sex Offender Registry. Additional checks may be requested if required for the position. If you fail to disclose any infraction (even minor ones) on your application and it shows up on your criminal background check, you can be immediately disqualified. It is better to be forthright with this information from the beginning of the application process.


Questions? Contact our team at hptc_learning@nps.gov

Last updated: June 8, 2023