What Does it Take to Be a Museum Technician or Conservator?
Job Description: Restore, maintain, or prepare objects in museum collections for storage, research, or exhibit. May work with specimens such as fossils, skeletal parts, or botanicals; or artifacts, textiles, or art. May identify and record objects or install and arrange them in exhibits. Includes book or document conservators.
What Do Museum Technicians and Conservators Do On a Daily Basis?
- Cut and weld metal sections in reconstruction or renovation of exterior structural sections and accessories of exhibits.
- Determine whether objects need repair and choose the safest and most effective method of repair.
- Enter information about museum collections into computer databases.
- Coordinate exhibit installations, assisting with design, constructing displays, dioramas, display cases, and models, and ensuring the availability of necessary materials.
- Prepare reports on the operation of conservation laboratories, documenting the condition of artifacts, treatment options, and the methods of preservation and repair used.
- Lead tours and teach educational courses to students and the general public.
What Every Museum Technician or Conservator Should Know
Museum Technicians and Conservators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Other Museum Technician or Conservator Job Titles
- Museum Technician
- Art Objects Repairer
- Conservation Assistant
Museum Technician or Conservator Job Outlook
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 11,800 jobs in the United States for Museum Technician or Conservator. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 12.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,500 new jobs for Museum Technician or Conservator by 2026. There will be an estimated 1,400 positions for Museum Technician or Conservator per year.
The states with the most job growth for Museum Technician or Conservator are Utah, Washington, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Rhode Island, or North Dakota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
What is the Average Salary of a Museum Technician or Conservator
The typical yearly salary for Museum Technicians and Conservators is somewhere between $25,430 and $74,840.
Museum Technicians and Conservators who work in District of Columbia, Maryland, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Museum Technicians and Conservators in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$68,460|
What Tools do Museum Technicians and Conservators Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Museum Technicians and Conservators may use on a daily basis:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft Outlook
- Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- Microsoft Visual FoxPro
- Gallery Systems EmbARK
- PastPerfect Software PastPerfect
- Questor Systems ARGUS
Becoming a Museum Technician or Conservator
Are there Museum Technicians and Conservators education requirements?
What work experience do I need to become a Museum Technician or Conservator?
Where do Museum Technicians and Conservators Work?
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
Those thinking about becoming a Museum Technician or Conservator might also be interested in the following careers:
Those who work as a Museum Technician or Conservator sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:
Image Credit: Jorge Royan via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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