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Museum Studies Major

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Museum Studies

587 Master's Degrees Annually
#141 in Popularity (Master's)
$56,400 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Museum Studies Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many museum studies graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 587
Graduate Certificate 123

What Museum Studies Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to museum studies were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Museum Studies Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in museum studies should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • History and Archeology - Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for Museum Studies Majors

A major in museum studies prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Museum Studies Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a museum studies student include the following:

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  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Museum Studies Major?

People with a museum studies degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Archivists 14.7% $52,240
Curators 13.7% $53,780
Museum Technicians and Conservators 12.7% $43,020

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies?

587 Master's Degrees Annually
84% Percent Women
19% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major is dominated by women with about 84% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of museum studies majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Museum Studies Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 23
Black or African American 19
Hispanic or Latino 42
White 405
International Students 45
Other Races/Ethnicities 53

Geographic Diversity

Museum Studies appeals to people across the globe. About 7.7% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • Taiwan
  • Argentina

How Much Do Museum Studies Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a master’s degree in museum studies have a median salary of $31,200 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $30,900 (25th percentile) and $34,750 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to museum studies so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $46,870 to $58,490 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to museum studies. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Museum Studies Major  ( 46870 to 58490 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some careers associated with museum studies require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for museum studies careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 0.4%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 5.7%
Some College Courses 1.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.6%
Bachelor’s Degree 13.5%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 4.2%
Master’s Degree 56.2%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 2.7%
Doctoral Degree 13.2%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.8%

Online Museum Studies Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 87 schools offered some type of museum studies program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 10 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 2 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 4 1
Bachelor’s Degree 34 3
Post-Baccalaureate 10 1
Master’s Degree 42 1
Post-Master’s 4 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Museum Studies Worth It?

The median salary for a museum studies grad is $56,400 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 41% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $330,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to museum studies.

Major Number of Grads
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 37,392
Biological & Physical Science 29,278
International Studies 7,967
Interdisciplinary Studies 6,609
Nutrition Science 4,794
Behavioral Science 3,731
Natural Sciences 2,571
Cognitive Science 2,275
Sustainability Science 2,194
Human Biology 1,460
Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution 1,310
Gerontology 1,281
Human Computer Interaction 1,272
Science, Technology & Society 1,171
Mathematics & Computer Science 1,105
Computational Science 927
Systems Theory 917
Dispute Resolution 668
Historic Preservation 433
Multicultural & Diversity Studies 424
Classical & Ancient Studies 303
Marine Science 275
Cultural Studies & Analysis 227
Biopsychology 165
Medieval Studies 108
Accounting & Computer Science 71
Maritime Studies 45
Holocaust Studies 40

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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