What Do Museum Technician or Conservator Do?
Position 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.
Daily Life Of a Museum Technician or Conservator
- Perform on-site field work which may involve interviewing people, inspecting and identifying artifacts, note-taking, viewing sites and collections, and repainting exhibition spaces.
- Estimate cost of restoration work.
- Classify and assign registration numbers to artifacts and supervise inventory control.
- Specialize in particular materials or types of object, such as documents and books, paintings, decorative arts, textiles, metals, or architectural materials.
- Clean objects, such as paper, textiles, wood, metal, glass, rock, pottery, and furniture, using cleansers, solvents, soap solutions, and polishes.
- Plan and conduct research to develop and improve methods of restoring and preserving specimens.
Qualities of a Museum Technician or Conservator
These are the skills Museum Technicians and Conservators say are the most useful in their careers:
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.
Related Job Titles
- Conservation Technician
- Exhibit Preparator
- Art Preparator
- Exhibit Technician
Job Opportunities for Museum Technicians and Conservators
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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,400 job openings in this field each 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.
How Much Does a Museum Technician or Conservator Make?
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.
How much do Museum Technicians and Conservators make in each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$68,460|
Tools & Technologies Used by Museum Technicians and Conservators
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Museum Technicians and Conservators:
- 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?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where Museum Technicians and Conservators Work
Below are examples of industries where Museum Technicians and Conservators work:
Other Jobs You May be Interested In
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Career changers with experience as a Museum Technician or Conservator sometimes find work in one of the following fields:
Image Credit: Jorge Royan via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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