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Museum Technician or Conservator

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All About Museum Technicians and Conservators

Job Description & Duties 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.

Life As a Museum Technician or Conservator

  • Supervise and work with volunteers.
  • Notify superior when restoration of artifacts requires outside experts.
  • Direct and supervise curatorial, technical, and student staff in the handling, mounting, care, and storage of art objects.
  • Deliver artwork on courier trips.
  • Install, arrange, assemble, and prepare artifacts for exhibition, ensuring the artifacts' safety, reporting their status and condition, and identifying and correcting any problems with the set up.
  • Clean objects, such as paper, textiles, wood, metal, glass, rock, pottery, and furniture, using cleansers, solvents, soap solutions, and polishes.

Museum Technician or Conservator Required Skills

When polled, Museum Technicians and Conservators say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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

  • Paintings Conservator
  • Ethnographic Materials Conservator
  • Conservator
  • Ceramic Restorer
  • Conservation Technician

What Kind of Museum Technician or Conservator Job Opportunities Are There?

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.

Museum Technician or Conservator Average Salary

Museum Technicians and Conservators make between $25,430 and $74,840 a year.


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
Alabama $41,260
Alaska $50,660
Arizona $38,950
Arkansas $35,650
California $48,120
Colorado $42,580
Connecticut $55,340
District of Columbia $68,460
Florida $41,600
Georgia $43,390
Hawaii $39,270
Illinois $45,210
Indiana $36,250
Iowa $45,520
Kansas $36,040
Kentucky $39,410
Louisiana $24,690
Maine $40,610
Maryland $66,300
Massachusetts $56,100
Michigan $36,030
Minnesota $42,750
Missouri $41,350
Nebraska $34,240
Nevada $36,240
New Jersey $57,510
New Mexico $38,690
New York $56,040
North Carolina $40,850
Ohio $41,940
Oklahoma $34,410
Oregon $44,350
Pennsylvania $42,700
South Carolina $32,820
South Dakota $31,550
Tennessee $43,940
Texas $44,090
Virginia $45,100
Washington $46,300
Wisconsin $37,480
Wyoming $39,280

Tools & Technologies Used by Museum Technicians and Conservators

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

How to Become a Museum Technician or Conservator

What kind of Museum Technician or Conservator requirements are there?


How many years of work experience do I need?


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:

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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