What is 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.
Daily Life Of a Museum Technician or Conservator
- Repair, restore, and reassemble artifacts, designing and fabricating missing or broken parts, to restore them to their original appearance and prevent deterioration.
- Supervise and work with volunteers.
- Prepare reports on the operation of conservation laboratories, documenting the condition of artifacts, treatment options, and the methods of preservation and repair used.
- Cut and weld metal sections in reconstruction or renovation of exterior structural sections and accessories of exhibits.
- Perform tests and examinations to establish storage and conservation requirements, policies, and procedures.
- Recommend preservation procedures, such as control of temperature and humidity, to curatorial and building staff.
What a Museum Technician or Conservator Should Know
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.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Exhibit Technician
- Conservation Specialist
- Objects Conservator
- Paper and Prints Restorer
- Exhibit Preparator
Job Outlook for Museum Technicians and Conservators
There were about 11,800 jobs for Museum Technician or Conservator in 2016 (in the United States). 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.
Museum Technician or Conservator 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|
|District of Columbia||$68,460|
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 do I Become a Museum Technician or Conservator?
Individuals working as a Museum Technician or Conservator have obtained the following education levels:
How Long Does it Take to Become a Museum Technician or Conservator?
Where do Museum Technicians and Conservators Work?
Museum Technicians and Conservators work in the following industries:
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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