Museum Career Options to Consider
There are many options to consider when choosing a museum career. Depending on your previous education and experience level, you have several career paths to choose from. First, there are several types of museums, including; history museums, art museums, and science museums. When considering which type of museum you would like to work for, you must decide whether or not you are willing to relocate. If you are not willing to relocate you must select a museum type based on what is available in your community. In general, no matter what type of museum you decide, each museum is sure to have a museum curator, museum technician, and will likely have a museum archivist.
The curator of a museum is first and foremost the manager, or overseer of the museum. This person is responsible for ensuring the safety, quality and creativity of the museum's collections. Museum curators typically oversee community outreach programs, such as youth education about the museum collections.
Curators are expected to hold a higher degree in their subject. This degree could be a Master's degree, but is more commonly a Doctorate's degree. Subjects for these degrees range from archaeology or anthropology to history of art. In addition to daily responsibilities, the museum curator is also expected to contribute to the field by giving speeches, lectures or teaching courses.
Museum technicians are responsible for many of the day to day tasks in the museum, including setting up museum displays, ensuring proper climate for collection pieces, maintains facility and machinery and instructing support staff. Museum technicians are expected to handle the packing and shipping of artwork. Before shipping the artwork, the technician must examine and document the condition of the pieces. Upon receiving artwork, the same process is repeated, and the technician is responsible for installing the pieces. Technicians should hold at least a bachelor's degree on the subject and have relevant field experience.
Museum archivists are given the task of acquiring and preserving historical documents and other valuable items. The work of archivists is needed in nearly every type of museum. Archivists work closely with the museum curator and technician to ensure that historical items remain safe and secure. The work of the archivist is necessary because they are attempting to permanently preserve any information that is deemed important enough to keep forever. As with the museum curator position, archivists usually hold a master's degree in their field. It is helpful for archivists to have gained hands-on experience through an internship or previous job.
Museum Development Officer
Museums typically cannot function solely on the revenue generated by admissions. In fact, many museums are free of charge, and therefore are only able to operate via donations and governmental grants. The Museum Development Officer is responsible for working closely with donors and volunteers to ensure the future financial stability of the museum. A bachelor's degree and ample experience in business development are usually required for obtaining this position.