Whether your passion is modern art, American history, or ancient artifacts, there is sure to be a museum for you! Working in a museum can be a fun and rewarding way to stay connected with your interests while sharing your passion with the public.
Museums offer a wide number of positions, from curators and archivists to graphic designers and public relations officers. If you dream of working in a museum, read on to figure out which position would be the best fit for you.
Archivists are responsible for collections of items and records (art, documents, or artifacts) kept in the museum. If you love history and want to be directly involved with the collections at the museum, this is the position for you.
Conservators work in the archives as well to preserve historical items. A conservator needs to know the science behind conserving pieces of art and artifacts. If you have a passion for history, art, and science, this job will allow you to combine all three!
A museum curator usually oversees a collection in a specific field and time period. The curator is responsible for the care and display of their respective collection. They are also expected to assess authenticity and significance of items. If you have a passion for a specific time period or type of art, consider applying to be a curator!
The museum director is basically the manager of the museum, ensuring that everything in all departments is running smoothly. They are a leader for all museum employees, have specialized knowledge about museum collections, plan and organize events, and are responsible for policy making and funding. Keep in mind that this is usually a position that one works up to.
A docent position combines people skills and knowledge about the items in the museum. Docents greet and interact with visitors, answer any questions they have about items on display, and give informational tours. If you're a people person that loves to talk about art, this could be the job for you!
6. Exhibit Designer
An exhibit designer plans the layout and display of items, decides on wall colors and layouts, and makes sure that art is hung or installed properly. If you enjoy art, design, or architecture, this would be a great position for you!
7. Graphic Designer
Every museum needs a graphic designer to design brochures, advertisements, posters and signs around the museum. If you’re a graphic designer who enjoys museums, you should check if your favorite museum is looking for a graphic designer.
A museum historian is responsible for doing historical research. They might apply their knowledge to help organize collections in a coherent and meaningful way. They also research items and their historical context to create informational plaques or brochures.
9. Membership Officer
Membership officers manage membership programs. Membership officers decide the perks of the program, create marketing materials, communicate with members, and manage the member database. If you love museums but have more of a business background, this would be a great position for you.
10. Museum Educator
Museum educators inform visitors about the collections through tours or other events. They develop exhibit presentation and oversee the docents. Other responsibilities could include writing tour guide scripts or developing educational programs at the museum. If you have a passion for art education, this is the position for you!
11. Museum Shop Manager
If you have a background in business or retail, you might consider working at a museum store. As a manager you will decide what to carry in the store, oversee store employees, and interact with shoppers. This is another good position for those who love museums but don't have a strict art or history background.
12. Museum Protection Staff (Security Officer)
Because museums contain priceless pieces of history, they need to be kept under careful watch at all times. Museum security officers are stationed throughout the museum to make sure that visitors follow rules (“no touching!”) and that all visitors and museum objects are safe.
Photo Credit: @Rebecca
A preparator works closely with the exhibit designer to make their ideas come to life. This includes handling objects, installing or hanging art pieces, and constructing and arranging displays. If you enjoy math, architecture, and working with your hands, this would be a great way to apply your skills.
14. Public Relations Officer
A museum is a business, and like all businesses, they need public relations officers to spread the news about events, exhibits, and activities. This might include writing press releases, contacting news stations, or helping to create museum brochures. If you enjoy writing and public speaking, this position would be a great fit.
A registrar works in the archives and makes sure that all museum items are safe and accounted for. This includes maintaining records of ownership as well as overseeing the safety and condition of items on display. They also contribute to creating a museum catalog. This is a good job if you’re organized and detail oriented.
This one isn't exactly a job, but for those that don’t have the skills or major to land your dream museum job, you can always be a museum volunteer. Many museums have volunteer programs that allow people to interact with visitors and learn more about the collections as a part-time hobby.
These positions might differ on a case to case basis, so check out your favorite local museum to get details on the position you're interested in. As this extensive list has shown, whether you’re an art history major with three curator internships or an accountant who enjoys looking at Italian Renaissance art on the weekends, there’s a way for everyone to get involved at their local museum.