What Do Museum Technicians and Conservators Do?
For centuries, human beings have been fascinated with the educational possibilities of historic artifacts and masterpieces, making museum technicians and conservators almost as essential to civilization as farmers and physicians. This occupation generally involves the restoration and maintenance of a broad range of specimens, from documents and artwork to fossils and textiles. Most positions also entail the set up and storage of items for displays.Annual job growth for this position is predicted to be 7% across the nation, resulting in a total of 330 potential job openings each year. Although museums and art institutions are the primary source of this demand, an increasing number of government agencies are looking for people in this profession as well.
Museum Technicians and Conservators Skills and Abilities
In order to apply effective restoration procedures, museum technicians and conservators need to have a firm grasp of chemistry and the reactions caused by different substances. A thorough understanding of art, archeology and history is also a valuable necessity for the identification and categorization of new artifacts. In terms of communication, basic writing and speaking skills will help you document and share important information about individual items or collections.
Museum Technicians and Conservators Duties
One of the most crucial aspects of this job is the ability to think outside the box and develop creative solutions to a variety of unique situations. Furthermore, all processes and observations should be thoroughly recorded for later review and maintenance. You should also be prepared to use your arms and hands to move museum pieces or manipulate chemicals and materials. Other tasks associated with this position include:* Preparing conservation reports* Estimating project costs* Assigning registration numbers for inventory* Analyze artifact evidence and test results* Delivery of artwork to other institutions
Museum Technicians and Conservators Tools and Technology
Ultimately, equipment used in this field can vary widely depending on the kind of objects you are working with. However, some of the items you will use most frequently are scientific microscopes, compressed air guns and adjustable pliers. Additional chemical components may be needed, but only after extensive examination and research. As far as technology, people who are interested in becoming a museum technician or conservator should possess a moderate level of proficiency with certain types of software, including:* Electronic mailing systems* User interfaces and database management* Image and graphic design editing* Office suite programs and administration tools
Education and Training for Museum Technicians and Conservators
The minimum level of education required for this position is a Bachelor’s degree, but a majority of employees choose to go on and obtain a Master’s degree as well. As a matter of fact, college courses related to Art Conservation, Applied History and Museum Studies are critical to the development of industry skills and experience. Students may also choose to specialize in a specific era or category of artifacts depending on their personal interests.
Museum Technicians and Conservators Salary
The median pay rate for museum technicians and conservators is $19.20, making it possible to earn an average of $39,900 each year in the United States. Wages vary depending on the significance of current projects and exhibits, but the top 10% of employees in this field have been known to gross as much as $71,500, while the bottom 10% bring in about $23,000.
Museum Technicians and Conservators Jobs by Geography
Many regions across the country are experiencing ongoing demand in this field. However, Arkansas and California are the states with the highest percentage of job growth over the next several years. If you would like a position with better pay, consider looking for opportunities in the District of Columbia or Maryland.