Preserving and exhibiting objects from the past… curators, conservators, and museum technicians work to inspire and teach audiences today. They oversee and care for collections of artwork and historic items, and conduct education programs for an institution. Curators—or museum directors— negotiate the purchase, sale, and loan of collections. They are often experts in a particular field, such as botany, art, or history, and may authenticate and categorize the specimens in a collection. Curators also manage research and educational programs, and represent their institution at events and in the media. Museum technicians protect, document, and oversee the transportation of museum and collection objects. They also answer questions from the public and help curators and outside scholars use the museum’s collections. Conservators research and preserve works of art and artifacts. They usually specialize in a type of object, such as books, paintings, or architectural material. Conservators use a variety of methods to study objects and reverse years of wear. Curators, museum technicians, and conservators work full time in museums, historical sites, governments, colleges and universities, and corporations. Curator and conservator positions typically require a master’s degree in a field such as museum studies, conservation, or art history, while museum technicians usually have a related bachelor’s degree. Candidates with internship or volunteer experience in archives or museums are more competitive.
What they do:
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.
On the job, you would:
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.
Repair, restore, and reassemble artifacts, designing and fabricating missing or broken parts, to restore them to their original appearance and prevent deterioration.
Clean objects, such as paper, textiles, wood, metal, glass, rock, pottery, and furniture, using cleansers, solvents, soap solutions, and polishes.
Arts and Humanities
music, dance, visual arts, drama, or sculpture
Safety and Government
public safety and security
Math and Science
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
order or arrange things
create new and original ideas
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
put together small parts with your fingers
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Graphics or photo imaging software
Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
Data base user interface and query software
Gallery Systems EmbARK
Questor Systems QScan32
master's degree or bachelor's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.