Museum careers

Someone looking down a microscope

Examining a new object

There are lots of different kinds of jobs in museums. There are academic, research-based posts; curatorial posts that look after the collections; administrative jobs; education jobs; and creative jobs, such as designer and photographer.

Some museum jobs, particularly in small museums, let you to do a bit of everything! The variety of the work is what attracts a lot of people to museums, and the job field is getting more and more competitive.

Qualifications

Different types of museum work require different qualifications and amounts of experience. Some 'front of house' jobs, such as gallery attendant, need a general interest in and enthusiasm for the collections more than a specific set of qualifications. Curatorial work, on the other hand, normally requires at least one degree in a relevant field - and it's getting more common that a second qualification, specifically about museums, is needed.

Many first degrees can offer skills that are relevant to working in the museum field. For example:

Many museum employees now go on to study for a second ('post-graduate') degree in Museum Studies after their first degree. This teaches the specific practical skills you need to work in a museum, as well as the more general roles of museums in society.

Experience

As well as formal qualifications, practical experience is often important in trying to get work in museums. If you think you might be interested in working in museums, it's good to get some practical work experience.

Many museums take on volunteers, who are considered an important part of the museum team. As a volunteer you can experience a range of different jobs and make contacts in the museum world. Lots of museums take on young people as volunteers, and this can be a fun way to find out if the work is for you before you decide on full-time study.

The links below offer advice about going to university and choosing the right course. There is also information on Museum Studies courses and volunteer groups.

More info

 
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