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How Do I Become a Museum Technician?

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  • Written By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Becoming a museum technician is usually a matter of basic training combined with an interest in archiving, preservation, and museum operation. Museum technicians are usually considered entry-level museum employees, which means that the steps needed to enter the job are few. Many technicians advance into the higher echelons of museum management, including curator and archivist positions. These jobs usually require more specific training. Though not much is required to become a museum technician, the more education and experience you have, the easier it will be for you to rise in your career.

Museum technician requirements vary from place to place, but most of the time a bachelor’s degree is considered essential. Some schools offer museum studies degrees, but this is uncommon, particularly at the bachelor’s level. More often, people hoping to find work in museums study art, archaeology, or art history. Studying the subject matter of a museum’s collections is often just as effective at preparing a student to become a museum technician as studying museum operations and set-up would be.

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If you know the sort of setting in which you would like to work, pursuing a degree in that field is a good place to start. School breaks are also a great time to explore possible museum technician careers, either by volunteering or by completing an internship. Any amount of time that you are able to spend working in a museum is a good way of getting basic museum technician training. Work experience can also help build connections, as well as providing excellent material for a resume and cover letter.

Not all students know they want to become a museum technician while they are in school. After graduation, it is usually best to look for technician jobs in settings related to whatever it is you studied. Archaeology degrees are very useful in ancient history museums, for instance, while fine art degrees are enviable in painting and sculpture galleries. The key is to look for positions to which you can draw some sort of palpable connection.

You can usually find out about museum technician job openings either by contacting individual museums directly or searching museum-related job boards. Most of the positions are classed as entry-level, with few restrictions on prior experience or expertise. For this reason, most postings receive numerous applications. It is crucial that you tailor your materials so that they stand out.

One of the most important things to do in your application to become a museum technician is to show how your interests and education would make you a good fit for the job. Meeting the stated requirements is not usually enough. You must also show how your particular skills make you a better choice than someone else with similar qualifications. Drawing attention to any graduate education, library work, or other archival experience will strengthen your chances to become a museum technician, as will exploring any personal connections that you may have to the galleries or material at issue.

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