How Do I Work in an Anthropology Museum?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2019
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If you want to work in an anthropology museum, researching the types of jobs that museums near you typically have open can be a great start. This way, you can be sure you have the required qualifications before you apply. Keep in mind that if you want to eventually work in an anthropology-related position, yet also need a job while going to school or just to pay daily expenses, you may want to start out working at the museum in another capacity. Volunteering and applying for anthropology museum work as a student through your school are other possible ideas.

A curator's assistant trainee position is usually a part-time opportunity open to qualified candidates with a recent education in anthropological studies. Work opportunities such as these tend to be much in demand, so make sure to check regularly with your school's work-study or similar program and apply promptly. Take special care in communicating exactly how your interests, skills and education make you the ideal choice for this type of work in an anthropology museum.

Some anthropology museums regularly hire research assistants. Consider the specific museum's display subjects to determine if your student research experience may fit in with what may be sought by the curator. Networking with instructors and lecturers in your anthropology school may help you discover when, as well as where, certain museums are likely to hire students for assistant jobs.


If your anthropological skills and education aren't yet what a particular museum requires for an assistant position but you still hope to work there, applying for a job in visitor services may be a good option. Expressing your passion for anthropology and desire to help visitors enjoy a quality experience are likely to help get you noticed by the hiring manager. Working in the museum helping visitors will allow you to learn more about different aspects of the anthropology-related positions for which you one day hope to be qualified. Building strong working relationships and meeting people from different departments may also help you have a supportive base of references when you apply for another job in the future.

Regularly checking museum websites for job openings is a good idea so that you can apply as soon as possible. Unless an anthropology museum specifically asks for interested applicants to wait for specific openings, sending in an application compete with a resume and cover letter anytime may work out well. If you know that a certain museum tends to hire seasonally, make sure you apply well in advance of this but also mention your seasonal availability.



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