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Museum Technician or Conservator

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All About Museum Technicians and Conservators

Occupation Description 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.

Daily Life Of a Museum Technician or Conservator

  • Construct skeletal mounts of fossils, replicas of archaeological artifacts, or duplicate specimens, using a variety of materials and hand tools.
  • Coordinate exhibit installations, assisting with design, constructing displays, dioramas, display cases, and models, and ensuring the availability of necessary materials.
  • Photograph objects for documentation.
  • Classify and assign registration numbers to artifacts and supervise inventory control.
  • Prepare artifacts for storage and shipping.
  • Plan and conduct research to develop and improve methods of restoring and preserving specimens.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Museum Technician or Conservator?

Museum Technicians and Conservators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Types of Museum Technician or Conservator

  • Artifacts Conservator
  • Textile Conservator
  • Fine Arts Packer
  • Preparator
  • Conservation Technician

Is There Going to be Demand for Museum Technicians and Conservators?

In the United States, there were 11,800 jobs for Museum Technician or Conservator in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 12.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,500 new jobs for Museum Technician or Conservator by 2026. There will be an estimated 1,400 positions for Museum Technician or Conservator per year.


The states with the most job growth for Museum Technician or Conservator are Utah, Washington, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, Rhode Island, or North Dakota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Museum Technician or Conservator Salary

The average yearly salary of a Museum Technician or Conservator ranges between $25,430 and $74,840.


Museum Technicians and Conservators who work in District of Columbia, Maryland, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.

How much do Museum Technicians and Conservators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $41,260
Alaska $50,660
Arizona $38,950
Arkansas $35,650
California $48,120
Colorado $42,580
Connecticut $55,340
District of Columbia $68,460
Florida $41,600
Georgia $43,390
Hawaii $39,270
Illinois $45,210
Indiana $36,250
Iowa $45,520
Kansas $36,040
Kentucky $39,410
Louisiana $24,690
Maine $40,610
Maryland $66,300
Massachusetts $56,100
Michigan $36,030
Minnesota $42,750
Missouri $41,350
Nebraska $34,240
Nevada $36,240
New Jersey $57,510
New Mexico $38,690
New York $56,040
North Carolina $40,850
Ohio $41,940
Oklahoma $34,410
Oregon $44,350
Pennsylvania $42,700
South Carolina $32,820
South Dakota $31,550
Tennessee $43,940
Texas $44,090
Virginia $45,100
Washington $46,300
Wisconsin $37,480
Wyoming $39,280

Tools & Technologies Used by Museum Technicians and Conservators

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Museum Technicians and Conservators:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Microsoft Visual FoxPro
  • Gallery Systems EmbARK
  • PastPerfect Software PastPerfect
  • Questor Systems ARGUS

How to Become a Museum Technician or Conservator

What education is needed to be a Museum Technician or Conservator?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where Museum Technicians and Conservators Are Employed


Museum Technicians and Conservators work in the following industries:


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming a Museum Technician or Conservator might also be interested in the following careers:

Those who work as a Museum Technician or Conservator sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: Jorge Royan via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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