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Museum Technician

Museum technicians assist curators, conservators and other museum staff with functions such as researching, developing, managing and conserving museum collections, setting up exhibits and delivering public programs.

  • Avg. Salary $40,098.00
  • Avg. Wage $22.84
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

50%
50%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Museum Technician is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Preparators and Museology Technicians
NOC code: 5212.6
OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working to construct exhibit furnishings, displays and dioramas, and to build models and install artifacts in displays

METHODICAL

Interest in compiling information to receive, ship, pack and unpack objects and exhibits; and in preparing artifacts for storage and shipping

innovative

Interest in designing exhibit furnishings, display cases and display areas

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Museum technicians are part of a team of museum personnel concerned with the safe and suitable collection, display and storage of artifacts (products of human hands) or specimens (natural history items). Their duties and responsibilities vary depending on the type of museum collection. Under the supervision and direction of museum curators and conservators, they may:

  • assist in collections management activities such as collecting and cataloguing, preparing condition reports, preparing and storing items, and keeping records
  • assist with cleaning, repair, preservation and restoration
  • help researchers prepare information about collections, programs and special events, and conduct tours for students and special interest groups 
  • help develop and manage storage areas and monitor environmental conditions (for example, humidity levels)
  • assist with exhibit design and ensure that necessary materials are available for assembling and maintaining exhibits
  • build display and packing cases
  • pack, unpack, move and install items for display
  • ensure touring exhibits are properly and safely packed, transported and displayed, report on their status and condition, and identify and correct any problems with exhibit set up
  • perform seasonal field work at archaeological, paleontological or historic sites which may involve inspecting and identifying artifacts or specimens, doing an environmental assessment, taking inventory, collecting and recording observations 
  • supervise and work with interns, seasonal staff and volunteers. 
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Museum technicians work primarily indoors in offices, storage areas, laboratories and exhibition galleries. Sometimes, they may work on ladders or outdoors at archaeological, paleontological or historic sites. 

Museum technicians may be required to lift items weighing over 20 kilograms.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Museum technicians need the following characteristics:

  • an interest in art, natural history or human history
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • good interpersonal and team building skills
  • good time management skills
  • mechanical aptitude
  • the ability to be creative and multi-task.

They should enjoy doing precise, detailed work, taking a methodical approach to their work and solving problems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

In Alberta, there are no standard education requirements for museum technicians but employers generally prefer to hire applicants who have a related bachelor's degree, or a diploma or certificate in museum studies.

Computer skills and related volunteer or paid experience (for example, in the care and handling of collections, records management, research, exhibit development) are definite assets. Depending on the type of museum, skills in related fields such as carpentry, electronics, mechanical engineering, lighting, picture framing, painting, welding or sewing also may be assets.

The Alberta Museums Association offers a Certificate in Museums Studies program that includes eight core courses.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Museum technicians work for:

  • federal government departments and agencies 
  • provincial government departments 
  • municipal and local history museums
  • galleries
  • science centres
  • exhibit design companies 
  • natural and historic parks, museums, zoos, botanical gardens and interpretive centres
  • historical societies
  • privately funded historic and cultural agencies
  • universities.

Without further education, advancement opportunities for museum technicians are limited.

Museum technicians are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5212: Technical Occupations Related to Museums and Art Galleries.  In Alberta, 84% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Technical occupations related to museums and art galleries
NOC code: 5212

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $12.00 $35.06 $20.88 $18.30
Overall $12.50 $46.04 $22.84 $19.82
Top $12.50 $46.04 $24.51 $20.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Information, Culture, Recreation

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

50%
50%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

20%
20%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

6%
6%

2015 Vacancy Rate

5%
Related High School Subjects
  • Fine Arts
    • Visual Arts
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Design Studies
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Construction
    • Electro-Technologies
    • Fabrication
    • Mechanics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Clerical and Administrative Support
  • Education and Library Studies
  • Fine Arts and Performing Arts
  • Sciences
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Alberta Museums Association website: www.museums.ab.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Jul 01, 2009. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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