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Top 10 Jobs in Fine Art Museums

Build Your Art Museum Career


A large art museum is like a mini-society with various levels and functions of museum staff working hard behind-the-scenes to provide visitors with a wonderful art experience.

Perhaps you would like to be part of that smooth-running operation. Here are the top 10 art-related jobs in a fine art museum.

1. Art Museum Archivists

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Simply put, a museum archivist is responsible for the archival collections located in museums.

Archiving used to be done on index cards, but now is done on state-of-the-art museum collections cataloguing databases.

Society of American Archivists lists info for archivists.

2. Art Museum Curators

Depending on the size of the museum, there will be varying levels of curators from assistant curator to chief curator. Art history degrees are usually mandatory for these positions.

3. Art Museum Technicians

Olympia International Fine Art and Antiques Fair Getty Images
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Museum technicians are important during the crucial installations of an exhibition. Depending on the size of the museum also determines the size of the technician staff.

Skills involve lighting design, electrical work, computer and digital media setup, and any other technical or maintenance problem that needs to be solved.

4. Art Museum Education Department Staff

The education departments of art museums function like the museum's backbone. They provide a lot of community outreach and programming for children and adults. They design school tours and interactive programs, and create accessibility for all visitors.

5. Art Museum Marketing Department Staff

A museum's marketing department works on the museum's promotion, sales, sponsorship and its marketing campaigns. Its staff includes business marketers, writers and graphic designers.

6. Art Museum Development Department Staff

The development department of an art museum works on fund-raising; grant writing; researching, cultivating and procuring sponsorship of private and corporate donors.

7. Museum Art Handlers

Museum art handlers need to drive trucks and load/unload heavy boxes. The flexible work makes it an ideal job for young artists.

8. Art Museum Conservators

Art Conservation, Getty Images
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

On-staff museum conservators are on hand to repair damaged artworks or prevent damage to artworks.

9. Art Museum Press Department

Art Museum Press Conference
Photo by Yves Forestier/Getty Images For Style.UZ

Depending on the size of the museum, the press department ranges in size. Duties include writing press releases, organizing press conferences and packages, editing and writing catalogues for the museum's collection and for exhibitions.

10. Art Museum Director

A museum has many job positions, but only one position for museum director. It is a career that combines management, leadership and curatorial vision.

The Association of Art Museum Directors defines an art museum director as one who "provides conceptual leadership though specialized knowledge of the discipline of the museum; responsible for policy making and funding (with the governing board), planning, organizing, staffing and directing activities through the staff may be responsible for financial management."

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