Career Profile of Associate for Administration in an Art Institution

A gallery assistant walks by artwork by Ernesto Neto, 'It happens when the body is anatomy of time, 2000' at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art on December 14, 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Job Description of Associate for Administration in an Art Institution

An Associate for Administration works full time in a large art museum and works in one of the museum’s specialized departments such as Ancient Art, Western Painting or Asian Art.

An Associate for Administration will work closely with the Chair of the Department, and other museum-related groups such as the Visiting Committee or Friends of the Museum.

This is an office position and an Associate will work in the Department’s main office to administer projects, events, and exhibitions, among other tasks.

Education Needed to Be an Associate for Administration in an Art Institution

An Associate for Administration is an entry level position and requires a Bachelor of Arts, as having the knowledge of art and/or museology is necessary.

In addition, many job listings that are posted for an Associate for Administration require at least one year experience working as an administrator in an arts institution.

Skills Required to Be an Associate for Administration in an Art Institution

An Associate for Administration must be a skilled communicator and must be able to speak and write in a professional manner.

Since this is an office-based position, an Associate must be able to efficiently use computer programs such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, and technical items and devices such as scanners and printers.

An Associate may also need to know how to use employee timekeeping software such as TMS, Kronos Timekeeping System, and Workday.

Being a multi-tasker and having the ability to work on both long and short term projects is also part of the skill set.

Duties Required to Be an Associate for Administration in an Art Institution

The duties of an Associate for Administration include correspondence, such as the drafting of letters and emails for the Department Chair; scheduling appointments; arranging travel and meeting plans; assisting with interdepartmental correspondence, and preparing manuscripts for publication.

Other duties may include overseeing lectures; organizing seminars; planning annual meetings, special events, and dinners; coordinating event planning with other museum staff; writing a newsletter; managing a budget; preparing meetings and meeting notes; updating mailing lists; sending announcements; and using social media to promote the museum’s exhibitions and special events.

An Associate for Administration may also be in charge of replying to emails and other queries submitted by the public. Since most of these duties and tasks are communicative, the Associate must be able to speak and write to others in a friendly and professional manner.

How to Apply for a Museum Job

Many art museums post employment opportunities on their websites. Job applicants can typically upload their resumes and application forms via the museum’s website, or alternatively send by email or send by post.

Museum job applicants are usually required to submit an application form, a cover letter, and a resume for the position in which they are applying.

To search for a museum job, check Fine Art’s profiles of art museums around the world which include job information for each museum listed.

Career Opportunities for an Associate for Administration in an Art Institution

According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics:  “Overall employment of archivists, curators, museum technicians, and conservators is projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.”

The Bureau does not post specific statistics for Associate for Administration jobs, but it can be surmised that there are and will be available jobs for museum administrators.

Further Resources

The following web links are for online job listings for Associate for Administration. Please note that these job listings have deadlines and that the data is constantly changing.