Career Profile of an Art Museum Attendant

art museum attendant
Circa 1960: An attendant at the Grand Palais des Champs-Elysees sits patiently between two of Picasso's paintings on exhibition there. 'The Woman In A Red Chair' and 'Figures At The Seaside'. Photo by Keystone/Getty Images

Job Description of an Art Museum Attendant

An Art Museum Attendant works full or part time in an art museum greeting and welcoming visitors, plus providing information, directions and assistance for the exhibitions.

A Museum Attendant also makes sure the artworks are protected and that visitors follow the museum’s rules, which usually includes no food or drink in the galleries, no unauthorized picture taking, and no touching the works of art.

The job requires a combination of skills used for visitor services and museum security.

Education Needed to Be an Art Museum Attendant

To work as an Art Museum Attendant usually requires a high school diploma, but having some college education in art history, and some museum or public service work experience is helpful in getting hired for this type of job.

Being knowledgeable in museum security and general office work is also beneficial and can make you a favorable candidate.

Duties Required to Be an Art Museum Attendant

One of the most important functions a Museum Attendant does is to protect the museum’s collection. A Museum Attendant will be stationed in a specific area or exhibition gallery of the museum and continually observes visitors to make sure they do not touch or damage the artwork.

Even though a Museum Attendant carefully monitors the artworks on display and observes the behavior of museum visitors, the Attendant’s role is more akin to a customer service representative rather than a security guard, as security guards receive different training and have different job duties.

Museum Attendants are personable and engaging, and are trained so that they will be able to answer visitors’ questions regarding the art and exhibitions.

In addition, some telephone answering may be required, depending on the size of the museum. Light office administration such as keeping track of museum attendance (with a clicker) and recording the data on a computer may be part of the job duties.

Skills Required to Be an Art Museum Attendant

Having passion or an affinity for art and willing to share it with the public are good skills to have in order to work as an Art Museum Attendant.

The position also requires one to be alert and physically active as standing all day or walking from gallery to gallery is part of the job. Also having the ability to respond quickly to any emergencies that may arise is also necessary.

How to Apply for an Art Museum Attendant Position

Many art museums post job listings on their websites. To apply for an Art Museum Attendant job when a position is available, upload or email your cover letter and resume to the museum.

Career Opportunities for an Art Museum Attendant

There are numerous jobs in art museums available for Art Museum staff. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, overall employment of museum staff 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 Museum Front Desk jobs, but the available jobs would just be a small portion of the total amount the BLS posts on their site.

More Info on Art Museum Careers

Art museums need a large competent and varied staff.

Learn more about careers in the field of art museums. Is working in an art museum a good career choice for you? Learn more about art museum jobs:

 

Further Resources

The following weblinks are for online job listings for the visual arts field. Please note that these job listings have deadlines, and that the data is constantly changing.

Find Your Next Job

Job Search by