Career Profile of an Art Museum Front Desk Staff

art museum staff
Museum front desk staff greet visitors for the Bodyworlds (Koerperwelten) exhibition on its opening day in the Menschen Museum (Human Museum) on February 18, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. Image courtesy Adam Berry / Stringer, Getty Images.

Job Description of an Art Museum Front Desk Staff

An Art Museum Front Desk Staff works full or part-time in an art museum, stationed at the front desk near the museum’s entrance.

A Front Desk Staff may also work during holidays, and on special events and museum exhibition openings.

A Front Desk Staff must be comfortable in working with the public and be able to talk to large groups of visitors.

Education Needed to Be an Art Museum Front Desk Staff

A college degree is usually not required to work at the front desk of a museum, as a High School diploma is sufficient. However, having some college, business trade school or vocational training can provide the job applicant with a higher level of professionalism.

Additionally, having experience working with the public and in office administration is a plus. Having some museum experience or familiarity with how one should behave in a museum is key to being a good Front Desk Staff.

Duties Required to Be an Art Museum Front Desk Staff

Stationed at the front desk or ticket desk of a museum, an Art Museum Front Desk Staff greets visitors, and provides directions and precise information about the museum and its programs, exhibitions and events.

In addition, a Front Desk Staff reminds visitors of the museum rules, such as: do not shoot photographs of the artwork without getting special permission, do not bring food or drink into the galleries, and please store large items in the museum’s coat check or lockers.

A Front Desk Staff exhibits a friendly, helpful and welcoming personality, acting as a conduit between the museum and the public. Because of this special role, a Front Desk Staff needs to have a highly polished and professional appearance, and needs to be able to talk to all types of people in a friendly, helpful and positive manner.

Being sensitive to the needs of the various visitors helps to make their museum-going experience memorable and positive. A Front Desk Staff also needs to be discerning, and able to greet the museum’s donors, artists, and arts professionals.

A Front Desk Staff will also help administer and demonstrate how to use the Audio Tours to visitors.

Using a clicker to keep tally of daily visitors, and maintaining accurate records of the museum visitors’ addresses may be part of the job.

Answering the telephone in a professional and pleasant fashion is one of the duties of a Front Desk Staff.
 

Skills Required to Be an Art Museum Front Desk Staff

Having excellent communication skills is key to being a good Front Desk Staff. Besides being professional, being punctual is also required, as the Front Desk Staff needs to be seated at the front desk before the museum opens.

A Museum Front Desk Staff is organized and detail-oriented. Operating basic office computer software and doing basic mathematical calculations are some of the required skill sets.

Some heavy lifting may be required, as large boxes containing museum catalogs, invitations and calendars may have to be moved.

Career Opportunities for Art Museum Front Desk Staff

There are 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 Museums

Art museums need a large competent and varied staff.

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.