Career Profile of an Art Museum Curatorial Technician

Museum staff install John Lennon's Gibson J-160E guitar in the traveling exhibit "Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beatles!"
Technicians install John Lennon's guitar in the exhibit "Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beatles!". By Lauren GersonUploaded to Flickr by: LBJ Foundation (DIG13757-016) [Public domain or CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A curatorial technician works full or part-time in a museum taking care of the art collection and assisting the curatorial department in installing and de-installing exhibitions.

Education Needed to Be a Curatorial Technician

A curatorial technician job is an entry level position and only requires a high school education, unlike curatorial positions, which usually require a college degree in art history or museum studies.

However, there is room for advancement in this position, as many museums offer professional development and training for curatorial technicians.

Duties Required to Be a Curatorial Technician

A curatorial technician assists with the care, maintenance, and security of art and objects in the museum’s permanent collection. In addition to handling parts of the collection, duties may include taking care of any historical buildings which are part of the museum’s grounds.

Some museums offer full-time work, but other museums offer part-time work and require weekend, holiday, and evening availability to coincide with the museum’s curatorial exhibitions or special events.

A curatorial technician assists with the museum’s collections care, and that includes working on inventory, plus packing, storing, cleaning, displaying, and safeguarding the art and objects of the collections.

Skills Required to Be a Curatorial Technician

A curatorial technician is detail oriented and has had experience in handling works of art.

Since art handling is part of the job, a curatorial technician must be able to lift and move heavy objects. Having a valid driver’s license is often required.

Career Opportunities for a Curatorial Technician 

There are jobs in museums available for curatorial technicians. 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 art museum curatorial technician jobs, but the available jobs would just be a small portion of what the BLS posts on their site.

Further Info on Curating

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