How to become a Museum Officer

Museum officers prepare specimens for collections, and construct and arrange museum and art gallery exhibits.

Personal requirements of a Museum Officer

  • Patient, with a methodical approach to work
  • Able to pay attention to detail
  • Aptitude for design

Education & Training for a Museum Officer

You can work as a museum officer without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have relevant volunteer experience or qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in information and cultural services; library, information and cultural services; or library and information services. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a museum officer through a traineeship in Information and Cultural Services; Library, Information and Cultural Services; or Library and Information Services. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school. You could also consider completing a relevant bachelor degree at university. See the separate entry for Museum Curator for further information.

Duties & Tasks of a Museum Officer

Museum officers may perform the following tasks:

  • clean fossil specimens, mould and restore skeletal parts, construct skeletal mounts, re-assemble fragmented specimens and create substitute pieces
  • construct models and make castings or moulds of artefacts and objects for display purposes
  • mount and prepare objects for display according to conservation requirements
  • design and build display cases, mounts and other exhibition presentation devices
  • design, prepare and install display hardware
  • receive, ship, pack and unpack exhibits
  • maintain museum files
  • supervise and assist other workers in the cleaning, cataloguing, labelling and storing of specimens.

Working conditions for a Museum Officer

Museum officers work mainly indoors, although extensive fieldwork may be required in some areas.

Employment Opportunities for a Museum Officer

Higher positions such as senior museum officer are filled by advertisement, and competition for vacancies is strong. Appointment to a particular level will depend on qualifications and experience. See the separate entry for Conservator for further information.

Specialisations:


Museum Education Officer

A museum education officer initiates, develops and administers special programmes to inform and educate visiting school groups and other members of the public about the collections and exhibitions. Education officers may also organise and travel with mobile exhibitions to suburban or country areas. Education officers often combine previous career experience in education, learning or community development work with a career in museums.

Future growth:

moderate growth

Employment by state:

ACT 1.2%

NSW 18.1%

NT 1.6%

QLD 5.4%

SA 8.6%

TAS 1.3%

VIC 35%

WA 28.8%

Hours worked:

29.5

Unemployment:

below average

Gender split:

Proportion of male workers 13%

Proportion of female workers 87.1%

Education level:

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 10: 0%

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 12: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is secondary school: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 27.4%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 40.5%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 32.1%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0%

Age bracket:

Proprortion of workers aged below 35 years: 23.4%

Proportion of workers aged above 35 years: 80.4%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

Additional Information
Most public galleries, museums and National Trust properties have volunteer programs, which usually include training and practical experience. Contact the volunteer coordinator at the organisations you are interested in for details.
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