Museum Technicians


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Museum technicians need a high school diploma. High school students interested in this career can prepare by taking mathematics courses at least through solid geometry, chemistry, electronics, and shop math and practice. They should have sufficient language skills to read instructions, and they should be able to read blueprints and wiring diagrams.

Postsecondary Training

For most jobs in this field, applicants are required to finish two to four years of postsecondary training. They should have at least two years of technical training beyond high school, taking courses in electrical and mechanical construction techniques, cabinet-making, and interior design or architectural design. They should become familiar with tools as well as plans. As part of their studies, students participate in internships or co-ops at museums to obtain hands-on experience. Students interested in becoming planetarium technicians should take basic astronomy courses.

Museum technicians who work with fossils and other natural specimens are often required to have bachelor's degrees. They may acquire the necessary skills by taking courses in geology, archaeology, or paleontology. In larger museums, a master's degree is necessary for advancement.

Other Education or Training

The American Alliance of Museums offers continuing education (CE) opportunities via webinars and educational sessions at its Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo. Past sessions included "Technology and Museum Visitor Experiences," "Award-Winning Interpretive Installations, Multimedia and Interactive Kiosks," and "Interpretive Planning Basics: Planning for Visitor Experiences." The International Planetarium Society also provides CE classes. Contact these organizations for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There are no certification or licensing requirements for museum technicians.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Students should obtain as much experience in the field as possible by participating in summer internships, co-ops, and part-time jobs at museums and cultural centers.

Designing object mounts and constructing exhibit areas is mentally challenging and can be physically demanding. Technicians should be in good shape and be able to lift, bend, stretch, and stand on ladders.

Museum technicians should also be creative and knowledgeable about preparing safe display environments that accommodate valuable and fragile objects. Other important traits include good organizational skills, the ability to work well with others, and strong communication skills.