Museum Technicians and Conservators

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About the Job

Restore, maintain, or prepare objects in museum collections for storage, research, or exhibit. May work with specimens such as fossils, skeletal parts, or botanicals; or artifacts, textiles, or art. May identify and record objects or install and arrange them in exhibits. Includes book or document conservators.

It is also Called

  • Water Restoration Technician
  • Transportation Equipment Maintenance Worker
  • Textile Conservator
  • Sculpture Conservator
  • Restoration Technician
  • Research Assistant
  • Preparator
  • Paper Conservator
  • Paper and Prints Restorer
  • Paintings Conservator
show all

What They Do

  • Cut and weld metal sections in reconstruction or renovation of exterior structural sections and accessories of exhibits.
  • Build, repair, and install wooden steps, scaffolds, and walkways to gain access to or permit improved view of exhibited equipment.
  • Construct skeletal mounts of fossils, replicas of archaeological artifacts, or duplicate specimens, using a variety of materials and hand tools.
  • Perform on-site field work which may involve interviewing people, inspecting and identifying artifacts, note-taking, viewing sites and collections, and repainting exhibition spaces.
  • Deliver artwork on courier trips.
  • Preserve or direct preservation of objects, using plaster, resin, sealants, hardeners, and shellac.
  • Plan and conduct research to develop and improve methods of restoring and preserving specimens.
  • Estimate cost of restoration work.
  • Classify and assign registration numbers to artifacts and supervise inventory control.
  • Study object documentation or conduct standard chemical and physical tests to ascertain the object's age, composition, original appearance, need for treatment or restoration, and appropriate preservation method.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IS.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Social environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Relationships and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • History and Archeology - Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $43,860 with most people making between $21,060 and $72,050

Outlook

1.02%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 590 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 650 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 6 openings due to growth and about 14 replacement openings for approximately 20 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education