Expand mobile version menu

Museum Technician and Conservator  What They Do

Just the Facts


Prepares specimens, such as fossils, skeletal parts, lace, and textiles, for museum collection and exhibits. May restore documents or install, arrange, and exhibit materials.

This career is part of the Arts, Audio-Video Technology and Communications cluster Visual Arts pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Cleans objects, such as paper, textiles, wood, metal, glass, rock, pottery, and furniture, using cleansers, solvents, soap solutions, and polishes.
  • Determines whether objects need repair and chooses the safest and most effective method of repair.
  • Installs, arranges, assembles, and prepares artifacts for exhibition, ensuring the artifacts' safety, reporting their status and condition, and identifying and correcting any problems with the set up.
  • Directs and supervises curatorial, technical, and student staff in the handling, mounting, care, and storage of art objects.
  • Performs tests and examinations to establish storage and conservation requirements, policies, and procedures.
  • Prepares artifacts for storage and shipping.
  • Photographs objects for documentation.
  • Coordinates exhibit installations, assisting with design, constructing displays, dioramas, display cases, and models, and ensuring the availability of necessary materials.
  • Notifies superior when restoration of artifacts requires outside experts.
  • Leads tours and teaches educational courses to students and the general public.

Related Careers


Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Armorer Technician -- Specializes in restoring and preparing exhibits of medieval arms and armor.
  • Collections Curator -- Administers collections, such as artwork, collectibles, historic items, or scientific specimens of museums or other institutions.
  • Document Restorer -- Restores and preserves documents for libraries, archives, and private and public historical societies.
  • Lace and Textiles Restorer -- Restores and prepares ancient textile and lace materials for display in textile museum.