Museum Conservator/Technician Job Profile and Description

Museum Conservators/technicians care for, preserve, treat, restore and document cultural, scientific and historic works of art, artifacts, and specimens that are part of a museum’s or historic art gallery’s collection.  They use chemical testing, x rays, microscopes, and other laboratory equipment to examine artifacts and determine their vulnerabilities and develop or apply the suitable method for preserving them.

Employed in museums or work freelance, Museum Conservators often specialize in preserving one type of artifact such as papyrus scrolls and manuscripts, paintings, textiles, metals and jewelries or history structures and edifices.

Museum Conservator/Technician Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist the museum curator or archivist in cataloguing museum’s collection
  • Conduct research on new or existing artifacts that have incomplete information
  • Identify artifacts that require further preservation work.
  • Employ the proper technology in examining, testing, authenticating and preserving museum artifacts.
  • Coordinate with museum’s security in ensuring protection of sensitive museum assets.
  • Document examination findings and treat items to minimize their deterioration or to restore them to their original state.
  • Coordinate with historians, archeologists and other experts in assessing the authenticity of newly discovered or unearthed artifacts
  • Mentor new museum staff in the management of museum collections.


Museum Conservator/Technician Skills and Specifications

  • Must have extensive and thorough knowledge in the technologies behind the preservation and conservation of vulnerable historic artifacts
  • Must have strong communication skills
  • Excellent computer literacy in using museum database systems.

Museum Conservator/Technician Education and Qualifications

  • A BS degree in history or any of the social sciences is basic
  • 5-7 years of experience in related discipline is an advantage


Museum Conservator/Technician Salary

The median annual salary of Museum Conservators or Technicians in 2008 stood at around $36,700 with the middle 50% spread earning between $28,100 and $49,200. The lowest 10% got about $22,400 while the highest 10% earned around $66,100.