Skip navigation

Summary Report for:
25-4013.00 - Museum Technicians and Conservators

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Art Preparator, Collections Manager, Conservation Technician, Conservator, Exhibit Technician, Museum Registrar, Objects Conservator, Paintings Conservator, Paper Conservator, Preparator

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Clean objects, such as paper, textiles, wood, metal, glass, rock, pottery, and furniture, using cleansers, solvents, soap solutions, and polishes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Determine whether objects need repair and choose the safest and most effective method of repair. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Install, arrange, assemble, and prepare artifacts for exhibition, ensuring the artifacts' safety, reporting their status and condition, and identifying and correcting any problems with the set-up. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Direct and supervise curatorial, technical, and student staff in the handling, mounting, care, and storage of art objects. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform tests and examinations to establish storage and conservation requirements, policies, and procedures. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare artifacts for storage and shipping. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Photograph objects for documentation. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Coordinate exhibit installations, assisting with design, constructing displays, dioramas, display cases, and models, and ensuring the availability of necessary materials. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Notify superior when restoration of artifacts requires outside experts. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Lead tours and teach educational courses to students and the general public. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Supervise and work with volunteers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Specialize in particular materials or types of object, such as documents and books, paintings, decorative arts, textiles, metals, or architectural materials. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Repair, restore and reassemble artifacts, designing and fabricating missing or broken parts, to restore them to their original appearance and prevent deterioration. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare reports on the operation of conservation laboratories, documenting the condition of artifacts, treatment options, and the methods of preservation and repair used. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Recommend preservation procedures, such as control of temperature and humidity, to curatorial and building staff. See more occupations related to this task.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Classify and assign registration numbers to artifacts, and supervise inventory control. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Estimate cost of restoration work. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Plan and conduct research to develop and improve methods of restoring and preserving specimens. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Preserve or direct preservation of objects, using plaster, resin, sealants, hardeners, and shellac. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Deliver artwork on courier trips. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform on-site field work which may involve interviewing people, inspecting and identifying artifacts, note-taking, viewing sites and collections, and repainting exhibition spaces. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Construct skeletal mounts of fossils, replicas of archaeological artifacts, or duplicate specimens, using a variety of materials and hand tools. See more occupations related to this task.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

back to top

Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Adjustable widemouth pliers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Binocular light compound microscopes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Claw hammer — Claw hammers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cold chisels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Compressed air gun — Air abrasive tools See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Dental probes — Dental explorers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital cameras See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Gas welding or brazing or cutting apparatus — Oxyacetylene welding equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Handheld thermometer — Handheld digital thermometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hygrometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Infrared imagers — Infrared cameras See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Laboratory scalpels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mallets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Micrometers — Digital micrometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Paint brushes — Dusting brushes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power drills — Cordless drills See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Power saws See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Scanners — Digitizers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Soldering iron — Soldering irons See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Stereo or dissecting light microscopes — Stereo microscopes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Stripping tools — Wire strippers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Temperature transmitters — Temperature sensors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Ultraviolet UV lamps — Ultraviolet UV examination lights See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Vacuum cleaner supplies or accessories — Vacuum cleaner micro-tools See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Vacuum cleaners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Welder torch — Brazing equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Wire cutters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Wood chisels — Carpenters' chisels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • X ray radiography examination equipment — X ray examination equipment See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Data base user interface and query software — Gallery Systems EmbARK; PastPerfect Software PastPerfect; Questor Systems ARGUS; Questor Systems QScan32 See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Object oriented data base management software — Microsoft Visual FoxPro See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

back to top

Knowledge

  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • History and Archeology — Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

back to top

Skills

  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.

back to top

Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.

back to top

Work Activities

  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

  • Advise educators on curricula, instructional methods, or policies. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Research topics in area of expertise. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop policies or procedures for archives, museums or libraries. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain operational records. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Discuss problems or issues with supervisors. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluate characteristics of archival or historical objects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Direct department activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Construct exhibits or parts of exhibits. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare materials for preservation, storage, or display. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Classify materials according to standard systems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspect materials or equipment to determine need for repair or replacement. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Direct activities of subordinates. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Plan community programs or activities for the general public. See more occupations related to this activity.

Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 79% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 90% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 65% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 75% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 54% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 57% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 54% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 47% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 40% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 64% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 59% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 44% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 39% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 43% responded “About half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 46% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 31% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 30% responded “Slightly competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 69% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 46% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 28% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.” See more occupations related to this work context.

back to top

Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

back to top

Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
40   Master's degree
16   Bachelor's degree
16   Post-baccalaureate certificate Help

back to top

Credentials

Find Training

back to top

Interests

Interest code: RA

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules. See more occupations related to this interest.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

back to top

Work Values

  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.

back to top

Related Occupations

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $19.20 hourly, $39,940 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 11,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 3,300
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

back to top

Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

back to top