Museum assistant

museum attendant

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would help people enjoy and get the most out of visiting a museum. You’d be responsible for keeping valuable exhibits safe from accidents or deliberate damage.

You’d look after the visitors, answer their questions and help them find their way around the building.

You would:

  • Patrol the building to monitor security and make sure the exhibits are in good order
  • Talk to visitors and help them with their enquiries
  • Help curators and other senior staff to move and change displays and exhibitions

It’s a responsible job where you need to be aware of security issues. The items on display could be unique and very valuable. You’d need to be able to concentrate for long periods of time and react quickly in an emergency.

In some smaller museums with fewer staff, you might also:

  • Issue entrance tickets
  • Serve customers in the museum shop
  • Do administration
  • Clean the building

It would be important to be interested in museums, galleries and the heritage sector.

Working conditions

Hours

You would normally work around 37 hours a week, on a rota which includes weekend and evening opening hours. Part-time work may be available.

Environment

Your work would usually involve being on your feet for long periods. You would be likely to wear a uniform, especially in a larger museum or gallery.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Explaining things
  • Helping customers
  • Being physically fit
  • Coping with pressure

Build your skills

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To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

Though there are no formal qualifications to enter this job most employers expect qualifications at SCQF level 4/5 or above.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by many employers and courses)
  • Maths (required by many employers and courses)
  • ICT
  • Business
  • Social subjects such as history and languages

You will also need

Depending on where you work you may need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.

Helpful to have

  • Qualifications that demonstrate customer service skills and knowledge/experience of museums and galleries and their services.
  • Voluntary work experience in a museum or gallery.You can often get part-time or seasonal work.
  • Being quite fit, as you spend a lot of time standing and there might be some heavy lifting.