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Career and Education Opportunities for Museum Technicians in San Jose, California

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for museum technicians in the San Jose, California area. Currently, 1,000 people work as museum technicians in California. This is expected to grow 10% to 1,100 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for museum technicians are expected to grow by about 25.6%. In general, museum technicians prepare specimens, such as fossils, skeletal parts, and textiles, for museum collection and exhibits.

The income of a museum technician is about $20 hourly or $42,940 per year on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 hourly or $36,660 per year on average. Museum technicians earn less than people working in the category of Libraries and Museums generally in California and less than people in the Libraries and Museums category nationally. Museum technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: transportation equipment maintenance worker, director of exhibits, and exhibition designer.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of San Jose where you can study to be a museum technician, among fifty-nine schools of higher education total in the San Jose area. Given that the most common education level for museum technicians is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a museum technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Museum Technician

Museum Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, museum technicians prepare specimens, such as fossils, skeletal parts, and textiles, for museum collection and exhibits. They also may restore documents or install, arrange, and exhibit materials.

Museum technicians set up and ready artifacts for exhibition, ensuring the artifacts' safety, reporting their status and condition, and identifying and correcting any problems with the set-up. They also direct exhibit installations, assisting with layout and models, and ensuring the availability of needed materials. Equally important, museum technicians have to decide on whether objects need repair and choose the safest and most effective method of repair. They are often called upon to supervise and coordinate with volunteers. They are expected to clean objects, such as paper and furniture, using cleansers and polishes. Finally, museum technicians ready artifacts for storage and shipping.

Every day, museum technicians are expected to be able to think through problems and come up with general rules. They need to prioritize information for further consideration. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for museum technicians to present public programs and tours. They are often called upon to notify superior when restoration of artifacts requires outside experts. They also repair, restore and reassemble artifacts, designing and fabricating missing or broken parts, to restore them to their original appearance and avoid deterioration. They are sometimes expected to direct and supervise curatorial and technical staff in the handling and storage of art objects. Somewhat less frequently, museum technicians are also expected to present public programs and tours.

Museum technicians sometimes are asked to build and install wooden steps and walkways to get access to or permit improved view of exhibited equipment. They also have to be able to ready reports on the operation of conservation laboratories, documenting the state of artifacts and the methods of preservation and repair used And finally, they sometimes have to direct and supervise curatorial and technical staff in the handling and storage of art objects.

Like many other jobs, museum technicians must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Jose include:

  • Archivist. Appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.
  • Audio-Visual Director. Prepare, plan, and operate audio-visual teaching aids for use in education. May record, catalogue, and file audio-visual materials.
  • Curator. Administer affairs of museum and conduct research programs. Direct instructional, research, and public service activities of institution.
  • Librarian. Administer libraries and perform related library services. Work in a variety of settings, including public libraries, schools, colleges and universities, museums, corporations, government agencies, law firms, non-profit organizations, and healthcare providers. Tasks may include selecting, acquiring, and maintaining library materials; and furnishing reference, bibliographical, and readers' advisory services. May perform in-depth, strategic research, and synthesize, analyze, and filter information. May set up or work with databases and information systems to catalogue and access information.
  • Library Information Technian. Assist librarians by helping readers in the use of library catalogs, databases, and indexes to locate books and other materials; and by answering questions that require only brief consultation of standard reference. Compile records; sort and shelve books; remove or repair damaged books; register patrons; check materials in and out of the circulation process. Replace materials in shelving area (stacks) or files. Includes bookmobile drivers who operate bookmobiles or light trucks that pull trailers to specific locations on a predetermined schedule and assist with providing services in mobile libraries.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Museum Technician Training

Mills College - Oakland, CA

Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94613. Mills College is a small college located in Oakland, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,481 students and an admission rate of 55%. Mills College has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated seven students in 2008.

University of California-Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA

University of California-Santa Cruz, 1156 High St, Santa Cruz, CA 95064. University of California-Santa Cruz is a large university located in Santa Cruz, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 18,508 students and an admission rate of 81%. University of California-Santa Cruz has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated six students in 2008.

Santa Clara University - Santa Clara, CA

Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053. Santa Clara University is a medium sized university located in Santa Clara, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,987 students and an admission rate of 61%. Santa Clara University has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated three students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Jose, California

San Jose, California
San Jose, California photo by Leslie

San Jose is situated in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 948,279, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Jose, 163, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Jose are priced at $163,800 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred fourteen new homes were built in San Jose, down from three hundred twenty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Jose are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 31.6% of San Jose residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Jose is 13.2%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Jose residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Almaden Hill United Methodist Church, Almaden Valley United Methodist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in San Jose. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

San Jose is home to the Evergreen Ranch and the Rosegarden Branch San Jose Public Library as well as Almaden Winery Park and Albertson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Almaden Plaza Shopping Center, Almaden Via Valiente Plaza Shopping Center and Foxworthy Shopping Center. Visitors to San Jose can choose from Atrium Gardens, Best Western Airport Plaza and Best Western Inn Airport Plaza for temporary stays in the area.