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Career and Education Opportunities for Museum Technicians in New Orleans, Louisiana

If you want to be a museum technician, the New Orleans, Louisiana area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, eighty people work as museum technicians in Louisiana. This is expected to grow 48% to about 120 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for museum technicians are expected to grow by about 25.6%. Museum technicians generally prepare specimens, such as fossils, skeletal parts, and textiles, for museum collection and exhibits.

Museum technicians earn about $11 hourly or $24,170 yearly on average in Louisiana and about $17 per hour or $36,660 annually on average nationally. Museum technicians earn less than people working in the category of Libraries and Museums generally in Louisiana and less than people in the Libraries and Museums category nationally. People working as museum technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: art preparator, objects conservator, and artifacts conservator.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of New Orleans where you can study to be a museum technician, among thirty-two schools of higher education total in the New Orleans area. The most common level of education for museum technicians is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be 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 New Orleans include:

  • Archivist. Appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.
  • Curator. Administer affairs of museum and conduct research programs. Direct instructional, research, and public service activities of institution.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Museum Technician Training

University of New Orleans - New Orleans, LA

University of New Orleans, 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148. University of New Orleans is a large university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,428 students and an admission rate of 55%. University of New Orleans has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated eight students in 2008.

Southern University at New Orleans - New Orleans, LA

Southern University at New Orleans, 6801 Press Drive, New Orleans, LA 70126. Southern University at New Orleans is a small university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,105 students. Southern University at New Orleans has a master's degree program in Museology/Museum Studies which graduated five students in 2008.

Tulane University of Louisiana - New Orleans, LA

Tulane University of Louisiana, 6823 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118-5698. Tulane University of Louisiana is a large university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,157 students and an admission rate of 27%. Tulane University of Louisiana has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated twenty and five students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana photo by Krakers

New Orleans is located in Orleans Parish County, Louisiana. It has a population of over 311,853, which has shrunk by 35.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in New Orleans, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in New Orleans cost $139,700 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, eight hundred eighty-two new homes were built in New Orleans, down from 1,026 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in New Orleans are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 26 minutes. More than 25.8% of New Orleans 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 New Orleans is 9.8%, which is greater than Louisiana's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of New Orleans residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.1%, is less than both the national and state average. All Saints Catholic Church, Iglesia Bautista Getsemani and Mars Hill Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in New Orleans. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

New Orleans is home to the Keller Market and the New Orleans Country Club as well as Harris Playground and Hardin Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Carrollton Shopping Center, Read Boulevard Shopping Center and Read Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to New Orleans can choose from Rampart Street Connection, Lafitte Guest House and HAMPTON INN & SUITES CONV CTR for temporary stays in the area.