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Career and Education Opportunities for Museum Technicians in Minneapolis, Minnesota

For those living in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, there are many career and education opportunities for museum technicians. Currently, 240 people work as museum technicians in Minnesota. This is expected to grow 17% to 280 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%. Museum technicians generally prepare specimens, such as fossils, skeletal parts, and textiles, for museum collection and exhibits.

A person working as a museum technician can expect to earn about $17 per hour or $36,110 yearly on average in Minnesota and about $17 hourly or $36,660 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for museum technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Libraries and Museums in Minnesota and not quite as good as general Libraries and Museums category earnings nationally. Museum technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: art preparator, collections specialist, and objects conservator.

The Minneapolis area is home to eighty schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Minneapolis where you can get a degree as a museum technician. Museum technicians usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Minneapolis 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

Hamline University - Saint Paul, MN

Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104-1284. Hamline University is a small university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,906 students and an admission rate of 80%. Hamline University has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated three students in 2008.

University of St Thomas - Saint Paul, MN

University of St Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105-1078. University of St Thomas is a large university located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,960 students and an admission rate of 81%. University of St Thomas has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated three and five students respectively in 2008.

Macalester College - Saint Paul, MN

Macalester College, 1600 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105-1899. Macalester College is a small college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,900 students and an admission rate of 41%. Macalester College has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities - Minneapolis, MN

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 100 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0213. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a large university located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 51,140 students and an admission rate of 53%. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated thirteen, two, and four students respectively in 2008.

Augsburg College - Minneapolis, MN

Augsburg College, 2211 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55454. Augsburg College is a small college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,827 students and an admission rate of 56%. Augsburg College has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated two students in 2008.

College of St Catherine - Saint Paul, MN

College of St Catherine, 2004 Randolph Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105. College of St Catherine is a medium sized college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,201 students and an admission rate of 77%. College of St Catherine has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated four students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota photo by BenFranske

Minneapolis is situated in Hennepin County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 382,605. The cost of living index in Minneapolis, 101, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Minneapolis are priced at $451,300 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, forty-five new homes were constructed in Minneapolis, down from one hundred fifteen the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Minneapolis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 37.4% of Minneapolis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Minneapolis is 7.0%, which is the same as Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of Minneapolis residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Minneapolis is home to the Saint Josephs Orphanage and the Hiawatha Municipal Golf Course as well as Beards Plaisance and Mississippi Park. Visitors to Minneapolis can choose from COE Mansion Carriage House, Radisson Hotel Metrodome and Best Western Kelly Inn for temporary stays in the area.