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Career and Education Opportunities for Museum Technicians in San Antonio, Texas

If you want to be a museum technician, the San Antonio, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 830 people work as museum technicians in Texas. This is expected to grow 22% to 1,020 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for museum technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 25.6% over the next eight years. In general, museum technicians prepare specimens, such as fossils, skeletal parts, and textiles, for museum collection and exhibits.

Income for museum technicians is about $16 hourly or $33,520 per year on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $17 per hour or $36,660 annually. Museum technicians earn less than people working in the category of Libraries and Museums generally in Texas and less than people in the Libraries and Museums category nationally. Museum technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: collections specialist, collections manager, and exhibit technician.

The San Antonio area is home to forty schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of San Antonio 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 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 Antonio 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

The University of Texas at San Antonio - San Antonio, TX

The University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249-1644. The University of Texas at San Antonio is a large university located in San Antonio, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 28,413 students and an admission rate of 93%. The University of Texas at San Antonio has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated one and one students respectively in 2008.

Trinity University - San Antonio, TX

Trinity University, One Trinity Place, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200. Trinity University is a small university located in San Antonio, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,610 students and an admission rate of 58%. Trinity University has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated two students in 2008.

Texas Lutheran University - Seguin, TX

Texas Lutheran University, 1000 W. Court St, Seguin, TX 78155-5999. Texas Lutheran University is a small university located in Seguin, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,432 students and an admission rate of 73%. Texas Lutheran University has a bachelor's degree program in Public/Applied History and Archival Administration.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas photo by Zereshk

San Antonio is situated in Bexar County, Texas. It has a population of over 1,351,305, which has grown by 18.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Antonio, 80, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in San Antonio are valued at $174,900 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 2,665 new homes were constructed in San Antonio, down from 4,253 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Antonio are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 21.6% of San Antonio residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Antonio is 6.6%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of San Antonio residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 65.1%, is more than both the national and state average. El Buen Samaritano United Methodist Church, Pentecostal Holiness Church and Pentecostal Home Missionary Church are all churches located in San Antonio. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

San Antonio is home to the Monte Vista Residential Historic District and the Main and Military Plazas Historic District as well as Kennedy Park and Buckeye Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Park Mall, Windsor Park Shopping Center and Wonderland Shopping Center. Visitors to San Antonio can choose from Alpha Hotel, Alamo Executive Suites Inc and Chevy Chase Apartments & Townhomes for temporary stays in the area.