Career and Education Opportunities for Museum Technicians in Vancouver, Washington
If you want to be a museum technician, the Vancouver, Washington area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 260 jobs for museum technicians in Washington and this is projected to grow by 21% to 310 jobs 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.
Museum technicians earn approximately $17 per hour or $35,870 annually on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $17 hourly or $36,660 per year. Earnings for museum technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Libraries and Museums in Washington and not quite as good as general Libraries and Museums category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: paintings conservator, document restorer, and curatorial assistant.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can study to be a museum technician, among forty-eight schools of higher education total in the Vancouver area. 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
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 Vancouver 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Museum Technician Training
Portland State University - Portland, OR
Portland State University, 724 SW Harrison, Portland, OR 97201. Portland State University is a large university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,959 students and an admission rate of 80%. Portland State University has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated one student in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.
The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.