In Summary - Museum Educator
Museum Educators typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Museum Educator
Museum educators are involved in finding ways to use the collections to inspire people.
They explain, interpret and convey information on the collections by means of events such as tours, lectures, seminars, workshops, publications like activity sheets, and handling collections, that can offer intense, lasting experiences.
As well as providing advice on site, they engage in education outreach to bring the collections to wider audiences countrywide.
Interests - Museum Educator
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.
Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
Enthusiasm, motivation and the ability to communicate with a wide range of people and age groups is essential in this role.
Research skills, to interpret and identify priorities for education programmes.
Good administrative skills for organising and delivering campaigns and events effectively.
Entry Requirements - Museum Educator
Degree areas that relate to museum collections are a good starting points from which to build a museum career.
Subjects such as history, art history, archaeology, natural sciences and anthropology are typical of many employees working in museums. Universities and higher education colleges countrywide offer numerous courses and some provide distance-learning.
Check the Services Directory section of the IMA website and search for 'Training' for a full list of opportunities.
Placements, Internships, Volunteering
Some schools and colleges make arrangements with museums, galleries and other venues, for undergraduate/graduate students to go on placements and gain work experience. This is an invaluable way to find out the type of work that takes place in museums and whether you might like a job in this area.
Qualified school leavers can find work in museums as gallery attendants or shop staff. But for any type of specialist work, it is necessary to have a degree, or a museum/heritage diploma, and potentially, post-graduate qualifications.
The museum sector is becoming increasingly professionalised and there are graduate and post graduate programmes available both in Ireland and abroad, combining both campus based and distance learning options.
Some museums and galleries in Ireland and overseas offer graduate internship programmes of between three months and a year. Most of these training programmes are unpaid and cover many different roles within the museum. In general, interested applicants must make an application in writing to the museum, usually followed by an interview. Individual museum websites carry details of their internships and application procedures. Volunteering: an excellent way to gain experience in the museum environment (and support your local museum!) is to volunteer your time. Some institutions have formal programmes through which you may volunteer as a museum docent, visitor services assistant, or other roles. Others accept informal enquiries as to volunteer opportunities.
Graduate Programmes specialising in museum studies include:
UCD (MA in Cultural Policy & Arts Management)
WIT (MA in Arts & Heritage Management)
Last Updated: November, 2016
Pay & Salary - Museum Educator
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 19k - 48k
Last Updated: April, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.