Museum assistant

Museum assistants take care of customers and security in museums and galleries.

Average annual salary (starting - experienced): £15,000 - £22,000

Typical hours (a week): 41 - 43

How to become a museum assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly


You could get into this work through a cultural learning and participation officer or museums technician advanced apprenticeship. You could also do an apprenticeship in cultural and heritage venue operations.

Apprenticeship (Entry requirements)

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

Volunteering & Experience

It's important that you get as much work experience as possible. It will help you get a better understanding of the role, and make contacts who may help you to find paid work.

Direct application

You do not need any particular qualifications to become a museum assistant, although you'll usually need a good general standard of education, especially in English and maths.

There is a lot of competition for jobs and you may find some museums and galleries ask for a certain level of qualification, like A levels or equivalent.

You'll be in a stronger position when looking for work if you have:

  • experience in customer care
  • an interest in museums and their services
  • volunteering experience in a museum, gallery or heritage attraction

More info

Career tips Experience of security work could be useful for some jobs. Professional and industry bodies You can join the Museums Association for your professional development.

What it takes

Skills & Knowledge

You'll need:

  • an interest and knowledge of history
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • excellent written communication skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restriction & Requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day to day

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • patrolling buildings to monitor security
  • making sure exhibits are in good order
  • giving talks to visitors about exhibitions
  • helping curators to change displays and exhibitions
  • creating labels for objects and recording items on display
  • issuing entrance tickets
  • serving in a museum shop
  • carrying out administrative tasks and cleaning

Working environment

You could work in a museum. You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Career path & progression

With experience and relevant qualifications, you could become a programmes assistant, volunteer co-ordinator or assistant curator. You could also become a learning assistant or education officer.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
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