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Museum education officer: job description

Museum education officer: job description

Museum education officers forge links between visitors and museums and encourage learning through formal or informal education, marketing and publicity.
Working with people of all ages is a key feature of the job.

What does a museum education officer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • preparing and distributing publicity materials and displays
  • writing plans and reports
  • producing educational resources or study packs
  • liaising with schools, businesses, LEAs, voluntary/outreach/community groups and other local organisations
  • organising school visits
  • managing budgets
  • generating income via fundraising activities and submitting funding bids
  • analysing data and collating information
  • attending conferences.

Working with people of all ages is a key feature of the job and includes activities such as talks, presentations, workshops, demonstrations, guided tours and running courses. Some evening or weekend work may be required.

Typical employers of museum education officers

  • Public sector organisations
  • Local authorities
  • Museums
  • Galleries
  • Archaeological units
  • Universities
  • Private collectors
  • Independent museums and galleries

Positions are increasingly offered on short or fixed term contracts. Jobs are advertised in local authority vacancy lists, newspapers and specialist publications including Museums Journal, Museum Jobs, the Times Educational Supplement, Times Higher Education, Leisure Management, Opportunities (which focuses on the public sector) and their respective websites.

Qualifications and training required

Although a degree is not technically essential, it is unusual for non-graduate applicants to be offered a position.

Relevant degree subjects include archaeology, museum studies, education studies, history of art and history.

You may also find it advantageous to have a degree that is related to the subject matter you wish to work with. If you did not study a relevant degree subject, it might be beneficial to do a postgraduate qualification; some museum staff have a postgraduate qualification in museum studies. Some employers also like applicants to have a teaching qualification (such as a PGCE). It is sometimes possible to study for a postgraduate qualification as you work.

Relevant paid or voluntary work experience is usually required by employers.

Key skills for museum education officers

  • Enthusiasm
  • Teamworking skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills.
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