Museum/gallery exhibition officer: job description

Museum/gallery exhibition officer: job description

Museum/gallery exhibition officers are responsible for planning and organising permanent or travelling exhibitions, publicity events and promotional activities such as talks and workshops.
Planning and organisational skills are key for museum and gallery exhibition officers.

What does a gallery exhibition officer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Key duties of the job include:

  • identifying and negotiating the acquisition of items for loan or purchase
  • preparing and distributing publicity materials and displays
  • managing staff and budgets
  • generating income via fundraising activities
  • writing plans and reports
  • liaising with schools, voluntary or local history groups and community organisations
  • working with contractors, consultants, conservators, archivists, technicians and curators
  • undertaking relevant research
  • helping to develop museum activities and to increase access.

Typical employers of exhibition officers

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

Opportunities for self-employment or contract work exist, although this option is normally only suitable for individuals who can demonstrate a substantial amount of experience.

Jobs are advertised in local authority vacancy lists, newspapers and specialist publications including Museums Journal, the Times Educational Supplement, Leisure Management, Opportunities (which focuses on the public sector) and their respective websites.

Qualifications and training required

Although a degree is not always essential, it is unusual for applicants to be successful without a minimum of a 2.1 undergraduate degree. It will naturally help if your degree is related to the type of area you wish to work in.

Some museum staff undertake a postgraduate qualification in museum studies. It is possible to study for a qualification while working, though most do so beforehand.

Relevant work experience is essential.

Key skills for exhibition officers

  • Teamworking skills
  • Time and project management skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Genuine interest in art and culture
  • Administrative skills
  • IT skills.