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.
Due to Covid-19, you may find it difficult to gain work or experience in museums at the moment. As we explain here, however, recruiters will not view time out of work due to the pandemic as a 'gap' in your CV. For guidance on searching for work during this difficult time, take a look at our advice for job hunting during a pandemic.
Typical responsibilities of the job include:
- preparing and distributing publicity materials and displays
- writing plans and reports
- producing educational resources or study packs
- planning and delivering programmes of activities and events
- developing the museum's educational strategy
- liaising with schools, businesses, LEAs, voluntary/outreach/community groups, educational bodies and other organisations, and representing and promoting the museum
- organising school visits
- managing budgets
- generating income via fundraising activities and submitting funding bids
- analysing data and collating information and feedback
- attending conferences
- outreach work.
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. Museum education officers working in large museums or galleries may be part of an education team.
- Public sector organisations
- Local authorities
- Museums, which may be national, regional or local, based in universities, or independent
- Archaeological units
- Private collectors
- Independent museums and galleries.
Positions are increasingly offered on short or fixed term contracts. Jobs are advertised in local authority vacancy lists, specialist publications and websites, including Museum Jobs, the vacancies section of the Museums Assocation website and the vacancies section of the National Museum Directors' Council website.
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.
- Teamworking skills
- Organisational skills
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills.