Museum education officer: job description
Museum education officers organise learning opportunities for museum visitors.
Museum education officers (also known as museum learning officers) develop learning opportunities, such as family events, classes, tours and workshops, for museum visitors.
In a small museum, you could be the only education officer and responsible for a wide variety of projects. In a larger venue, you’re likely to be part of a team. Jobs are often offered on short or fixed term contracts.
Typical duties include:
- researching new learning opportunities and audiences
- planning learning events, including practical aspects such as health and safety
- designing learning materials for learners of all ages, including creating or developing learning resources
- developing or contributing to the museum's educational strategy
- liaising with schools, businesses, local authorities and educational organisations to design and deliver learning
- representing and promoting the museum at external events and conferences
- managing learning-related projects, such as commissioning new online learning content
- managing volunteers
- generating income via funding bids.
Entry salaries for education officers tend to be around £20,000 . If you work for a museum that’s run by a local council, your salary will be part of within local authority pay scales, which are reviewed every year.
- Local authorities.
- Independent museums and galleries.
- Private collectors.
Jobs are advertised on local authorities’ and universities’ websites, national newspapers’ job sites and sites of independent museums. There are also specialist websites such as museumjobs.com, gem.org.uk and jobs.ac.uk .
This is a competitive field so, although a degree isn’t technically essential, graduates tend to be more successful in finding jobs in museum education work. Relevant degree subjects include archaeology, museum studies, education studies, history of art and history. Relevant work experience – paid or voluntary – is essential and some employers, particularly large national museums, prefer applicants to have teaching qualifications and experience too.
There are postgraduate courses for those without specialist undergraduate degrees or those who want to explore museum work more deeply.
Browse our CV and covering letter templates to see how you could present your skills and experience on your CV and to see an example email asking for work experience 'on the off chance'.
- An understanding of how children and adults learn, and the ability to apply this.
- Excellent communication skills.
- Organisational skills.
- Creative thinking.
- Interpersonal skills and the ability to work with people from a range of backgrounds.