Museum Careers

Graduates of the Museum & Field Studies Program have a wide range of career options open to them in the museum field, including but not limited to:

  • Collections Manager
    Oversees the research, preservation, collection, cataloging, storage, shipping and legal responsibilities involved with a museum’s artifacts and specimens.
  • Curator
    A subject matter specialist charged with researching and publishing about an institution’s collection.
  • Education Programs Coordinator
    Develops and implements programs and special events for a variety of audiences on a variety of topics in service of a museum’s mission.
  • Exhibits Coordinator
    Responsible for the exhibits on display in a museum, including development, design, fabrication and installation. May also be responsible for general maintenance of galleries and traveling exhibits programs.
  • Museum Administrator
    Oversees the full range of activities in all the departments of a museum, from public facing programs to daily operations. Duties may include performance management, fundraising, and strategic planning.
  • Museum Consultant
    Consultants may be experts in any of the fields described here, but instead of being affiliated with one institution, are engaged for specific projects at multiple institutions.
  • NAGPRA Specialist
    Compiles and maintains inventories and summaries of human remains and objects as specified by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Consults with tribal or cultural heritage representatives to determine cultural affiliation and repatriation of those remains and objects.
  • Preparator
    Prepares specimens for scientific examination or exhibition.
  • Registrar
    Implements the policies and procedures that relate to caring for the collection of a cultural institution.
  • Visitor Services
    Responsible for daily interactions with visitors to a museum, welcoming them, orienting them to the exhibits and programs, and answering any questions they may have. Often responsible for the safety of visitors and the security of objects on display.
  • Visitor Studies
    Develops studies to learn more about museum visitors, their preferences and expectations. Develops and implements plans to determine in what ways an exhibit or program achieves its stated goals and objects.
  • Volunteer Coordinator
    Responsible for the recruiting, training, retention, and administration of programs to engage teens and/or adults in the operations of a museum.

To learn more about careers in the museum field, visit the Smithsonian Institute's Museum Studies Training and Careers page.