Skip to main content

Museums & Galleries: Sector Overview

Guide to working in the culture, museums, curation, and heritage

Museums & Galleries

Sector Overview

What jobs are available and how to get them


Museums employ a wide variety of staff in management, marketing, documentation and education

The National Trust and English Heritage run many museums. But other museums are run by charities, local or national government, universities, or even the military

Related Jobs

Sector Overview

Working in the museums and heritage sector can be a very appealing option for many graduates

Jobs are not plentiful, so qualifications and voluntary experience are very important

There are a large variety of different employers, from small and collections owned by a single person or company, to large, publically owned institutions

Roles in this sector can involve curating collections, marketing, educating people, preserving collections, and arts administration

Job Roles


This role is the one most commonly associated with museums, and involves creating exhibits and maintaining collections

It can also involve marketing, drafting funding proposals, organising events, cataloguing new acquisitions, and a wide range of other roles

Entry into this field can require a Master's in Museum Studies, or a PhD in a relevant subject


These are people who use scientific methods to maintain and restore items

A postgraduate qualification in conservation is a typlical entry qualification for this job

Museum Education Officer

This job involves using the museum or galleries resources as a resource to teach and engage with people

A degree in a relevant topic can be helpful in this field, and in some cases teaching qualifications can be very useful

Arts Administrator

Arts administrators can do a wide variety of tasks including front of house work, marketing, administration

Museums also hire staff for roles in communications, marketing, running events, etc.


What inspired you to consider a career in museums?

Museum Trends

Facts and Figures


Estimated number of museums in the UK


Government spending cuts to arts and museums in 2013, this is much less than expected


Estimated number of people employed by the heritage sector in 2010

Source: Museums Association, Heritage Counts Report 2012