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Museum Attendant

Keep an eye on museum pieces to make sure they're safe.

What does a Museum Attendant do?

A Museum Attendant, or Gallery Attendant, protects a museum’s contents. Sure, most museums have high-tech alarm systems and Security Guards. Nonetheless, Museum Attendants are their front line of defense.

After all, when you have valuables, your instinct is to protect them. That’s why you put your money in a bank, buy insurance for your car, lock your front door when you leave the house, and put tags on your pets’ collars. Well, the reason you put your jewelry in a safe is the same reason museums hire Museum Attendants.

As a Museum Attendant, you’re basically the museum’s eyes and ears. As such, you inspect and observe the galleries in which you’re positioned. That involves scrutinizing exhibits for damage, destruction, and deterioration, and enforcing rules among museum patrons, who are typically forbidden from photographing, touching, and sometimes even standing too close to exhibits. It also involves checking membership cards and passes to make sure only ticketed customers get into exhibits, opening the museum in the morning and closing it at night, and patrolling the museum after hours to make sure all visitors have gone home.

Although you may also help Museum Curators install and dismantle exhibits, your main function next to security is customer service, which requires you to give tours, answer questions, give directions, hand out promotional and informational materials, and greet visitors when they arrive and exit.

Essentially, it’s your job to befriend the items in the museum: You get to know them, then you protect and promote them.