Wondering how to become a museum technician or art gallery technician? This Level 3 course is perfect for anyone wanting to work closely with gallery exhibitions. Anyone who enjoys practical, hands on problem-solving with a creative outlook should . This involves building and installing exhibits and arranging objects or pieces which are often high value. Read ahead for information on starting your gallery or museum technician career. A Level 3 Museums and Galleries Technician Apprenticeship typically lasts 15-21 months. Similar apprenticeships include the Cultural Heritage Conservator course.
What is a museum or gallery technician’s role?
A Museum and Gallery Technician is responsible for creating exhibitions. This means creating displays and finding solutions for effectively installing, hanging, or displaying various artworks or objects. Displays are often bespoke and designed to fit the particular need of the exhibition. This means you’ll need to interpret each problem and design the best solution. It’s important these are manufactured and ready within a strict budget and deadline. Installation solutions often include the need for mounts and showcases which best show off each piece. Displays are usually built from Perspex, wood, or metal, it’s up to the technician to create the best solution. Sometimes it may be necessary to commission external manufacturers. These displays can either be for temporary or permanent exhibitions. Technicians are trusted with uninstalling displays, handling and transporting important objects and packing up artworks. This involves overseeing the construction of travel cases and overall care for each piece.
Museum and Gallery Technician’s handle and complete the relevant documentation for collections management. This includes risk assessment and object handling. You will also be expected to ensure your tools and equipment are health and safety compliant too. Technicians work closely with internal and external conservators on maintaining pieces. They also assist with curators and artists on displays. You’ll likely be working with contractors, art handlers, exhibition managers and scientists too. Technicians are responsible for overseeing the handling of objects. You may sometimes be expected to present objects to external clients and visitors. When objects need to be transported nationally or internationally, you may be expected to oversee and accompany them.
How to become a museum or gallery technician apprentice?
If you’re looking to get gallery or museum technician training at this apprenticeship level, there are some entry-level requirements. You’ll need 5 GCSEs or more or have completed an Intermediate Level 2 Apprenticeship. Level 2 English and Maths are required, which can be achieved any time before the end of the assessment. You’ll need basic IT skills but everything else can be learnt on the job. Each individual employer will have their own requirements, as per their job listings.
How much do technicians get paid and what comes next?
The maximum funding for this apprenticeship is set at £11,000. The potential initial salary upon completion is £23,000 per annum. This will vary depending on employer. Completing a Level 3 Advances Apprenticeship opens a number of doors, you can choose to move into full time work with your existing employer or apply for new jobs related to your Level 3 qualification. You could also move onto a degree level qualification. There’s also the option to move into a higher apprenticeship with a new or existing employer. Your job responsibilities or job title may cover a number of roles. These include: Exhibition Technician, Curatorial Assistant, Museums Assistant, Art Handler, Art Technician and Collection Technician. Overall, this is an excellent opportunity at getting a taster in a number of disciplines before beginning an exciting, creative, and hands-on career.
What you’ll learn: Level 3 museums and galleries technician core competencies
The skills, knowledge and behaviours you’ll learn are listed below. These standards ensure you’re equipped with everything you need to be a fully qualified Technician.
- Health, safety, and security: Including the security issues museums and galleries face, the safe display, storage and movement of objects. Also the identifying of risks and responding to an emergency response.
- Loaning of objects: The documentation associated with the entry and exit of objects. Insurer conditions and guidelines for transporting objects of varying conditions to other locations.
- Documentation of objects: The organisation’s conditions of loaning objects.
- Design: Finding appropriate materials for displays, storage, and transit. Knowing how to use appropriate tools when creating these solutions.
- Processes, collections and exhibitions care: Ensuring preservation of objects. Includes following curational and conservation instructions, understanding the vulnerabilities of objects and their materials. Carrying out appropriate technical work and the environmental impact on objects. This includes pest management, humidity, temperate, light levels and environmental pollution.
- Mission, values and purpose: Knowing the mission and values of your organisation. Learning how to work effectively with third parties and knowing the importance of your audiences and your ethics.
- Equality and diversity: Understanding your organisation’s strategies for improving access, inclusion and diversity and supporting where possible.
- Collections care, safe management, storage and display of objects: Contributing to the design. Preparing containers and undertaking the safe handling and movement of objects. Ensuring the safe use of tools. Repairing and adapting showcases and identifying environmental risks.
- Risk assessment and reporting: Undertake risk assessments manually or electronically and communicate them with the relevant parties.
- Delivering against curatorial specifications: Preparing the relevant spaces for object installation and be able to uninstall, following agreed plans.
- Management of technical resources: Researching materials, tools, equipment and supplies needed to make displays, mounts and other relevant installations. Be able to order these in line with the organisation’s procedures and within your budget allowance.
This apprenticeship is a fantastic starting point for anyone interested in working closely with art galleries or museums. This includes handling and protecting art or other objects, assembling exhibitions and displays or even assisting curators. It provides a career path that could lead to a number of job roles. These include: Exhibition Technician, Curatorial Assistant, Museums Assistant, Art Handler, Art Technician or Collection Technician. A Level 3 Apprenticeship will also open doors for higher apprenticeships and degree-level qualifications.