Night At the Museum: Museum Jobs in NYC
Night At The Museum brought the American Museum of Natural History to life and changed the perception of the night guard from stone-faced statue to an exciting fountain of historical knowledge. Museum jobs in NYC can be some of the most interesting careers in the arts available, varying from the guards who stand on the museum floors to those overseeing the entire operation.
While careers at the level of guards and other floor staff involve answering the standard questions such as ‘Where are the bathrooms?’ or ‘Can I touch this?’ they often also need to know, or have learnt out of interest, a barrage of information about the exhibits that surround them. From knowing the events of a historical battle to the entire history surrounding the painting of a masterpiece, an interest in history or fine art goes hand in hand with the job.
There is so much more to museum jobs in NYC than just being in front of visitors. The behind the scenes operations are truly fascinating; education, curating exhibits, director of operations or organizing the transportation, storage and care of exhibit pieces. As different as all these jobs may be, there’s one thing they all have in common: there’s no ‘typical day’.
For certain jobs, particularly directors, day-to-day activities can venture well beyond the walls of the museum itself. There might need to be visits abroad to other galleries, museums and studios to arrange acquisitions and manage collections. Temporary exhibits need to be arranged in their entirety, from checking budgets to transport to advertising, and the same goes for new permanent additions to the collection. Typically, as well as just generic organization, the majority of careers revolve around the research of new discoveries and works of art or even just research into the visitors themselves and what they enjoy at the museum.
If looking for a career in the arts in NYC, it is advisable to have a degree in a subject such as history or art history, but not essential. Practical experience, however, is key, so internships, which are frequently available, can be the best place to begin. Should you decide not to pursue your career completely within the museum, there are studios, galleries and auction houses that can all offer exciting, vibrant careers within the arts.