The smell of salt air invigorates you as you step aboard the historic schooner. Another day at work!
Welcome to a career in maritime museums. If you love the sea and all things nautical, maritime museums may be the place for you. There are a lot of opportunities: over 600 maritime museums in the US and hundreds more around the world. Included in this category are lighthouses, ships and boats, canal locks, and traditional museums. Fresh water and salt are covered so maritime museums can be found along lakes and streams as well as harbors and ports. Note – if you have had a job in the maritime industry as a merchant marine or in another capacity then working later in life at a museum like this could be great!
Maritime museums preserve the artifacts representing man’s use of and travel on and under the sea. The artifacts are used for academic research, but more for engaging the public in learning about maritime heritage. Each maritime museum is a unique blend of art, history, and science. Most have boats or ships to see or explore. A few have submarines. Models of ships and naval engagements are common exhibits. Some look back on the days of whaling and others focus on naval forts and navy ships.
Two of the largest and best know maritime museums are Mystic Seaport in Connecticut and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Greenwich is where the world begins – or at least where longitude begins, 0 degrees. It is chock full of boats and ships. Mystic is an explosion of nautical experiences with ships, shops, boats, and displays.
What a place to visit. What a place to work!
Maritime museums need people spanning a wide variety of skills. See the page on jobs in a museum. On top of the skills listed there having experience in ships or boats would be a plus. Knowledge of nautical history or craft would be great.
Where can you find out about maritime museums? You’re in luck as there is lots of information:
Smith’s Master Index to Maritime Museum Websites is a comprehensive listing of US maritime museums.
Naval and Maritime Museum List International (except USA) lists major foreign maritime museums.
Council of American Maritime Museums
A variety of information is available at Maritime Museum Links.
International Congress of Maritime Museums lists the larger museums both in the US and around the world.