Museum Associations and Job Boards
The principle place to look for job postings in the US are the sites listed below. Typically a museum will post here and possibly in a state or regional association of museums or in local media, depending on the type of job. Of course, they won’t post for a janitor in the national or regional job postings – figuring they can hire one locally. Some won’t post an opening for upper management positions in local listings as they think no one locally is qualified. So check in local listings (newspapers and job web sites) and state, regional, and national listings.
If you have one or a few museums picked out that you’d like to work for, check their web sites every week or so. They will list museum job openings.
National Museum Associations:
- American Association of Museums
- American Association for State and Local History
- American Public Gardens Association
- Association of African American Museums
- Association of Children’s Museums
- Association for Living History, Farm and Agriculture Museums
- Association of Railroad Museums
- Association of Science -Technology Centers
- Association of Zoos and Aquaria (AZA)
- Council of American Maritime Museums
- Fire Museum Network
- Museum Store Association
- National Trust for Historic Preservations
- Society for American Archaeology
- Society of American Archivists
Federal Government Jobs:
Although museum-related jobs are a tiny fraction of the civil service, that tiny fraction is a huge number of jobs. Check out USAJOBS, the Federal Government’s official employment information system. www.USAJobs.gov.
Regional Museum Associations:
- Association of Midwest Museums
- Mid-Atlantic Association Museums
- Mountain-Plains Museum Association
- New England Museum Association,
- Southeast Museums Conference
- Western Museums Association
State Museum Associations:
- Alabama Museums Association
- Museums Alaska
- Museum Association of Arizona
- Arkansas Museums Association
- California Museums Association
- Colorado-Wyoming Association of Museums
- Connecticut League of History Organizations
- Delaware Museum Association
- Florida Association of Museums
- Georgia Association of Museums & Galleries
- Hawai’i Museums Association
- Idaho Association of Museums
- Illinois Association of Museums
- Association of Indiana Museums
- Iowa Museums Association
- Kansas Museums Association
- Kentucky Museum & Heritage Alliance
- Louisiana Association of Museums
- Maine Archives and Museums
- Maryland Association of History Museums
- Michigan Museums Association
- Minnesota Association of Museums
- Mississippi Museums Association
- Missouri Museums Association
- Museums Association of Montana
- Nevada Museums Association
- New Jersey Association of Museums
- New Mexico Association of Museums
- Museum Association of New York
- North Carolina Museums Council
- Ohio Museums Association
- Oklahoma Museums Association
- Oregon Museum Association
- Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations
- South Carolina Federation of Museums
- Association of South Dakota Museums
- Tennessee Association of Museums
- Texas Association of Museums
- Utah Museums Association
- Vermont Museum and Gallery Alliance
- Virginia Association of Museums
- Washington Museums Association
- Museums of West Virginia
- Wisconsin Federation of Museums
It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the museum world. They have 19 museums, 9 research centers, and the National Zoo. Find out what openings they have by clicking here.
Check the postings for “non-college executives” or for your specialty discipline on the Chronicle of Higher Education. You will find few listings here, but the ones that appear are very interesting.
Museums are a growth industry. And, an industry with no governmental regulation and no pre-conceived ideas on what each should look like or do. The Association of Children’s Museums reports that almost one quarter of their 341 member museums are start-ups. Eighty new children’s museums opened between 1976 and 1990. Since 1990, an additional 125 have opened. There are approximately 78 children’s museums in the planning phase. Other segments of the museum industry aren’t growing as quickly, but new museums of all kinds are emerging.
Emerging museums, museums that are just starting, may not have a web site and may not even know to post job openings on one of the national or regional listings. Check the media and chamber of commerce for groups organizing new museums in geographic regions of interest to you. Do a web search for new museums or a Google News search for new museums.
Friends who are architects may know of groups planning museums. Since fund raising along with building design occur at the earliest stages of a museum’s life, talking to fund raisers can alert you to new opportunities.
As new museums are just coming to life the founders know very little of how the process will play out, they are constantly looking for people who can help them make their dreams become real. Look for opportunities to join the board of emerging museums or to volunteer services to them.
In the News:
For top jobs in the museum field, watch for notices of retirements, firings, etc. News stories about the departure of a museum executive can occur months before the job is officially posted, which gives you time to prepare. If the departure is sudden, the museum may need someone to step in on an interim bases, which could give you great experience, references, and possibly a leg up on applying for the permanent job.
Museum Websites with Job Boards
Few countries have as comprehensive listings of jobs as you find in the US. However, if you know the country where you want a job, look up the regional listing on the Museums Around the World page. Also search for national museum associations or councils. You are more likely to find these in Europe.
NEMO (Network of European Museum Organizations) lists job openings.