Conservators and Conservation Technicians

Conservation Technician Restores Wooden Artifact

Conservators analyze and assess the condition of artifacts and pieces of art, plan for the care of art collections, and carry out conservation treatments and programs. Conservators may be in private practice or work for museums, historical societies, or state institutions. When conserving artifacts or artwork, these professionals must select methods and materials that preserve and retain the original integrity of each piece. Conservators must be knowledgeable about the objects in their care, which may be natural objects, such as bones and fossils, or man-made objects, such as paintings, sculpture, paper, and metal. 

Conservation technicians work under the supervision of conservators and complete maintenance work on the collection.

There are approximately 10,750 conservators and museum technicians employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Assess the condition of art and artifacts and carry out conservation treatments and programs (conservators); assist conservators in these tasks (conservation technicians)
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country, but are best in large, metropolitan areas
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Master's Degree
School Subjects
  • Art
  • Chemistry
  • History
Experience Internship
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
  • Drawing/Design
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Consultant, or Curator, or Appraiser
  • Conservator
  • Conservation Technician
  • Apprentice or Intern