Skip to main content

CNN Needs to Learn Being A Conservator Ain’t a Part-Time Job

In the spirit of everyone in our country being really poor, CNN stepped in to lend a helping hand with this list of ten great part-time jobs to make money with. They are: Animal Caretaker, Bartender, Customer Service Rep, Dental Assistant, Hotel Clerk, Library Assistant, Museum Technician or Conservator, Pharmacy Technician, Recreation Worker, and Security Guard. This seems like a harmless little list of ways to bring in the cash.

Oh, but it isn’t. Being a conservator is not a part-time job. And conservators won’t let you forget that.

Over the last two days the story has gotten several comments from quite angry conservators, insisting that getting a museum job is increasingly difficult, requires specific education programs, and doesn’t pay as well as the article said.

Below are our favorite comments:

  • “I am a ‘conservator’, and it has taken me many years of unpaid internships, years of coursework and graduate school training, 9 cities, and most of my savings to call myself that. Museum Conservators make approximately $30,000 per a year before taxes and without benefits to live in major cities like New York, Washington, and LA. Those at the senior level, barely pass $60,000 in income. It is a privilege and honor to call myself a ‘conservator’ and worth every loss and sacrifice in my life”


  • Um, seriously? Who decided that museum work was something that a) anybody can do and b) is a “growth market” job?? Ask any of us museum professionals with advanced degrees and 20+ years of training how the “museum technician” and “conservation” market is, we will tell you it is down to the point that those of us who worked as freelance contractors and had to turn down jobs three years ago are now looking into other fields for work! This is the sort of poorly-researched shite article that gives uneducated people unfounded hope. And furthermore, whereas I can’t speak to the education requirements for Pharmacy Technicians, I can tell you that of all the jobs on this list, Museum Technicians and Conservators MUST have a Master’s Degree to work in the field. Period. So, it really does not fit on this list in any way shape or form.


  • Come on guys, we all know conservation is easy, just like in that Crest White-Strips commercial where you simply peel off dirt from a painting or blast barnacles off of amphorae with a garden hose. And I assume Museum Tech means collections manager or registrar…customs, crating, fine art insurance?…Hey out-of-work pizza delivery guy looking for part-time work because all of the down-sized conservators took your job, box this up and send it Fed-Ex with delivery confirmation and a tracking number.


  • Great ideas! And after you’re tired of making tons of extra $$$$ as a casual part-time museum conservator, you might want to try to become a millionaire writing this kind of stupidity for CNN readers…. and when you succeed on this feat, you will surely be ready to become the next queen/king of England, too!!!

But let’s not spoil them all for you. Head on over to CNN and check out the rest and possibly post your own. Haters gonna hate, especially when they have a Masters Degree in Museum Studies and you’re cheapening their job.

If nothing else, I hope you’ve gained a greater appreciation for the work that goes into maintaining a museum.

(Via Reddit, title image via ArtsJournal)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue: