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Gallery or museum guide

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Summary of occupation

A gallery or museum guide supplies information and conducts tours for visitors in a gallery or museum. An entry level guide would perform mainly routine sales and service tasks under direct supervision. They may also be involved in meeting and greeting gallery/museum visitors, managing visitors’ access to exhibits and maintaining security. A guide may also be involved in maintaining records of attendance, and may assist with installing and dismantling exhibits.

In Western Australia's, it may be possible to work as a gallery/museum guide almost anywhere in the State, from Perth's numerous cultural institutions to the historic agricultural and mining museums in the South West, Pilbara or Kimberley regions.

ANZSCO description: Answers inquires and directs and guides visitors in a gallery or museum.
Alternative names: Gallery or Museum Attendant
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

Gallery/museum guides need:

  • good vision (can be corrected)
  • to be enthusiastic about their work environment
  • to be outgoing and friendly
  • good presentation skills
  • excellent communications skills
  • the ability to handle groups of all ages with patience and tact
  • the ability to process large amounts of information.
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Working conditions

Gallery/museum guides mainly works indoors, however they may be expected to travel with touring exhibitions. These guides will also be required to assist in the maintenance and cleaning of exhibits.

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Salary details

On average, gallery, museum and tour guides can expect to earn between $800 and $999 per week ($41 600 and $51 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a gallery or museum guide develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

These guides often work with a variety of audio visual and multimedia technologies that are used in exhibits. These technologies might include laptops and projectors, video cameras, and touch screen displays. A guide may assist in setting up displays that include these types of technologies, and may also be required to assist visitors in using technologies that form elements of displays.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a gallery or museum guide without formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in information and cultural services, tourism, guiding or a related area.

The Certificate III in Information and Cultural Services, Certificate IV in Library, Information and Cultural Services, Certificate III in Tourism (Guiding) and the Certificate III in Guiding are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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