There is a huge variety of roles available in this area, from working behind the scenes looking after and preserving collections of objects, to working directly with the public to help them access and enjoy the collections through learning roles. GLAM institutions are all about connecting people with arts, culture and heritage, and ensuring access for future generations.
GLAM workplaces come in all shapes and sizes and cover all topics imaginable, from fashion, to toys, sport, and food. Some businesses and charities even have their own archives to preserve their history as part of their identities.
It is a competitive sector, but efforts are being made to open new ways into the workforce. Volunteering can help you understand more about what is required and the kind of work GLAM institutions offer. Both large and small institutions have volunteering opportunities in a variety of roles which they advertise for. Even if you can’t see an opportunity that suits you, don’t be afraid to email a museum or gallery asking if there’s any area you can volunteer in.
There are as many applicable skills in this area as there are jobs! We’d recommend checking out some of the links below to find out the different roles available in the sector and the kind of skills needed. You may well already have some!
Examples of jobs include:
- Records manager
- Visitor experience assistant/manager
- Collections assistant/manager
- Exhibitions designer
- Learning enabler
- Gallery technician
- Museum education officer
Find out more about entering the museum sector with the Museums Association’s free guide to kickstarting your career.
Want to learn more about library and information management careers? CILIP has put together a Careers Starting Out guide to help you get started and the University of St Andrews has information on job examples, the skills you will need and how to get started.
For more information about working in archives, training and volunteering opportunities visit the Archives & Records Association careers page.
Looking for vacancies? Check out the websites below:
Curatorial Assistant at Scottish Football Museum
I work as a Curatorial Assistant at the Scottish Football Museum. My day-to-day mainly consists of planning and implementing the museum exhibitions programme and assisting with the management of the museum’s collections. My job can take many forms like organising and maintaining the display and storage of objects or updating the museum’s collections management system. Other tasks that I get to work on are handling and processing within the museum’s collection (which includes managing new acquisitions and objects on loan) or researching for upcoming exhibitions and general preparation and mounting of exhibitions.
As there are only 4 staff in the curatorial team in my museum, I have some opportunities to work outside my job role. Recently I have been working with a group of young people from a local school on the Workforce of the Future project. Pupils have been working to create an interactive element for our new exhibition space, whilst also learning about job roles in the sector and increasing their employability skills.
There are many exciting jobs that exist within museums. When I began my career in the heritage sector, I only really knew of the job roles of a curator and archivist, but there are many different routes that the broad term “museum job” can lead you to.
Archive Review Assistant, National Trust for Scotland
I am the Archives Review Assistant at the National Trust for Scotland. As part of my role, I work in a project identifying records in our offices and properties which should be part of our Corporate Archive. A Corporate Archive is part of an institution’s heritage and memory, which means that this is an important project which will preserve these records for future generations. My job involves sorting through, listing, and boxing up records which will become part of our archive collection and conducting disposals of records which we don’t need to keep. This includes identifying records which have historical importance and will be useful for future generations.
I have a lot of variety in my day-to-day work, and I am able to work with many different types of records, including photographs, maps and documents. There are other aspects of working in an archive which I also have also gained experience with thanks to this job, including cataloguing which helps us understand and access collections and digitisation which allows records to be accessible for users online.