How to become a membership coordinator in a museum: Ailsa's story

Meet Ailsa, 23, to find out more about her role as membership coordinator for V&A Dundee. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

Keeping art alive is incredibly meaningful and my job helps me do that.

  • Ailsa studied Standard Grade Art & Design at school and continued with it at Advanced Higher
  • She opted to study Textile Design at university but became involved in the opening of the V&A museum in Dundee as a volunteer
  • As membership officer, Ailsa's job is to encourage people in the local community to visit the museum and attend events and exhibitions.

Ailsa's career path

Ailsa is a membership coordinator in a design museum. There are a range of jobs working for arts centre and museums usually grouped together as ‘arts administration’ jobs. Administrators help organise events and exhibitions, manage staff, and look after buildings like theatres or museums.

What to expect if you want to be an arts administrator

  • Pay: £13,000 to £50,000 per year
  • Working hours: 37 to 39 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be an arts administrator?

  • Typical entry requirements: You can get into this job through a university course, an apprenticeship, volunteering or applying directly. Many arts administrators are graduates, but it's not essential. Most subjects are accepted, though you may have an advantage with a degree in Arts Management or Arts Administration, or Events and Entertainment Management. It might be useful to volunteer at a local arts centre, museum or theatre, like Ailsa did, as a way of finding out what you’re most interested in and to get some experience of different jobs in the arts.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

Discover more on the Prospects website about the role of an arts administrator

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Work experience in your area
Find work experience placements with Workfinder.

Tips and advice
Help with interviews, writing a CV and all things work experience related.

Gemma: fashion designer
Dan: kitchenware maker
video
Poppy: online entrepreneur