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Want to find out more about cultural careers?

There are many interesting opportunities in Surrey museums and galleries, as well as the wider heritage sector. You might be thinking about how to get your career started or interested in a career change. You might like to volunteer to gain experience, or because you’ve already had your career and want to volunteer in your community. Maybe getting involved with a local project sounds appealing. Whatever your age or interest, there are options to explore and these pages will point you towards useful links and tips if you want to find out more.

Current Vacancies

Find out what’s happening in the local, regional and national jobs market

The organisations in the Useful Links are a starting point for exploring the latest cultural sector roles.Here is a brief explanation of each one.

Arts Council England (ACE) is the national professional body for museums, galleries, libraries and the arts. You will find information about vacancies and opportunities across the UK.
Leicester University Jobs Desk advertises cultural sector job opportunities across the UK.
Museum Jobs
online is one of the main sites posting UK and international sector job vacancies.
Southeast Museum Development Programme (SEMDP) is a support service for Surrey and the wider South East. They share vacancies from museums across these areas on the website and through their newsletter. You can subscribe to the newsletter.
Surrey Museums Partnership is the local support service for Surrey’s museums, galleries and heritage sites. Find new vacancies and opportunities via our useful links.

Volunteering in Surrey Museums

Volunteering for all

There are plenty of volunteering opportunities available in Surrey museums and galleries to suit different interests and time available. Across the county, our museums have volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life. If you have an interest in your local heritage, your local community or would like to build up your work experience in the cultural sector, then volunteering could be for you.

We have students looking to expand their work knowledge and skills. We have professionals wanting practical experience in the sector. We have people with a personal interest looking to offer a few hours of their time. And we have those who have finished their formal careers, wishing to be involved with their local community or a different social group. All time given is very welcome.

Volunteering Roles

You don’t need to be an expert as all museums provide on-the-job training. Whether you are interested in a role that is public facing or something that is more behind the scenes, there are so many areas of museum and gallery work that you can enjoy. Here are just some examples that volunteers in Surrey museums and galleries currently do:

Front of House welcoming visitors
Reception answering calls and general visitor enquiries
Tour guide or visitor assistant helping the public understand the buildings, collections and exhibitions
Gift shop or café assistant
Learning support helping Education Officers deliver workshops for different ages and community groups
Data Entry and Cataloguing are always appreciated if you would prefer a role behind the scenes

We also have many volunteers working on research for specific countywide projects.

How to Become a Volunteer

  1. Contact a museum directly
    Why not take a look on the individual museum and gallery pages in the Explore Our Museums section of this website to begin with? If you find a museum in an area that suits you or has the kind of collections or buildings that interest you, get in touch with them to see if they are taking on volunteers. Alternatively, get in touch with us at Surrey Museums Partnership and we’ll provide you with a contact.
  2. Contact Surrey Museums Partnership
    If you have a particular interest or skill that you would like to fulfil as a volunteer, then please get in touch with us at the Surrey Museums Partnership and we’ll see if we can match you up with a suitable organisation.

Volunteers: the backbone of Surrey Museums

Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are the backbone of Surrey museums and galleries. Most of the museums have limited paid posts and rely on their volunteers for help with essential daily services and general operations. Over half of Surrey museums are run entirely by volunteers. Their passion and commitment to making collections and histories available and protecting those for future generations is inspiring. Without them, visitors and local communities would not experience these aspects of their local heritage and identity.

In short, Surrey museums and visitors truly benefit from the time and skills that each volunteer brings to the organisation. Many museums would simply not exist without the valuable support of their volunteer workforce.

Culture Links: Age 14-19 Careers Inspiration

Have you ever thought?

What really happens behind the scenes at a museum? Why archaeologists dig and what they do with it all? How you work out the age of a photograph? Who decides what goes on art gallery walls? And how you get a job doing these things?

There are hundreds of fascinating jobs in the cultural sector. That includes museums, galleries, the arts, archives, archaeology and heritage sites like castles. There are jobs you might have heard of like a curator, tour guide, or someone who creates exhibitions. But have you thought they also run as a business, with marketing, promotion, events, catering, website, maintenance, recruiting staff, finance, fundraising and retail?

Really, no matter what subjects you like, what your interests are or what course you are studying, there will be a job to suit you in the cultural sector. It is our aim to help you become more aware of this potential career avenue.

Scroll using the < > arrows below for useful information.

Want Some Information?

Use the Useful Links to find out more. The points below explain what’s on the links.

1. Download the Cultural Careers Guidebook to begin with. It is a useful guide to some of the job types, as well as skills, qualifications, routes and pathways in. It also has top tips for getting experience to help in interviews.

2. Cultural Careers 5 Top Tips is useful if you want some quick tips about how to build up your skills.

3. Culture Links aims to help students in Surrey find out what  jobs, routes and skills are in museums, galleries, heritage and arts organisations. Want to know more? Follow this Culture Links page link

4. Visit the careers sections on the websites of the organisations that guide our sectors

Arts Council England (ACE) for museums, galleries, libraries and the arts
Archives and Records Association (ARA)
for archives
The Chartered Institute for Archaeology (CiFA) for archaeologists

5. Explore general careers advice sites