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Building the Future of Museum Labor Requires Sound Data

Category: Center for the Future Of Museums Blog
This is an unabashed plea for you to make sure your museum answers the National Comparative Museum Salary Survey that’s now in the field.

Here are just a few of the significant labor policy issues facing museums:

  • Gender equity in pay
  • Living wages
  • CEO pay ratio
  • Building a diverse workforce

Baseline data on museum salaries is a crucial component of the information we need to inform our discussion of these issues.

To meet this need, the Alliance is partnering with all the US regional museum associations and several state associations to conduct the third national survey of how museums compensate their employees. The survey results are used by:

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  • the field to understand regional similarities and differences, how the various disciplines handle compensation, and trends in employee benefits;
  • museums to help determine appropriate compensation;
  • museum workers to assess job offers and negotiate pay.

The survey launched on November 14 via email to directors and human resource staff of museums in the partner associations’ databases. This is an institutional survey: each museum should only respond once, providing data for the whole organization. Ask your director or HR staff whether your museum is in the process of responding—If not, your museum can access instructions and a link to the online survey here.

Data collection closes on December 19th—please ensure your museum is represented!

If you have questions about the survey, or need assistance, contact ebaker (at)

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