Museum Conservator

Grade: IS-1001-11
Term of Appointment: NTE 2yrs
Type of Position: Trust
There is no supervisory status or promotion potential


The National Air and Space Museum (NASM), Conservation Unit is pleased to announce conservator positions to support the renovation and redesign of our Washington, DC location.  The candidates will work with a team of conservators to support the ongoing renovation of 23 galleries. We are seeking individuals with a diverse range of material experience to support the examination, documentation and treatment of a variety of objects in the NASM collection.  The collection features artifacts from the 18th century to the present and represents the full range of materials relating to the history of aviation and space exploration. The Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory has a range of testing and analytical capabilities and partners with other Smithsonian museums to enable access to a wide variety of analytical equipment. 

Major Duties

The primary duty of these positions is to work with a team of conservators to examine, document and treat objects for display in the newly re-designed and upgraded galleries at the Washington, D.C. museum location. The candidates will work with team members and curators to provide exhibition design needs, environmental requirements and mount recommendations.  Both large and small artifacts will require varying levels of treatment and preservation.  Collaboration with unit colleagues in the preservation and restoration unit will be undertaken on larger team projects. The conservation team meets regularly to ensure deadlines for gallery installs are on track and to work as a unit to problem solve and determine solutions to treatment challenges. All documentation will be entered using into The Museum System artifact catalogue and database at NASM.  Administrative support for the conservation unit and the project include identifying and purchasing supplies and equipment related to treatment needs; working with volunteers; participating in NASM and Smithsonian wide safety program as required; and collaboration with NASM colleagues.

Knowledge Required For The Position

The candidate should be self-motivated, willing to work independently and in a team environment and should be capable of managing multiple projects, deadlines and tasks.  Individuals must be able to clearly communicate verbally and in writing to complete thorough documentation on each object and to convey technical information.  Knowledge of current conservation practices and methodologies and the necessary environmental conditions for objects is required to complete projects.  The ability to use a variety of analytical equipment to answer material and treatment questions is ideal.  Knowledge of laboratory safety in relation to museum practices is required.


Basic Requirements:

The ideal candidate will have completed graduate level training in museum conservation. Skills in materials science, conservation treatment, chemistry or related subjects in addition to digital photography and technical writing are required.  Professional Associate status in the American Institute for Conservation or working toward this level is desired. Qualifications will need to be met at the IS-11 level. 

Work Environment

The conservators work in a laboratory and shop environment.  The duty station is located at the Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. 


Security Clearance

Some jobs require a security clearance.  The security clearance level depends on the type of access to the classified information and secure facilities that you'll need to perform your job.

For jobs that require a security clearance, you'll need to provide at least 10years of personal information and maybe more.  You'll need to complete the Standard Form 86 (SF86).

staff photographing the star ship enterprise

To Apply

Send resumes and transcripts to, by COB November 22, 2019; please use position title (Museum Conservator-11) in the subject line.

The Smithsonian is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.  Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.