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Alaska Museums Surveys and Data

Data gathered from museums surveyed around Alaska during 1984, 2000, 2010, and 2020.

Fifty (50) museums employed 272 full-time paid staff and 247 part-time paid staff.

The nine largest museums/visitor centers employed most of these staff. The rest had five or fewer full-time staff.  Fourteen museums had no full-time paid employees but did pay part-time staff. Five museums had no paid employees, relying entirely on volunteers.

Data indicated that part-time workers provided the equivalent of more than 80 full-time positions.

Thirty-eight (38) museums have job descriptions.


Number of museums that have a range of volunteer and paid staff.
  Number of Museums
All volunteer 5
Only paid part-time staff 14
One full-time staff 8
Two full-time staff 11
Three to five full-time staff 8
Six to ten full-time staff 2
Eleven to Fifteen full-time staff 2
Twenty to twenty-five full-time staff 3
Twenty-five plus full-time staff 2

Volunteers (N=47)

Twenty-one (21) museums logged 1,000+ volunteer hours per year.

Not all museums that listed volunteers provided volunteer hours.

Volunteer numbers and hours.
Total no. of volunteers (N=47) 2,454 
Total no. of volunteer hours (N=35*) 98,574
Avg. no. of volunteer hours per museum (N=35) 2,816
Avg. no. of hours per volunteer (N=35) 65.5
Range of volunteer hours per museum (N=35) 130 to 23,645

The most common use of volunteers was to host visitors and/or act as docents (25%). Volunteers performed maintenance work (13%), provided collection care (9%), and worked on exhibits (8%). Numerous other duties listed included: working in the museum store, bookkeeping, filling photo orders, collection processing, and helping with events.

Eighteen (18) museums utilized interns.

Thirty-one (31) museums indicated they had membership support and listed 11,276 members.