Art restorers, also called conservators, perform research, cleaning and other activities to return works of art to the state they appeared in when artists first made them. These workers use both manual and machine-based methods to evaluate the state an artwork is in to determine the best approach for restoring a work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of restorer jobs to grow rapidly, partly because museums need restorers to maintain their growing collections.
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Averages Across All Industries and Areas
The Bureau's Occupational Employment Statistics May 2009 salary information for conservators in the highest 10 per cent earned £43,608, and those in the median earned £24,128. According to SimplyHired, however, the average salary for art restorers, which they sampled from their job listings in January 2011, was £37,700.
Salary by Employers
Those who employed the most art restorers didn't necessarily pay the highest wage. Restorers for museums, who employed the most restorers, earned £24,141. But those working for the second biggest employer, the federal executive branch, earned more, £29,984. This was the largest salary figure among the top-five restorer employers, with the lowest being that of the museums.
Salary by Industry
Restorers working in the best paying industry, independent artists, earned an average of £34,859. Those in the lowest paying industry, professional scientific services, earned £21,697. The industries that paid the median salary are non-governmental services and colleges, both at £27,917 per year.
Salaries by Geographic Region
The top-paying district was Washington D.C. at £40,150. The state with the lowest pay for art restorers was South Dakota, at £15,944. The state paying the median salary for this profession was Minnesota, at £23,211. The lowest-paying metropolitan region for art restoration was the
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach area of Florida. The average salary there was £15,223. In stark contrast, the metropolitan region of Santa Barbara and Santa Maria in California offered an average salary of £42,835 for restorers. The Riverside-San Bernardino region in California paid the median salary, which was £26,266.
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