Wondering how to become an art restorer? Perhaps you have a love of antiques, a passion for artwork or a perfectionists’ personality that drives your desire to make everything look as fresh, clean and beautiful as the day it was created. An art restorer is someone who specializes in the professional cleaning, repair and conservation of paintings, sculptures and various antiques that have been damaged or devalued through aging. It isn’t exactly an easy profession to go into but for someone who is passionate about art , it is a worthwhile endeavor.
The degrees needed to become an art or antique restorer vary, as each restoration business has different requirements, and many art restorers also go into business for themselves. The most common degrees required for art repairing jobs are Bachelor of Art degrees in art history, fine art and/or studio art . If you’re serious about this job and want to impress future employers with your skills, you may also want to think about earning a master’s degree in fine art conservation with specialization in a particular field that interests you.
If you want to go into antique repairing, you may find employment with antique dealers, art conservatories, art galleries, museums or restoration companies. Your job duties will include examining and cleaning works of art , doing research on them, deciding what repairs need to be made, if any, and using the resources you have available to make those repairs.
Museums are the most prestigious places to work, but these job positions are the most sought after and hardest to get, so you might not be able to find a museum job right away. If you do, though, you can make as much as $100 an hour based on experience. Entry level positions with galleries, conservatories, dealerships and restoration companies may only start at $15 an hour, but salaries in this field increase based on experience and merit.
As an antique restorer, you may have other career options such as giving lectures on art conservation at conferences or teaching college courses based on your specialty if you have earned a master’s degree or PhD.