What Is Museum Security?

Written by Holly Savage

14th February 2023

Museums often hold valuables such as historical items and expensive pieces of artwork, so they can often fall victim to criminal activity. Because of crimes such as pickpocketing and vandalism, it is essential that museums have good security in place.

But what is museum security? We’ll be discussing this and more such as the different types of security museums will hire, how much museum security guards make, and why it is important for museums to have good security.

What Is Museum Security?

A common question that people ask is do museums have security protection? And yes, museum owners will hire their own museum security to protect the museum building and its valuables. Museums are often at risk of many security threats such as theft, vandalism, art fraud, burglaries, and break-ins. So, it is essential that they have good security in place.

What Kind Of Security Do Museums Have? 

Museums will have many different types of security in place to help protect them and their valuables. Some of these security measures are:

  • Security Guards.
  • Security Cameras.
  • Security Alarms.
  • Motion Detection Security Systems.

However, the most popular security that museums will use is museum security officers.

museum security

How Much Do Museum Security Guards Make? 

According to Glassdoor, a museum security guard’s salary in the UK is normally around £27,385 per year. But this salary can vary and how much a museum security guard earns will depend on many factors such as the position that they are applying for and the location they are working in.

How To Become A Museum Security Guard?

To become a museum security guard in the UK you don’t need to have any specific education qualifications. Instead, you:


  • Will need to be at least 18 years old.
  • Be a UK citizen or have the right to work within the UK.
  • Need to pass security training courses.
  • Have a first aid qualification.
  • Have an SIA security guard licence.
museum security guard

What Does Museum Security Do? 

The main role that museum security officers will have is providing ultimate protection to the museum itself, and its valuables. However, museum security guards will also have many tasks and responsibilities to oversee. We have discussed these duties in more detail.

1. Do Regular Patrols

The first task that guards will have is doing regular patrols around the museum. During these patrols, guards will review the safety of the artwork and keep a watchful eye out for criminals.

2. Use CCTV Monitoring Equipment To Monitor All Areas Of The Museum

Another task that museum security officers will oversee is using CCTV monitoring equipment such as security cameras. They will use these cameras to help them review the safety of all areas within the museum.

3. Helping Customers

Security guards will also be expected to help customers during their time at the museums. Some ways that guards may help are:

  • By giving customers directions to different exhibitions.
  • Answering any customer enquiries.
  • Helping lost children find their families.

4. Providing Crowd Control

    As museums are quite popular they can become busier throughout the day. Guards will be expected to help control the crowd during busier periods and they will do this to help ensure the safety of the museum’s experience.

    5. Conduct Bag Searches

    In bigger museums, security guards may have to conduct bag searches. During these searches, guards will look through bags to check for any prohibited items. They will do this to make sure that no authorised items enter the museum such as weapons.

    6. Respond To Security Incidents

    Another important task that museum security officers will be expected to oversee is responding to security incidents. Security incidents will often threaten the safety of the museum and its visitors, so it is important that guards respond to these incidents in a quick and calm manner. Some of the different types of security incidents guards may be expected to respond to are:

    • Alarm Activations.
    • Emergencies.
    • Stolen Artefacts Or Artwork.
    • Violence Behaviour From Customers.

    7. Monitoring Everyone Who Enters And Exits The Museum

    Guards who work in museums will also be expected to keep a regular log of everybody who enters and exits the museum. This is an extremely important task, as it allows guards to make sure that everyone who enters the museum has valid reasons for being there and it allows them to stop any unauthorised visitors such as thieves from entering.

    8. Acting As A Visual Deterrent Against Thieves

    Another responsibility that security officers will have is acting as a visual deterrent against thieves. As museums are a hotspot for crime, it is essential that guards can quickly stop thieves. One way that guards can reduce crime in museums is through the strong security presence that they provide.

    What Are The Challenges Of Museum Security?

    There are many different challenges that museum guards may have to face. But their biggest one is potential criminals. Thieves will often target museums in hopes of stealing historical items, while other criminals such as vandals may try to vandalise expensive artwork.

    Museums, such as the National Gallery in London, are often popular attractions to tourists. When museums are busy it can be harder for guards to patrol and monitor everyone who enters the museum. And when guards are slightly distracted by visitors it can make it easier for potential criminals to enter a museum. So, it is extremely important that museum security guards are constantly alert and aware of their surroundings.

    What Is Museum Security

    Do Museums Do Security Checks?

    Yes, museums will often do security checks. A security worker in a museum will have to conduct security checks such as bag searches on visitors to ensure that they aren’t trying to bring in any restricted or dangerous items.

    How Do Museums Prevent Theft?

    One way that museums can prevent incidents of theft is through their security personnel. Museum security guards will often provide museums will a strong security presence and this presence can be used to deterrent criminals. The mere presence of a security guard instantly shows criminals how the museum has good and visible security in place. And thieves are less likely to attack a business that has good security in place, compared to one without any security protection.

    Another way that museums can protect themselves from incidents of theft is through security cameras. Museum security systems will often be used by guards to review and monitor different areas of the museum that they may not be able to patrol. If a camera does record an incident of theft, it can often be used to identify the criminal and as evidence in a court of law.

    museum security jobs

    Why Do Museums Have Security?

    Museums are extremely popular around the world, and they are often filled with many valuable items from the past and expensive artwork. Because of this, they have also become a huge target for crimes such as art theft and break-ins. So, it is extremely important that museums have good security in place like security guards to help ensure the protection of these items. Having good security in place will also help improve the safety of the museum and make it a much safer environment for museum workers to work in. 

    How Do You Secure A Museum?

    Apart from security guards, there are a few other ways that museums can improve their security and maximise their protection. Some additional ways to secure a museum are:


    • Installing security cameras throughout the museum.
    • Ensuring that all display cases are locked with a secure lock system.
    • Installing a museum security system that has features such as a security alarm and a motion detector.
    • Make sure that all museum staff are trained in security awareness.
    • Make sure that all access points throughout the museum are minimised and well-monitored.

    So, What Is Museum Security?

    Overall, the most popular security protection that museums will have is security officers. Museum security guards will be used to act as a visible deterrent to thieves and will provide museums will a strong visible security presence.

    If you would like to stay updated with all the latest security guard news – why not check out our blog? Where you can find articles about casino security and whether bank security guards carry guns.

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