Believe it or not jobs in heritage tend to have even worse pay than jobs in the voluntary sector, in most museums the level of pay is appallingly low given the skills and knowledge needed. It reflects the fact that most entry level museum jobs are hoovered up people with MAs in Museum Studies who are vastly over qualified, but desperate to get a foot in the door. Volunteer management does tend to be scandalously under resourced, but in this case I suspect the wage level isn’t any lower than people with similar levels of responsibility in other departments. A friend of mine even had to take out an online loan with direct deposit here when he urgently needed money to get his broken car fixed.
It reflects low pay across the sector, and the fact that people who are very much not monkeys are willing to work for peanuts!
When I was a student at the Institute of Archaeology we were told that if we went on to become archaeologists then it was highly unlikely we’d ever earn a wage high enough to mean we had to start paying back our student loans. That may be a slight exaggeration, but I don’t think its all that far off the truth!