I followed somewhat the same path as batgirl.
I work as a registrar in a museum. Meaning, I got a degree in art and I don't wait tables.
Seriously, though. I started as an intern/volunteer. That seems to be a big starting off point. Most people who have these kinds of jobs stay in them forever and as much as I hate the term, if you want to succeed and move up and get lucrative positions, networking is key. (networking is the term I hate). When I was an intern, I came 3-4 times a week and worked almost a full day. Mainly I wanted to get my internship over, but I was dedicated to what I was doing. At the time, I developed an educational booklet for students about our museum. (oh, by the way, this is the museum I work for http://www.metalmuseum.org
). I ended my internship and got my degree. I was called back 4 months later, asked if I wanted to catalog slides. I said yes, because it was much better than working at sporadic catering gigs and leasing apartments. I don't get paid much, but I have medical insurance. Which is good, because 2 months after I started I found out I was going to have a baby. So I sat and cataloged slides in a really bad database. Then I went on maternity leave and when I came back 4 months later I was made the registrar. The lady who had done it before didn't really do much in all the years she was there so she was not there any more.
I got to completely overhaul the library, slide management system, and website. I campaigned to get an easier collections software for our library and archives. The one we had before was obsolete and not very user friendly, besides it was geared toward law and corporate libraries, not museums. I also handle incoming and outgoing loans, accessioning new pieces to our collection, and keep paperwork for exhibits and permanent collections. I work on the website when I can. And like batgirl, I also scan and catalogue a library of about 25,000 images from slides of metal art, architecture, processes, etc. I catalogue books for the library our museum is opening in 2007. It's a big job, and one I feel will set a foundation for my career in other museums. Then hopefully I'll be able to demand a higher salary. I plan to go back to school and get at least a museum studies certification, if not a master's degree. My family and I are hoping to move to southern california in the future.
If you want to work in museums, I suggest checking out the American Association of Museums. They have a lot of special interest committees and resources for people working in the museum field.