Archivists, Curators, and Museum Workers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
Archivists. Archivists typically need a masters degree in history, library science, archival science, political science, or public administration. Although many colleges and universities have history, library science, or other similar programs, only a few institutions offer masters degrees in archival studies. Students may gain valuable archiving experience through volunteer or internship opportunities.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 13% (Faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Continuing education is available through meetings, conferences, and workshops sponsored by archival, historical, and museum associations. Some large organizations, such as the U.S.National Archives and Records Administrationin Washington, DC, offer in-house training.
Although most employers do not require certification, some archivists may choose to earn voluntary certification because it allows them to demonstrate expertise in a particular area.
Median pay: How much do Archivists, Curators, and Museum Workers make?
$47,230 Annual Salary
$22.71 per hour

Archivists appraise, process, catalog, and preserve permanent records and historically valuable documents. Curators oversee collections of artwork and historic items, and may conduct public service activities for an institution. Museum technicians and conservators prepare and restore objects and documents in museum collections and exhibits.


Archivists typically do the following:

  • Authenticate and appraise historical documents and archival materials
  • Preserve and maintain documents and objects
  • Create and manage a system to maintain and preserve electronic records
  • Organize and classify archival records to make them easy to search through
  • Safeguard records by creating film and digital copies
  • Direct workers to help arrange, exhibit, and maintain collections
  • Set and administer policy guidelines concerning public access to materials
  • Find and acquire new materials for their archives

Curators, museum technicians, and conservators typically do the following:

  • Acquire, store, and exhibit collections
  • Select the theme and design of exhibits
  • Design, organize, and conduct tours and workshops for the public
  • Attend meetings and civic events to promote their institution
  • Clean objects such as ancient tools, coins, and statues
  • Direct and supervise curatorial, technical, and student staff
  • Plan and conduct special research projects

Careers for Archivists, Curators, and Museum Workers

  • Archivists
  • Art conservators
  • Art preparators
  • Collection specialists
  • Collections and archives directors
  • Collections curators
  • Conservation technicians
  • Conservators
  • Curators
  • Digital archivists
  • Directors, museum
  • Educational institution curators
  • Ethnographic materials conservators
  • Exhibitions and collections managers
  • Film archivists
  • Herbarium curators
  • Historical records administrators
  • Image archivists
  • Museum archivists
  • Museum curators
  • Museum directors
  • Museum exhibit technicians
  • Museum technicians
  • Objects conservators
  • Paintings conservators
  • Paper conservators
  • Photography and prints curators
  • Processing archivists
  • Reference archivists
  • Registrars
  • State archivists
  • Technicians and technologists, museums
  • Textile conservators

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