Curators: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Curators, also known as museum directors, lead the acquisition, storage, and exhibition of collections. They negotiate and authorize the purchase, sale, exchange, and loan of collections. They also may research, authenticate, evaluate, and categorize the specimens in a collection.

Curators often perform administrative tasks and help manage their institutions research projects and related educational programs. They may represent their institution in the media, at public events, at conventions, and at professional conferences.

In larger institutions, some curators may specialize in a particular field, such as botany, art, or history. For example, a large natural history museum might employ separate curators for its collections of birds, fish, insects, and mammals.

In smaller institutions with only one or a few curators, one curator may be responsible for a number of tasks, from taking care of collections to directing the affairs of the museum.

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

Careers for Archivists, Curators, and Museum Workers

  • Archivists
  • Art conservators
  • Art preparators
  • Collection specialists
  • Collections and archives directors
  • Collections curators
  • Conservation technicians
  • Conservators
  • 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

Similar Careers