Life As a Curator
Position Description Administer collections, such as artwork, collectibles, historic items, or scientific specimens of museums or other institutions. May conduct instructional, research, or public service activities of institution.
Life As a Curator: What Do They Do?
- Plan and conduct special research projects in area of interest or expertise.
- Train and supervise curatorial, fiscal, technical, research, and clerical staff, as well as volunteers or interns.
- Provide information from the institution’s holdings to other curators and to the public.
- Design, organize, or conduct tours, workshops, and instructional or educational sessions to acquaint individuals with an institution’s facilities and materials.
- Develop and maintain an institution’s registration, cataloging, and basic record-keeping systems, using computer databases.
- Negotiate and authorize purchase, sale, exchange, or loan of collections.
When polled, Curators say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Related Job Titles
- Exhibitions Curator
- Coin Collector
- Photography and Prints Curator
- Natural Science Curator
Is There Going to be Demand for Curators?
In the United States, there were 12,400 jobs for Curator in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 13.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,700 new jobs for Curator by 2026. The BLS estimates 1,500 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Curator are Colorado, Washington, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Mississippi, Maine, or Idaho. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Curator Average Salary
The typical yearly salary for Curators is somewhere between $29,010 and $94,330.
Curators who work in District of Columbia, Connecticut, or New York, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Curators in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$86,080|
Tools & Technologies Used by Curators
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Curators:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Autodesk AutoCAD
- Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- FileMaker Pro
- Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
- Scheduling software
- Graphics software
- Corel WordPerfect
- Microsoft Visual Studio
- Desktop publishing software
- Adobe Systems Adobe Freehand
- Microsoft Paint
- PastPerfect Software PastPerfect
- Questor Systems ARGUS
How do I Become a Curator?
Education needed to be a Curator:
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where Curators Are Employed
The table below shows the approximate number of Curators employed by various industries.
Other Jobs You May be Interested In
Those interested in being a Curator may also be interested in:
Career changers with experience as a Curator sometimes find work in one of the following fields:
Image Credit: Jorge Royan via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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