All About Curators
Career 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?
- Train and supervise curatorial, fiscal, technical, research, and clerical staff, as well as volunteers or interns.
- Establish specifications for reproductions and oversee their manufacture or select items from commercially available replica sources.
- Inspect premises to assess the need for repairs and to ensure that climate and pest control issues are addressed.
- Attend meetings, conventions, and civic events to promote use of institution’s services, to seek financing, and to maintain community alliances.
- Arrange insurance coverage for objects on loan or for special exhibits and recommend changes in coverage for the entire collection.
- Design, organize, or conduct tours, workshops, and instructional or educational sessions to acquaint individuals with an institution’s facilities and materials.
Skills Needed to be a Curator
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 for this Occupation:
- Field Collector
- Collections and Archives Director
- Education Curator
- Stamp Collector
- Educational Institution Curator
Job Outlook for Curators
There were about 12,400 jobs for Curator in 2016 (in the United States). 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. There will be an estimated 1,500 positions for Curator per year.
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.
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|
What Tools & Technology do Curators Use?
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
Becoming a Curator
What kind of Curator requirements are there?
What work experience do I need to become a Curator?
Where Curators Work
The table below shows the approximate number of Curators employed by various industries.
Other Jobs You May be Interested In
Those thinking about becoming a Curator might also be interested in the following careers:
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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