What Does it Take to Be a Curator?
Occupation 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.
What Do Curators Do On a Daily Basis?
- Attend meetings, conventions, and civic events to promote use of institution’s services, to seek financing, and to maintain community alliances.
- Inspect premises to assess the need for repairs and to ensure that climate and pest control issues are addressed.
- Negotiate and authorize purchase, sale, exchange, or loan of collections.
- 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.
- Confer with the board of directors to formulate and interpret policies, to determine budget requirements, and to plan overall operations.
Qualities of a Curator
Curators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
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.
Types of Curator
- Collections and Archives Director
- Old Coin Dealer
- Art Gallery Director
- Photography and Prints Curator
Are There Job Opportunities 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,500 job openings in this field each 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.
Salary for a Curator
The salary for Curators ranges between about $29,010 and $94,330 a year.
Curators who work in District of Columbia, Connecticut, or New York, make the highest salaries.
How much do Curators make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$86,080|
What Tools do Curators Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Curators may use on a daily basis:
- 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 to Become a Curator
Education needed to be a Curator:
How many years of work experience do I need?
Who Employs Curators?
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
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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