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CAREERS

MUSEUM CURATOR

How would you like to be the master mind behind a museum, zoo or historic site? You can be as a curator. Learn more about why a curator career may suit you below. 

Museum Curator

If you've ever walked into a museum or zoo with awe, at not just what's there but the entire operation, then you may want to look into a career as a curator.

Because that's who's behind the operation: a curator, someone who manages museums, nature centers, zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums and historic sites. From negotiating purchases to directing the exhibit of collections, curators have quite the responsibility. Landing this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), often requires a master's degree in a relevant field to where you're curating, stamina and the following skills: analytical, customer-service, critical thinking, technical and organizational.

Studying at one of the many curator schools may prepare you for this career, which could prove very fulfilling for the right kind of person.

Museum curator salary and career outlook

It is possible to pay all your bills and then some as a curator. But in terms of salary, a number of factors cause the field to vary widely. One of those factors is industry. The state you live in can also play a factor in salary differences. The table below shows what curators might expect to make, as well as what job growth could look like in the coming years:

CareerTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean WageProjected Job Growth Rate
Curators12,280$58,4909.5%
2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

The reason for the growth, according to the BLS, is two-fold. One is that the public interest in science, art, history and technology will continue to spur demand. The second is that museum attendance is expected to rise, meaning many museums will likely "remain financially healthy and are expected to schedule additional building and renovation projects." With this growth should come lots of competition, the BLS projects, so gaining as much marketable experience as possible may come in handy.

Whatever the future holds, this career can be fulfilling. Just imagine running an art museum, a zoo or a history museum. You call the shots, it's your vision. Earning a curator education online or at a curator school could get you closer to that enjoyable career.

Sources:

Bureau of Labor Statistics; Curators, Museum Technicians, and Conservators; 2013; http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Education-Training-and-Library/Curators-and-museum-technicians.htm#tab-4

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics - Curators, May 2012, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes254012.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Outlook Handbook; Curators, Museum Technicians, and Conservators; 2013; http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Education-Training-and-Library/Curators-and-museum-technicians.htm#tab-6

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