Museum Curator Job Description

Museum Curator Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a museum curator. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a museum curator.


Who is a Museum Curator?

A museum curator is a person in charge of organizing the collections, exhibitions, and other objects that will be on show there. These experts have a significant impact on how museum visitors perceive the exhibits. Curators at museums oversee the management of collections and artifacts as well as their upkeep to guarantee their integrity and condition.

Additionally, museum curators may provide information and create exhibits that aid guests and direct them throughout their museum experience. Additionally, curators could participate in the museum’s fundraising, marketing, public relations, and educational initiatives.

a curator of a museum The person in charge of managing art and artifact collections is known as a gallery curator. Curators care for the daily maintenance and exhibition of objects like artwork, collections, and historical or scientific artifacts, as well as the purchase of new works of art, typically to teach the public. They also create exhibits and provide information for the benefit of visitors. Since the work of a curator may also include public relations, fundraising, marketing, and educational initiatives, it may somewhat resemble that of a manager. They often manage gallery workers, develop budgets, and establish partnerships with stakeholders and community liaisons.


Museum Curator Job Description

Below are the museum curator job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of a museum curator include the following;

  • Record and document antiques, artwork, papers, and other things that will be shown in the museum.
  • Research numerous artifacts and components of a collection to document their authenticity and identity.
  • Plan the installation and presentation of collections and displays at the museum.
  • Care for acquisitions and collections to guarantee the preservation of worth and condition.
  • Choose which artifacts will be shown at the museum.
  • Oversee and arrange documentation as it pertains to objects that are brought into the museum.
  • Oversee the purchase of collections.
  • Administrative activities such as negotiating loan items, arranging exhibition budgets, and submitting bids
  • Prepare written material about catalogs that will be made accessible to the public on the museum’s website or in other places.
  • Put up events to collect cash to support exhibits and the museum as a whole.
  • Hire and train museum personnel and volunteers who work closely with the museum curator.
  • Develop and organize new collections to enhance and improve educational and research facilities
  • Conduct comprehensive research, and negotiate rates on and purchase artifacts such as sculptures, statues, and paintings that may add value to the collection.
  • Maintain records and categorized acquisitions.
  • Collaborate with other institutions.
  • Research, assemble and produce written material about catalogs and post it on the institution’s website.
  • Ensure collections are adequately kept.
  • Update web pages to describe new attractions.
  • Raise cash and secure grants to increase collection, improve facilities, or support research activities.
  • Form connections with benefactors to persuade them to provide financial assistance for the museum.
  • Coordinate with other museum departments to make sure that every department is productively cooperating.
  • Analyze subjects connected to the museum’s exhibits or collection, including speaking with specialists in the area.
  • Direct the collection’s acquisition of fresh artifacts via gifts from individuals or organizations.
  • Research, maintain, and display the collection’s objects. Organizing educational outreach initiatives to raise public knowledge of the collection.
  • Evaluate the state of artifacts to determine if they need maintenance or restoration before being presented.
  • Establish educational initiatives to teach youth and adults about the relevance of various cultural items or historical occurrences.



  • Experience with museum databases and other apps.
  • More education, experience, or a specialty in certain disciplines may be beneficial.
  • Understanding of collecting and fundraising.
  • Great eye for detail and strong design intuition.
  • Solid negotiation, resource management, and people skills.
  • Exceptional research and verbal and written communication abilities.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication abilities.
  • Able to arrange, present and explain messages effectively via design.
  • Superb project management and organizing abilities.


Essential Skills

  • Research: curators utilize their investigative abilities to learn more about the items they preserve. To accurately educate visitors, they also use research skills while developing exhibits and learning more about their collections. Curators at museums often perform research on subjects connected to the items in their collection, such as the historical context of an object’s creation or its applications.
  • Creativity: When creating and implementing museum displays, curators often need to employ their imagination. They could also utilize their imagination to come up with fresh approaches to attract people, such as interactive exhibits or instructive games. Curators often work with museums to create cutting-edge strategies for protecting artifacts and educating the public about them.
  • Studies of museums: The collection of a museum is looked after and maintained by museum curators. They make sure that every relic is properly conserved, housed, and shown to visitors. The ability to comprehend how museums function and the obligations placed on their staff makes museum studies a crucial one. Additionally, it gives you knowledge of various artifact kinds so you can appropriately identify them while taking care of them.
  • Marketing: Marketing expertise may be helpful to curators since they often need to promote the exhibitions and activities at their museums. When producing an email newsletter or a social media presence for the museum, you may also leverage marketing expertise. Understanding your audience’s preferences for messages and how to reach them via multiple media is part of marketing.
  • Organization: The capacity of the organization is the capacity to monitor and order tasks. You could have a lot of duties as a museum curator that needs your attention at any one moment. You may efficiently manage your workload and finish all of your tasks on time by having great organizing abilities. Working with antiquities and other objects in storage requires the organization to keep them safe and secure.
  • Leadership: The work of other museum workers is often supervised and directed by curators. The development, execution, and evaluation of new programs or displays may also fall within their purview. Curators that possess strong leadership qualities may inspire their colleagues to finish tasks on schedule and sustain a productive work atmosphere. Giving advice and mentoring other professionals in the area is another aspect of strong leadership.
  • History of Art: The study of art and its makers is known as art history. The histories, inspirations, and styles of the artists on the show must often be known by museum curators. This may be useful to them when looking into prospective purchases for a museum’s collection or while describing art to guests. Additionally, it enables curators to respond to inquiries from visitors regarding an artist’s or work’s history.
  • Communication: The ability to communicate information in a clear and understandable manner is referred to as communication. You may need to discuss numerous parts of your profession as a museum curator with visitors, volunteers, employees, and other stakeholders. You may utilize your communication abilities, for instance, to describe the materials or the process used to construct an exhibit. When speaking with curators who are experts in this field on conservation initiatives, you may also need to employ your communication abilities.
  • Cataloging: The responsibility of a curator is to preserve a collection of antiques and other things. Knowing how to classify the goods so they may be quickly found afterward is necessary for this. The location of each object, the date it was obtained, and any other information required for record-keeping are all included in databases or inventories that curators often prepare. They keep these documents updated and correct by using their organizing abilities.
  • Conservation: Artifacts are preserved and maintained by curators via the process of conservation. To guarantee that artifacts are preserved in excellent form for future generations, this involves selecting materials, investigating preservation strategies, and putting those procedures into practice. Curators must be aware of appropriate conservation techniques since museums often have rigorous guidelines about how they manage and maintain their collections.
  • Public Affairs: Curators should have good public relations abilities since they facilitate communication with the general public about your museum and its exhibits. You could have to respond to queries from visitors, advertise unique events, or organize fundraisers for your museum. When dealing with volunteers, public relations expertise may be helpful since you may need to teach them how to engage with guests.
  • Observation of Details: Any alterations to the museum’s collection must be visible to curators so they can note them. This is crucial because it enables curators to monitor how things change over time and assess whether or not they need conservation treatment. Additionally, it aids curators in maintaining accurate records of their holdings so they can quickly locate certain items when required.
  • Display Design: Visitors to museums typically come to observe the exhibitions that curators have designed. They design exhibits that educate visitors about a specific topic or era by drawing on their expertise in museum history and art. To make sure that their ideas are practical and secure for visitors, curators must also be able to collaborate with designers, engineers, and other museum staff members.
  • Writing Grants: Grant writing is a common need for financing for curators, thus they must be quite proficient in it. A budget for the operations of the museum may also be created and maintained by a curator. Writing convincing grant proposals entails persuading donors to provide money for the projects or programs of the museum.
  • Solving issues: The capacity to recognize and resolve problems that might develop at work. When managing collections, museum curators often use problem-solving techniques since they may need to address any degradation or damage to items. Working with visitors who have inquiries regarding the exhibits or activities of the museum also requires the application of problem-solving abilities.
  • Archival Research: A museum curator gathers, arranges, and preserves objects through archival research. This entails looking into an object’s past, place of origin, and journey into the museum’s collection. Additionally, it entails designing storage solutions for each item that keep them secure against theft or harm. When doing research on items in their collections and creating new displays, curators employ archival techniques.


How to Become a Museum Curator

  • Acquire a bachelor’s degree: You need a bachelor’s degree to work as a museum curator. A Bachelor of Fine Arts provides a solid educational basis in both practical art abilities and art history, which is beneficial if you want to work in the arts. A degree in an area connected to one of them would be a smart option if you want to work at a history museum or a science museum. Internships and externships are opportunities for you to start gaining experience while pursuing your bachelor’s degree. Additionally, by doing this, you’ll build your network, which will make it easier for you to get employment after graduation.
  • Earn a master’s or higher degree: If you want to work in museum administration, it’s a good idea to get a master’s degree or higher. If you wish to work at a museum, your Master of Fine Arts will provide you with a practical education and a wealth of practical experience in curating art exhibitions for galleries. People pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree sometimes have to arrange for their artwork to be seen in galleries, schedule exhibitions, and more.

A master’s in business administration may be useful if your goal is to work at a museum that is not dedicated to art, such as one that focuses on history or the natural sciences.

  • Acquire expertise: You will be given a variety of internship and externship options during your studies to aid in the development of practical experience. To make the most of these chances, be sure to. Look for managerial or administrative roles that allow you to get expertise in fields such as philanthropy, the arts, sciences, history, or any other area that might provide you insight into the kinds of displays you would find at a museum.

Look for volunteer opportunities since museums are constantly in need of extra assistance. In the charity and philanthropic industry, unpaid positions like volunteering may provide essential experience and networking possibilities.

  • Find employment as a museum curator: Apply for employment after you have the necessary education, experience, and skill development to work as a museum curator. You may uncover museum curator jobs in your area by using a website like Indeed Job Search.

Before applying, prepare your CV by including any relevant experience and creating a cover letter that is specific to the position you are seeking. Selecting keywords from the job description and using them across your papers is something to keep in mind when writing your resume and cover letter.


Where to Work as a Museum Curator

Museum curators often work at historical sites, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and museums. They could also work for governmental organizations, galleries, and corporate art collections. To accommodate the schedules of contributors, volunteers, and the general public, curators may work nights and weekends in addition to their normal office hours. Additionally, they could travel to go to other museums and attend business conferences, meetings, and seminars.


Museum Curator Salary Scale

In the UK, the typical museum curator earns £32,000 a year, or £16.41 an hour. Most experienced professionals may earn up to £43,493 per year, while entry-level occupations start at £27,041 annually.

In Canada, a museum curator makes an average pay of $44,480 per year or $22.81 per hour. Most experienced professionals earn up to $82,958 per year, while entry-level roles start at $32,175 annually.

Australia’s national average for museum curator pay is $88,000 per year or $45.13 per hour. Most experienced professionals earn up to $100,000 per year, while entry-level occupations start at $78,262 annually.

Museum curators in the US earn an average salary of $71,354 to $178,951 while the top 86% earn $396,665.

Job Description

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