We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Museum Curator?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Mar 02, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A museum curator manages the collections of a museum. All types of museums require at least one curator. Curators usually has a background or interest in history, archaeology and anthropology.

The difference between a curator and an archivist is that archivists are often involved with valuable documents, while curators work with cultural specimens. A museum curator could deal with any type of historical collection such as coins or art. It is extremely important for him or her to be able to evaluate collection items as genuine and to negotiate prices for acquiring collection items.

Curators plan, display, and catalog collection items. Planning and overseeing tours, programs and workshops may also be part of a his or her duties. He or she may be one of several curators at a museum.

Large museums may employ several curators that each specialize in a certain field. Smaller ones may have just one curator who does many different tasks and works with collections in many different subject areas. Those employed in a large museum may travel often to seek out items to add to the collections, while those in a small museum usually do not travel as part of the job.

Besides education and knowledge of museum studies, a curator needs writing and business skills. Grant requests and other fund raising materials must sometimes be written. Many people in this position also often manage staff. Computer knowledge is also required, as a curators usually must work with databases. Knowledge of public relations and marketing is also helpful, as is the ability to design exhibits that appeal to the public.

Competition is steep for those interested in becoming a museum curator. There are only a few schools in the United States with graduate degree programs in museum studies. A graduate degree as well as work experience in a museum is needed to work in this position. Many students interested in becoming a museum curator work in a museum to gain experience to help them get a job after they receive their graduate degree.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
By anon151879 — On Feb 11, 2011

How do I find job opportunities for museum curators in Houston, tx?

By medicchristy — On Jul 13, 2010

@snowywinter: The annual salary for a museum curator depends greatly on where he/she works and the area that they work in. For example, approximately 30% of curators work in Federal, State, and local government. Out of those, many work for the Smithsonian Institute and military museums and are much higher paid than curators working for local museums.

The median annual wage of curators in 2008 was $47,220. The lowest 10% earned less than $26,850 and the highest 10% earned more than $83,290 (probably working at the Smithsonian).

By SnowyWinter — On Jul 13, 2010

What is the average annual salary of a museum curator?

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.