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Museum curator

Museum curators manage collections of objects of artistic, scientific, historical and general interest.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need a degree and a postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject like:

  • museum or heritage studies
  • archaeology or ancient history
  • classics
  • natural sciences
  • anthropology
  • education
You could also start out as an assistant curator. 

Paid or unpaid work experience will also be essential.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

The Museums Association and Creative Choices have more information about this job.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • accuracy for cataloguing objects
  • IT skills
  • planning, administration and budgeting skills
  • creative flair for displays, exhibitions and events
  • the ability to build relationships with local, regional and national bodies

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • selecting, buying or borrowing items
  • organising records, catalogues and indexes
  • making sure exhibits are stored under the right conditions
  • arranging conservation and restoration
  • helping visitors to interpret and enjoy exhibits and collections
  • organising publicity and fundraising
  • giving talks

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: £40,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 37 hours a week on a rota, often including weekends.

You may need to do some lifting and carrying when changing over exhibits.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could progress to senior curator.

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Last updated: 07 December 2016