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Museum curator

Alternative titles for this job include Art gallery curator

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

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

weekends on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Museum curator

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You'll often need a degree in a relevant subject like:

  • fine art or art history
  • museum or heritage studies
  • archaeology or ancient history
  • classics
  • natural sciences
  • anthropology
  • education

You might also find it useful to have a postgraduate qualification in museum and gallery studies, or in a particular style or period of art or history.

Paid or unpaid work experience in a museum, gallery or heritage property is usually essential to apply for courses and jobs.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More Information


You may be able to start by doing an advanced apprenticeship in heritage and cultural operations.

This could lead into museum or gallery assistant or educator jobs. With further training and several years' experience, you could apply for curator roles.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information


Most people begin their career as an assistant curator, conservator or education manager before becoming a museum or gallery curator.

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Museums Association for professional development and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a museum or gallery curator from the Museums Association.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of the fine arts
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • an interest and knowledge of history
  • business management skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you may:

  • select, buy or borrow items
  • research, identify and catalogue collections
  • make sure exhibits are safe, stored securely and in the right conditions
  • arrange conservation and restoration
  • help visitors to interpret and enjoy exhibits and collections
  • organise publicity and fundraising
  • give talks
  • train or supervise gallery or museum volunteers or paid staff
  • negotiate funding and the loan of exhibits

Working environment

You could work in a museum or at an art gallery.

Your working environment may be physically active.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could work in small independent museums and galleries to large public sector and national institutions like the Tate or British Museum.

There are lots of different opportunities to move on in the sector from business management to public engagement and education roles. You will need to plan your continuous professional development and take advantage of the training available in the sector to advance your career.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Museum curator right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Fine art textiles

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Trowbridge

OU L6 BA (Hons) Fine Art Top Up - Yr 1 of 1

  • Start date: 16 September 2024
  • Location: Taunton

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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