Museum curator

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

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter

to

£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

weekends on a rota

How to become a Museum curator

You can get into this job through:

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

University

You'll usually need a degree and a postgraduate or professional qualification relevant to your area of interest to become a curator. Subjects include:

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

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 for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More information

Apprenticeship

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

This could lead into museum assistant 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), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Work

You could work as an assistant curator, conservator or education manager before becoming a museum 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 curator from the Museums Association and Creative Choices.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • an interest and knowledge of history
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work in a museum.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

With experience you could progress to senior curator.

Training 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

GCE A Level in History

  • Provider: Cardinal Newman College
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: PRESTON

History

  • Provider: Wickersley School and Sports College
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: ROTHERHAM

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