Museum curator

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

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours


Future employment

There will be 5% more Museum curator jobs in 2023.
In your local area

What's it all about?

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

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.

£20,000 to £40,000

Starter salary: £20,000 to £25,000

Experienced salary: £25,000 to £35,000

These figures are a guide.


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.

With experience you could progress to senior curator.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are 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
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