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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

37

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Museum curator jobs in 2024.
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

University

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.

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.

You'll usually need:

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

£20,000 to £40,000

Starter salary: £20,000 to £25,000

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

These figures are a guide.

37

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.

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

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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