Career Detail


Archivist, Curator, and Museum Technician
Archivists, curators, and museum technicians work for museums, governments, zoos, colleges and universities, corporations, and other institutions that require experts to preserve important records.
The Job
Archivists and curators plan and oversee the arrangement, cataloguing, and exhibition of collections and, along with technicians and conservators, maintain collections. They acquire and preserve important documents and other valuable items for permanent storage or display. They also describe, catalogue, and analyze, valuable objects for the benefit of researchers and the public.
Work Environment
The working conditions of archivists and curators vary. Some spend most of their time working with the public, providing reference assistance and educational services.
College Majors
Master's degree in an appropriate discipline of the museum's specialty-art, history, or archaeology-or in museum studies.
Minimum Qualifications
Employment as an archivist, conservator, or curator usually requires graduate education and related work experience. Museum technicians often start work with a bachelor's degree.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Curators must be flexible because of their wide variety of duties, among which are the design and presentation of exhibits.
Quick Facts
  • Most worked in museums, historical sites, and similar venues; in educational institutions; or in Federal, State, or local government.
  • A graduate degree and related work experience are required for most positions; museum technicians may enter with a bachelor's degree.
  • Keen competition is expected for most jobs because qualified applicants generally outnumber job openings.
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of archivists in May 2008 were $45,020. The middle 50 percent earned between $34,050 and $60,150. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,600, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $76,790. Median annual wages of curators in May 2008 were $47,220. The middle 50 percent earned between $34,910 and $63,940. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,850, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $83,290. Median annual wages of museum technicians and conservators in Ma
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