Museum curator career path

What is a museum curator? A museum curator is a professional who is responsible for collecting, preserving, and displaying specific pieces (paintings, documents, etc.,) at museums and other institutions. A curator is also required to be in charge of authenticating the items collected and may also be responsible for public relations. While the curator’s main job is to preserve and collect artifacts, they have other responsibilities as well.
What are the education requirements for a curator? Those who are interested in becoming a curator will need to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in art history, archeology, or museum studies. However it is recommended that those who are interested this career should pursue advanced education and earn their master’s degree as well. It is beneficial if the master’s degree is in the concentration of museum studies or art history. Having a degree in the concentration may edge out other potential candidates for the position. Many institutions prefer candidates with high education than those with just a bachelor’s degree. In some cases, high-level and better salaried occupations require a Ph.D.
What other skills should a curator have? Besides educational requirements, a curator should also have some work experience for the job. This can be acquired through college internships, volunteer work, and also an assistantship. This experience can be listed in the person’s resume when they apply for a job to show as evidence they have worked in the field before. Once the individual has graduated and received their education requirements, they may need to work a different position at the institution to gain more work experience. Some curators will work a lower level job first in order to acquire the skills they need to land a curator position. It is recommended that those interested in applying as a curator have at least four years of work experience.
Besides work experience, a curator will also need to have strong time-management and organizational skills. This allows the curator work in an organized environment and also be organized with all their information. It also means that there is less of a chance for errors. Another skill that is important to have is interpersonal skills since the person may be in charge of public events for the institutions and will need to interact with clients and potential clients on a regular basis. Having strong computer skills is also a plus since computers are used to record and document all the data received about the collected pieces.
Sources:
1. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/25-4012.00
2. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and-conservators.htm

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