How to Become a Museum Curator

Are you interested in art or history, or both? Perhaps you can spend hours at your favorite art museum enthralled with the process along with art itself. If this sounds like you, then perhaps you should look into a career of being a museum curator. As a museum curator, you would be in charge of managing collections of art, science, and history. You may also be in charge of making sure the pieces belonging in a collection are authentic as well.
What are the educational requirements of a museum curator?
In order to be a prospective applicant for this career, you must have a bachelor’s degree. It’s important when choosing your major for your degree you select a major that’s relevant to the type of museum you wish to work for. For example, if you are interested in working in an art museum you aren’t going to major in math. Most curators find themselves majoring in fine arts, art history, anthropology, or history. It is also in your best interest to take a few classes in business or marketing. Curators, besides collecting pieces of interest also purchase them and are sometimes responsible for planning fundraisers for their museum. Having some background knowledge in these fields will be very beneficial for you in this career.
During your college career it is also important to fulfill an internship or volunteer work. By logging in hours at a museum, it will give you field experience and expose you to what your potential career may be. Sometimes this work can be used as a college credit, other times it will only be accepted as volunteer work. Ultimately as long as you get some experience in, it’s all that matters. It also is a nice addition to your resume. Many employers who look for curators prefer to have applicants who have some experience working in a museum.
For those who are interested in becoming a curator in a specific or specialized field, you will need to earn your master’s degree. Some people may earn multiple master’s degrees in different specializations to give them an edge over applicants who only have one master’s degree. It can be time consuming, but these specializations can take you far in your career.
What is the work environment like for a museum curator?
As a museum curator, you will be spending a majority of your time in the museum you are working for. Sometimes you will have to interact with the public and give referencing information for certain collections, giving the public a tour of the museum and educating them on the collections in the museum.
Your work schedule will not vary much. You will work full time at the museum during regular business hours. There are some curators who will be required to travel if they work for a large institution. You may need to travel to evaluate potential additional pieces for an existing collection or to conduct research on a new one. However if you work in a smaller museum, the chance of travel will be rare.
Sources:
1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and-conservators.htm#tab-3
2. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and-conservators.htm#tab-4

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