Museum Curator

Job Description:

Museum curators manage museum exhibits. They purchase, maintain, and present to the public items of cultural, scientific, or historical interest.

Job Category:
Culture, Media & Sport

What you will do:

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 need:

  • knowledge of the fine arts
  • an interest and knowledge of history
  • knowledge of how to teach and engage learners
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • business management skills
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to use your initiative (drive)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Museum Curator, you typically need a strong educational background in a relevant field and relevant work experience in addition to qualifications. Museum Curators are responsible for managing collections, planning exhibitions, conducting research, and more. Here’s a list of subjects that can help you pursue a career as a Museum Curator:

  1. English Language: Strong communication skills are essential for writing exhibit descriptions, labels, and communicating with visitors.
  2. Mathematics: Basic math skills are useful for managing budgets and financial aspects of museum operations.
  3. History or Art: Depending on the type of museum (history, art, science, etc.) you’re interested in, having a background in relevant subjects can be advantageous.
  4. Foreign Languages: If you’re interested in working in a museum with international collections or audiences, knowledge of foreign languages can be beneficial.

Post School

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 also get into this job through an apprenticeship.


Working Hours and Environment:

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.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you could progress to senior curator.