Curators in the United States can expect to earn an average of $49K per year. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. For the most part, Curators enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Curators making up 70 percent. Although more than half have medical coverage and just under a half have dental coverage, just under one in three claim no health benefits at all. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$33,753 - $80,268
(Median)
$34K
$49K
$80K
MEDIAN: $48,547
10%
50%
90%

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$11.07 - $29.52
(Median)
$11
$16
$30
MEDIAN: $16.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$33,753 - $80,268  
   
Bonus
$1,474  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$30,938 - $77,542  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 126
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$11.07 - $29.52  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.50  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$1,474  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$30,938 - $77,542  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 26
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Job Description for Curator

Curators are professionals who oversee and manage a collection of some kind, typically related to art or science. They are often employed by museums, galleries, and universities but may be employed by any organization that has a valuable collection requiring care by someone with expertise in a particular field. They are expected to have at least a basic knowledge of the collection, as well as the ability to determine the best way to care for the pieces in it.

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Curator Tasks

  • Assist in developing a long-term plan for rotating exhibits with the goal of reaching new and diverse audiences.
  • Coordinate with the collections committee to ensure additions follow the museum's collection philosophy.
  • Coordinate museum curators and collections management faculty.
  • Oversee the operation of the museum and off-site area storage.
  • Build rapport with donors and potential donors, and negotiate to acquire specific collections or individual items.

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Pay by Experience Level for Curator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $40K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $46K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $54K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $60K.

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Experience Affects Curator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 31%

Experienced
up arrow 17%

National Average
$46,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 1%

Entry-Level
up arrow 14%

Skills That Affect Curator Salaries

Project Management
up arrow 36%

National Average
$46,000

Technical Writing
up arrow 10%

Research Analysis
up arrow 11%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 13 votes.

Gender

Female
70 %
Male
30 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 66%
dental benefits
Dental: 47%
medical benefits
Vision: 33%
dental benefits
None: 31%
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