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Curator Salary

Curators in the United States pull down an average of $47K annually. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Curators. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Curators making up 71 percent. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and about a fourth lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by a strong majority and dental coverage is claimed by over one-half. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$26,089 - $71,080
(Median)
$26K
$47K
$71K
MEDIAN: $46,553
10%
50%
90%

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$10.00 - $29.09
(Median)
$10
$16
$29
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$26,089 - $71,080  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,129  
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).
)
$24,741 - $70,200  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 185
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$10.00 - $29.09  
   
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,129  
   
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).
)
$24,741 - $70,200  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 42

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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.

Curator Job Listings

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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 pay tend to be weakly linked for Curators — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $36K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $44K. For Curators, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $49K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $52K.

United States (change)

Experience Affects Curator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 19%

Experienced
up arrow 12%

Mid-Career
up arrow 1%

National Average
$44,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 17%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 39 votes.

Gender

Female
71 %
Male
29 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
32%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 74% dental benefits Dental: 53%
vision benefits Vision: 38% employee benefits None: 24%