Curator Salary

Curators in the United States pull down an average of $46K annually. The bottom of the pay range sits near $25K, and the top verges on $69K per year. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — around one in four lack coverage. On the flip side, a strong majority have medical insurance and slightly more than half receive dental plans. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Curators making up 70 percent. Job satisfaction for Curators is high. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$26,703 - $69,998
(Median)
$27K
$46K
$70K
MEDIAN: $46,176
10%
50%
90%

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$10.00 - $30.48
(Median)
$10
$16
$30
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
$26,703 - $69,998  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,424  
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).
)
$24,924 - $69,391  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 193
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 - $30.48  
   
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 - $2,424  
   
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).
)
$24,924 - $69,391  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 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.

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Pay by Experience Level for Curator

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


Curators with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $36K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $43K. Curators claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $50K. 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.

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Experience Affects Curator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 20%

Experienced
up arrow 13%

National Average
$44,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

Entry-Level
up arrow 18%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 31 votes.

Gender

Female
70 %
Male
30 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
33%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 74% dental benefits Dental: 53%
vision benefits Vision: 38% employee benefits None: 25%
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