Quick Facts: Archivists, Curators, and Museum Workers
2012 Median Pay $44,410 per year
$21.35 per hour
Entry-Level Education See How to Become One
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 29,300
Job Outlook, 2012-22 11% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 3,300

What Archivists, Curators, and Museum Workers Do

Archivists appraise, edit, and maintain permanent records and historically valuable documents. Curators oversee collections of artwork and historic items, and may conduct public service activities for an institution. Museum technicians and conservators prepare and restore objects and documents in museum collections and exhibits.

Work Environment

Archivists work in archives and libraries. Most curators work at museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and historical sites. Museum technicians work in museums, while conservators mostly work in laboratories.

How to Become an Archivist, Curator, or Museum Worker

Most archivist, curator, and conservator positions require a master’s degree related to the field in which they work. People often gain experience by working or volunteering in archives and museums. Museum technicians must have a bachelor’s degree.


The median annual wage for archivists, curators, and museum workers was $44,410 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of archivists, curators, museum technicians, and conservators is projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The need to store information in archives and public interest in science, art, and history will continue to spur demand for curators, museum technicians, and conservators. Applicants should expect very strong competition for jobs.


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