Museum Directors and Curators

A museum director is equivalent to the chief executive officer of a corporation. The museum director is responsible for the daily operations of the museum, for long-term planning, policies, any research conducted within the museum, and for the museum's fiscal health. Directors must also represent the museum at meetings with other museums, business and civic communities, and the museum's governing body. Finally, directors ensure that museums adhere to state and federal guidelines for safety in the workplace and hiring practices, as well as industry recommendations concerning the acquisitions and care of objects within the museum.

Museum curators care for objects in a museum's collection. The primary curatorial activities are maintenance, preservation, archiving, cataloging, study, and display of collection components. Curators must fund-raise to support staff in the physical care and study of collections. They also add to or alter a museum's collection by trading objects with other museums or purchasing new pieces. They educate others through scholarly articles and public programs that showcase the items.

Quick Facts
Duties Manage the daily operations of a museum, as well as its fiscal health (museum director); maintain, preserve, archive, catalog, study, and display museum collection components (museum curator)
Alternate Title(s) Collections Managers, Curatorial Assistants, Executive Directors
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Metropolitan areas
Education and Training
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Master's Degree
Related School Subjects
  • Art
  • Business
  • History
Experience Three to five years' experience
  • Business Management
  • Leadership
  • Organizational
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Organized
  • Problem-Solving
Licensure/Certification None
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Museum Director
  • Senior Curator
  • Museum Curator
  • Collections Manager or Assistant Curator
  • Entry-Level Museum Positions

Become a Vault Basic Member

Complete your Vault Profile and get seen by top employers