Are the sallary and benefits that musem curators typically get worth it?
I'm doing a project on museum curators and want to know about the typical salary of the career. Is the average salary worth it? Are there usually good benefits for this career, are they worth it?
#career #curator #museum #art #salary #fine-art
Is it worth it? That's a great question and there's not just one answer because the real question is, "Is it worth it to me?"
The salary ranges I've seen on the different job sites are all over the place, but it looks like a good median is between $50K & $60K with a job outlook of 11% between 2019 and 2029. That's according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Salary.com. At the very least you'll need a bachelor's, but typically a master's is preferred.
If you don't have a passion for the art, the appreciation, the history, etc., then $100K wouldn't be enough. Museum curation is a very demanding job! It requires strong organizational skills, management skills, critical-thinking, database management and the list goes on! I can only imagine the physical stamina required. Museum curators oversee all of the museum collections and inventory. They manage the acquisition, they preserve and display of museum artifacts. Curators have to work with the public. They work with the museum's board and are typically responsible for museum fundraising, site management and public relations. Personally, I think you develop a deeper passion when you take on such a position working in a museum, art gallery, educational center, or even with private collections.
The best way to find out is by logging some volunteer hours or an internship at a museum. Get some experience, first hand! During this time you can take business and marketing courses and get electives out of the way. This will help prepare you for the business oriented aspects of curating and if you find it's not for you, the courses you've taken will still be very valuable.
Hope this helps!
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Questions like this are always contingent on a few things. First, how passionate are you about working as a curator? Many curators don't make a lot of money by today's standards, but many are very satisfied with their job because they love what they do; that goes a LONG way! It also depends on where you work as the cost of living may be much higher in some areas which can make the salary simply not enough even by living very modestly. For instance, if you live in California and work as a curator as opposed to living in say, Tennessee. And another thing to consider is what type of museum you would be working at. Smaller, lesser-known museums of course won't pay as much whereas your larger, more popular ones will pay much more.
In a nutshell, it depends on your passion, your location, and the museum. Personally, I have always felt if you love doing something, then it's always worth it and if it doesn't pay enough, be willing to take on a side hustle to supplement.
Good luck! I always thought I would enjoy that type of work!