Curators

Description

Administer collections, such as artwork, collectibles, historic items, or scientific specimens of museums or other institutions. May conduct instructional, research, or public service activities of institution.

Tasks

  • Plan and organize the acquisition, storage, and exhibition of collections and related materials, including the selection of exhibition themes and designs, and develop or install exhibit materials.
  • Write and review grant proposals, journal articles, institutional reports, and publicity materials.
  • Plan and conduct special research projects in area of interest or expertise.
  • Confer with the board of directors to formulate and interpret policies, to determine budget requirements, and to plan overall operations.
  • Train and supervise curatorial, fiscal, technical, research, and clerical staff, as well as volunteers or interns.
  • Develop and maintain an institution's registration, cataloging, and basic recordkeeping systems, using computer databases.
  • Negotiate and authorize purchase, sale, exchange, or loan of collections.
  • Provide information from the institution's holdings to other curators and to the public.
  • Attend meetings, conventions, and civic events to promote use of institution's services, to seek financing, and to maintain community alliances.
  • Design, organize, or conduct tours, workshops, and instructional or educational sessions to acquaint individuals with an institution's facilities and materials.
  • Inspect premises to assess the need for repairs and to ensure that climate and pest-control issues are addressed.
  • Study, examine, and test acquisitions to authenticate their origin, composition, history, and to assess their current value.
  • Arrange insurance coverage for objects on loan or for special exhibits, and recommend changes in coverage for the entire collection.
  • Schedule events, and organize details including refreshment, entertainment, decorations, and the collection of any fees.
  • Establish specifications for reproductions and oversee their manufacture, or select items from commercially available replica sources.

Knowledge

Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Skills

Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Equipment Selection
Determining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Glare Sensitivity
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.
Response Orientation
The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.
Wrist-Finger Speed
The ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.
Speed of Limb Movement
The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Rate Control
The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.

Interests

Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Style

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Leadership
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Work Values

Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Lay Titles

Art Gallery Director
Coin Collector
Collections Manager
Curator
Curator of Collections
Curator of Education
Curator of Photography and Prints
Director of Collections and Archives
Director of Exhibit Development
Educational Resource Coordinator
Field Collector
Herbarium Curator
Historic Site Administrator
Historic Sites Supervisor
Manager of Exhibitions and Collections
Museum Curator
Museum Director
Museum or Zoo Director
Museum Registrar
Numismatist
Old Coin Dealer
Philatelist
Research Associate
Stamp Collector

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$23.84 hourly, $49,590 annual.
Employment (2008):
10,370 employees