Archivists, curators, and museum technicians
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Overview
Archivists appraise, process, catalog, and preserve 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.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for curators are expected to grow by 14%, and should have about 1,500 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Curators are less likely to be automated than 91% of other careers.
Workforce size
Curators, with 12,400 workers, form a smaller workforce than 83% of careers.
Education
About 51% of archivists, curators, and museum technicians have a graduate-level education, and 83% have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by archivists, curators, and museum technicians
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with graduate degrees
More archivists, curators, and museum technicians have graduate degrees than 92% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for curators is higher than 58% of all other jobs' middle salaries. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most curators.
This job's median $54KAll jobs' median $39K$55K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 60% of archivists, curators, and museum technicians -- that's a larger percentage than 76% of other jobs.
Gender of archivists, curators, and museum technicians
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For archivists, curators, and museum technicians, the median men's salary was 15% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 12% of archivists, curators, and museum technicians are minority, and 8% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of archivists, curators, and museum technicians
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (8%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Curators per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 63% of archivists, curators, and museum technicians, and 75% have company-sponsored health insurance (16% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for archivists, curators, and museum technicians
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
Top college degrees
Here are the top college degrees held by the 82% of people in this job who have at least a bachelor's degree. Some of degrees may link to multiple programs due to the way Census classifies college majors. Click on a program to learn more about career opportunities for people who major in that field.
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of curators who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (35%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do archivists, curators, and museum technicians earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. In particular, the ACS data is reported for the larger career group archivists, curators, and museum technicians, which combines the data for 3 careers, including curators. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data is classified by SOC specialty, and excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for curators, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for curators compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for curators (BLS Salary Data)
$54K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$54K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. Additionally, we only have ACS survey data for the larger career category and not for the specialty level. We first show the full salary distribution for all archivists, curators, and museum technicians, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for archivists, curators, and museum technicians compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for archivists, curators, and museum technicians (ACS Salary Data)
$50K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$50K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where curators work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Archivists, curators, and museum technicians (ACS)
Private for-profit (18.3%)
Private not-for-profit (44.3%)
Local government (13.0%)
State government (12.4%)
Federal government (9.2%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.8%)
Self-employed not incorporated (2.0%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of archivists, curators, and museum technicians by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of archivists, curators, and museum technicians, which combines the 3 specialties for this career.
$50K$47K$50K$54K$44K$64K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of curators by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty curators, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$54K$82K$54K$53K$51K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for archivists, curators, and museum technicians

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$44K$49K$36K$61K$56K$53K$65K$59K$0$50K$100K$150KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
01K2K3K4K5KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Archivists, curators, and museum technicians and gender

With 60% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 76% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
60%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Archivists, curators, and museum technicians
Men (40%)
Women (60%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is a little better for archivists, curators, and museum technicians, with the median salary for men 15% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$46K$53K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Archivists, curators, and museum technicians have one of the middle percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase for the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job higher than that for 43% of other jobs.

15%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of archivists, curators, and museum technicians

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a smaller percentage of minority archivists, curators, and museum technicians than for 86% of other careers. As with minority workers, there is also a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.

Race/origin of archivists, curators, and museum technicians
White (87% )
Black (5% )
Asian (4% )
Multiracial (2% )
Other (2% )
American Indian (1% )
Hispanic (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
12%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
8%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for archivists, curators, and museum technicians by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$42K$46K$50K$51K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KAsianMultiracialWhiteBlack
Distribution: Salaries for archivists, curators, and museum technicians by nativity
$48K$63K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by curators

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), curators typically hold a master's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as archivists, curators, and museum technicians as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for archivists, curators, and museum technicians.

Education attained by archivists, curators, and museum technicians
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for curators

Archivists. Archivists typically need a master’s degree in history, library science, archival science, political science, or public administration. Although many colleges and universities have history, library science, or other similar programs, only a few institutions offer master’s degrees in archival studies. Students may gain valuable archiving experience through volunteer or internship opportunities.

Curators. Curators typically need a master’s degree in art history, history, archaeology, or museum studies. Students with internship experience may have an advantage in the competitive job market.

In small museums, curator positions may be available to applicants with a bachelor’s degree. Because curators have administrative and managerial responsibilities, courses in business administration, public relations, marketing, and fundraising are recommended.

Museum technicians. Museum technicians, commonly known as registrars, typically need a bachelor’s degree. Few schools offer a bachelor’s degree in museum studies, so it is common for registrars to obtain an undergraduate degree in a related field, such as art history, history, or archaeology. Some jobs may require candidates to have a master’s degree in museum studies. Museums may prefer candidates with knowledge of the museum’s specialty, training in museum studies, or previous experience working in museums.

Conservators. Conservators typically need a master’s degree in conservation or in a closely related field. Graduate programs last 2 to 4 years, the latter years of which include an internship. Only a few graduate programs in museum conservation techniques are offered in the United States. To qualify for entry into these programs, a student must have a background in chemistry, archaeology, studio art, or art history. Completing a conservation internship as an undergraduate can enhance one’s prospects for admission.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for curators

Although most employers do not require certification, some archivists may choose to earn voluntary certification because it allows them to demonstrate expertise in a particular area.

The Academy of Certified Archivists offers the Certified Archivist credential. To earn certification, candidates must have a master’s degree, have professional archival experience, and pass an exam. They must renew their certification periodically by retaking the exam or fulfilling continuing education credits.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for archivists, curators, and museum technicians? Below we see the distribution of archivists, curators, and museum technicians salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as archivists, curators, and museum technicians, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$42K$41K$41K$46K$52K$52K$68K$0$50K$100K$150KHigh School (4%)Some College (9%)Associate's Degree (3%)Bachelor's Degree (33%)Master's Degree (42%)Professional Deg/Doct (2%)Doctorate (6%)
Bachelor's degree pathways
College majors held by archivists, curators, and museum technicians

This table shows the college majors held by people working as archivists, curators, and museum technicians. Select any degree to see detailed information. We are able to connect careers to degrees using the American Community Survey (ACS), and their degrees are defined a little differently from our programs, which are based on standard CIP classifications. Therefore, selecting some degrees will lead to a selection of CIP-level programs from which to choose.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Degree
Select any title to learn more about that degree
Percentage of Archivists, curators, and museum technicians with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers
The link between degrees and careers

With the following "sankey" diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as archivists, curators, and museum technicians, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. This visualization links fields of studies and careers, suggesting both similar careers and options for degrees. The full list of bachelor's degrees held by archivists, curators, and museum technicians given in the previous section reminds us that there are many paths to these careers beyond what we can summarize here.

This job
Top 10 majors
Each major's top ten jobs
Lawyers, judges, and magistratesElementary and middle school teachersManagers (specialized areas)Postsecondary teachersSecondary school teachersEducation administratorsChief executives and legislatorsFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersWholesale and manufacturing sales representativesManagement analystsDesignersArchivists, curators, and museum techniciansSecretaries and administrative assistantsMarketing and sales managersArtists and related workersRetail salespersonsCustomer service representativesPhysicians and surgeonsSocial scientists (specialized areas)Social workersEditorsWriters and authorsDentistsRegistered nursesPhysical scientists (specialized areas)Epidemiologists and Medical/Life ScientistsClinical laboratory technologists and techniciansPharmacistsFinancial managersAccountants and auditorsHuman resources workersFirst-line supervisors of non-retail sales workersHistoryArt History and CriticismFine ArtsAnthropology andArcheologyEnglish Language andLiteratureBiologyPolitical Science andGovernmentBusiness Management andAdministrationIntercultural andInternational StudiesStudio ArtsAll other degrees
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for archivists, curators, and museum technicians

What jobs will most archivists, curators, and museum technicians hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of archivists, curators, and museum technicians reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Archivists, curators, and museum techniciansManagers (specialized areas)Social and community service managersTeachers and instructors (specialized areas)File clerksComputer operatorsInspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighersMeeting, convention, and event plannersTelevision, video, and motion picture camera operators and editorsHand packers and packagersInformation and record clerksDesignersDriver/sales workers and truck driversLibrariansChildcare workersEducation, training, and library workers (specialized areas)Tour and travel guidesSecurity Guards and Gaming Surveillance OfficersElementary and middle school teachersMorticians, undertakers, and funeral directorsSocial and human service assistantsChief executives and legislatorsRecreation and fitness workersFinancial managersPurchasing managers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for archivists, curators, and museum technicians

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 6 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as archivists, curators, and museum technicians as well as 1% of respondents after working as archivists, curators, and museum technicians. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for archivists, curators, and museum technicians
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Recreation and fitness workers
131,400
$0$200K$30K
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
Financial managers
56,900
$0$200K$68K
Education, training, and library workers (specialized areas)
31,000
$0$200K$53K
Social and community service managers
16,300
$0$200K$54K
Librarians
14,500
$0$200K$51K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for archivists, curators, and museum technicians: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as archivists, curators, and museum technicians? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of archivists, curators, and museum technicians surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for archivists, curators, and museum technicians
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Retail salespersons
676,200
$0$200K$31K
2.1%
Personal care aides
418,400
$0$200K$22K
1.3%
General and operations managers
210,700
$0$200K$67K
2.7%
Receptionists and information clerks
151,300
$0$200K$27K
1.2%
Recreation and fitness workers
131,400
$0$200K$30K
2.4%
Counselors
96,100
$0$200K$44K
2.2%
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
4.7%
Financial managers
56,900
$0$200K$68K
1.7%
Nonrestaurant food servers
43,000
$0$200K$23K
1.4%
First-line supervisors of non-retail sales workers
39,600
$0$200K$59K
6.0%
Education, training, and library workers (specialized areas)
31,000
$0$200K$53K
1.1%
Real estate managers
28,900
$0$200K$50K
1.1%
Physicians and surgeons
28,600
$0$200K$76K
3.0%
Administrative services managers
26,200
$0$200K$63K
1.6%
Computer control programmers and operators
17,600
$0$200K$43K
1.5%
Social and community service managers
16,300
$0$200K$54K
1.6%
Librarians
14,500
$0$200K$51K
1.9%
Architects
12,000
$0$200K$73K
1.3%
Media and communication workers (specialized areas)
11,600
$0$200K$40K
1.1%
Archivists, curators, and museum technicians
3,700
$0$200K$50K
47.9%
Read about curators
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Archivists typically do the following:

  • Authenticate and appraise historical documents and archival materials
  • Preserve and maintain documents and objects
  • Create and manage a system to maintain and preserve electronic records
  • Organize and classify archival records to make them easy to search through
  • Safeguard records by creating film and digital copies
  • Direct workers to help arrange, exhibit, and maintain collections
  • Set and administer policy guidelines concerning public access to materials
  • Find and acquire new materials for their archives

Curators, museum technicians, and conservators typically do the following:

  • Acquire, store, and exhibit collections
  • Select the theme and design of exhibits
  • Design, organize, and conduct tours and workshops for the public
  • Attend meetings and civic events to promote their institution
  • Clean objects such as ancient tools, coins, and statues
  • Direct and supervise curatorial, technical, and student staff
  • Plan and conduct special research projects

Archivists preserve important or historically significant documents and records. They coordinate educational and public outreach programs, such as tours, workshops, lectures, and classes. They also may work with researchers on topics and items relevant to their collections.

Some archivists specialize in a particular era of history so that they can have a better understanding of the records from that era.

Archivists typically work with specific forms of records, such as manuscripts, electronic records, websites, photographs, maps, motion pictures, or sound recordings.

Curators, also known as museum directors, lead the acquisition, storage, and exhibition of collections. They negotiate and authorize the purchase, sale, exchange, and loan of collections. They also may research, authenticate, evaluate, and categorize the specimens in a collection.

Curators often perform administrative tasks and help manage their institution’s research projects and related educational programs. They may represent their institution in the media, at public events, at conventions, and at professional conferences.

In larger institutions, some curators may specialize in a particular field, such as botany, art, or history. For example, a large natural history museum might employ separate curators for its collections of birds, fish, insects, and mammals.

In smaller institutions with only one or a few curators, one curator may be responsible for a number of tasks, from taking care of collections to directing the affairs of the museum.

Museum technicians, commonly known as registrars or collections specialists, concentrate on the care and safeguarding of the objects in museum collections and exhibitions. They oversee the logistics of acquisitions, insurance policies, risk management, and loaning of objects to and from the museum for exhibition or research. They keep detailed records of the conditions and locations of the objects that are on display, in storage, or being transported to another museum. They also maintain and store any documentation associated with the objects.

Museum technicians may answer questions from the public and help curators and outside scholars use the museum’s collections.

Conservators handle, preserve, treat, and keep records of works of art, artifacts, and specimens. They may perform substantial historical, scientific, and archeological research. They document their findings and treat items in order to minimize deterioration or restore them to their original state. Conservators usually specialize in a particular material or group of objects, such as documents and books, paintings, decorative arts, textiles, metals, or architectural material.

Some conservators use x rays, chemical testing, microscopes, special lights, and other laboratory equipment and techniques to examine objects, determine their condition, and decide on the best way to preserve them. They also may participate in outreach programs, research topics in their specialty, and write articles for scholarly journals.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of curators? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Analytical skills
Archivists, curators, museum technicians, and conservators need excellent analytical skills to determine the origin, history, and importance of many of the objects they work with.
Computer skills
Archivists and museum technicians should have good computer skills because they use and develop complex databases related to the materials they store and access.
Customer-service skills
Archivists, curators, museum technicians, and conservators work with the general public on a regular basis. They must be courteous, friendly, and able to help users find materials.
Organizational skills
Archivists, curators, museum technicians, and conservators store and easily retrieve records and documents. They must also develop logical systems of storage for the public to use.
Technical skills
Many historical objects need to be analyzed and preserved. Conservators must use the appropriate chemicals and techniques to preserve different objects, such as documents, paintings, fabrics, and pottery.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for curators
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) salary for curators was higher than 58% of all other jobs' middle salaries. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $54KAll jobs' median $39K$58K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for curators are anticipated to grow by 14% over the next decade; only 13% of jobs are predicted to grow more.

The projected employment for curators is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

200020102020203005,00010,00015,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most curators? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as curators. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all archivists, curators, and museum technicians, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Curators per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.10.20.30.4
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where curators earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for archivists, curators, and museum technicians compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for archivists, curators, and museum technicians.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all archivists, curators, and museum technicians, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Median salary ratio: Curators to all workers (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which curators earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.52.0
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Archivists, curators, and museum technicians (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
Knowledge
Physical Abilities
Jobs that are similar by Interests and Salary (All education levels)
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