What is a Curator?

A Curator usually work in a museum. Curators can also work in libraries and at other historical sites. They are the person whose job it is to keep all the records and artefacts (items in a museum) safe, up to date and in a good condition.

Curators can work in a:

  • Natural history museum
  • Specialised museum: aerospace, coin, funeral, medical, engineering, mining, fashion etc etc.
  • Art museum
  • Library etc

What does a Curator do?

  • does research
  • organises the acquisition of new items for the museum
  • makes sure storage is safe and perfect for the items in the museum
  • designs and arranges the ‘scenes’ in museums
  • makes or orders some of the ‘scenes / sets’
  • decides themes for exhibitions
  • decides which items go on exhibition
  • makes sure all the cataloguing and record keeping is up to date
  • does frequent checks of the building making sure maintenance is up to date
  • train staff
  • plans, negotiates purchases, loans or exchanges of items
  • conducts tours of the museum
  • facilitates workshops
  • attends conferences

Are you . . . ?

  • passionate about working in a museum or library?
  • highly organised?
  • responsible?
  • inquisitive?
  • good at research?
  • creative?
  • detail orientated?
  • a person with managerial qualities?

How do I become a Curator?

This will depend on the kind of Curator you want to be. Wherever you work, you will need a qualification.

For instance, if you want to work in an aerospace museum, a background or skills in esaropsace would be an advantage. If you want to work in an art museum, a background or qualfiicaiton in fine art / art history would be extremely beneficial.


Offers a Honours programme in Curatorship

You will need an undergraduate degree in visual arts, humanities or the sciences to enter this course.


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Anthropologist or Art Historian

Is becoming a Curator the right career choice for me?