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 w...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree



Three to five years experience



Business Management


Personality Traits



The salaries of museum directors and curators cover a broad range, reflecting the diversity, size, and budget of U.S. museums, along with the director or curator's academic and professional achievements. In general, museum workers' salaries are low compared to salaries for similar positions in the business world or in academia. This is due in part to the large number of people competing for the...

Work Environment

The directorship of a museum is an all-consuming occupation. Considerable travel, program development, fund-raising, and staff management may be involved. Evenings and weekends are often taken up by social activities involving museum donors or affiliates. A museum director must be willing to accept the pressure of answering to the museum's board of trustees while also overseeing museum staff an...


Employment for museum curators is expected to increase by 10 percent, faster than the average for all careers, through 2028, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The best opportunities are in art and history museums. Despite this prediction, there are few openings for directors and curators and competition for them is high. New graduates may have to start as interns, volunte...