A curator is employed by a museum as their resident art expert, providing his/her opinion and assistance in the acquisition of new pieces of art, as well as organizing their display. The curator is directly responsible for seeking new works of art to be put on display at their museum, and also arranges how they’re going to be presented to the museum’s visitors – in what order the works should be arranged in, which of them are going to be on permanent display and which will only be temporary, etc. Additionally, the curator may organize various programs and special events related to the more noteworthy exhibitions held in the museum.
Requirements for becoming a curator can be very strict and demanding, and most museums refuse to accept candidates with degrees lower than a Master’s – and some more renowned museums even require a Master’s degree for that position. The subject of the degree can vary quite a bit, but it must be related to arts in some form – art history is usually preferred. Additionally, prior working experience at a museum is normally of great benefit to candidates (and in some cases, actually a requirement).
Despite the strict requirements associated with the job, it doesn’t pay as highly as most would expect, with annual salaries of between $30,000 – $50,000 being common. Some curators employed by more prestigious museums can find employment with higher compensation, though these positions are rarely offered on a general basis and one would have to actively scout for openings to secure one.