What Does an Art Museum Curatorial Technician Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More

Image shows a woman sitting at a desk covered in paperwork examining an intricate vase. Behind her is a large window showing an interesting building outside. Text reads: "A day in the life of an art museum curator: take care of any historical buildings on museum grounds. Assist with care, maintenance, and security of art and objects. Develop and carry out educational programs for patrons. Identify and record data about the museum's artifact pieces."

Image by Ashley Nicole DeLeon © The Balance 2019

A curatorial technician works full or part-time in a museum taking care of the art collection and assisting the curatorial department in installing and de-installing exhibitions.

They help out in many areas as needed, which may include identifying objects and recording data about them, and working with a variety of items such as skeletal parts, art, fossils, or textiles.

Art Museum Curatorial Technician Duties & Responsibilities

The daily duties of a curatorial technician involve a variety of tasks, including the following:

  • Assisting with the care, maintenance, and security of art and objects in the museum’s permanent collection.
  • Helping to develop and carry out educational and experiential programs for patrons.
  • Taking care of any historical buildings which are part of the museum’s grounds.
  • Identifying and recording data about the museum's artifact pieces.
  • Assisting with working on inventory, plus packing, storing, cleaning, displaying, and safeguarding the art and objects of the collections.

Art Museum Curatorial Technician Salary

An art museum curatorial technician salary varies based on the level of experience, geographical location, and other factors.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017

Education, Training & Certification

A curatorial technician job is an entry level position and only requires a high school education.

  • Education: A curatorial technician job does not require a college degree. If an individual wishes to move to a more senior position in the museum, such as a standard curatorial position, this usually requires a college degree in art history or museum studies. There is room for advancement in this position, as many museums offer professional development and training for curatorial technicians.
  • Training: Training for this position typically happens on the job, and curatorial technicians can learn a great deal if they have a chance to shadow a curator.

Art Museum Curatorial Technician Skills & Competencies

A curatorial technician can excel in the position if they possess certain soft skills that make their job easier, such as the following:

  • Detail-orientation: Curatorial technicians may need to help take inventory and perform other tasks that involve a certain amount of important details, with little room for error.
  • Fine art handling: It's important that candidates know or learn how to handle works of art carefully and appropriately.
  • Physical strength and stamina: An individual must be able to lift and move heavy objects.
  • Transportation: Having a valid driver’s license is often required.

Job Outlook

Museums have jobs available for curatorial technicians. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, overall employment of museum staff is projected to grow 11% from 2016 to 2026, which is slightly faster than the average for all occupations, which is 7%. The Bureau does not post specific statistics for art museum curatorial technician jobs, but the available jobs would be a very small portion of total museum jobs available.

Work Environment

An art museum curatorial technician spends their time inside a museum, working out on the main floor or carrying out duties in the back rooms, away from the museum's visitors.

Work Schedule

Some museums offer full-time work, but other museums offer part-time work and require weekend, holiday, and evening availability to coincide with the museum’s curatorial exhibitions or special events.

How to Get the Job


Look at job-search resources like Indeed.com, Monster.com, and Glassdoor.com for available positions. You can also visit the websites of individual museums or visit them in person to apply to existing job openings.


Look for an opportunIty to do volunteer work through online sites such as VolunteerMatch.org. You can also contact various museums directly and volunteer your curatorial technicIan services.


Get guidance by working with an experienced curator. You can find internships through online job search sites.

Comparing Similar Jobs

People interested in becoming an art museum curatorial technician also consider the following career paths, listed with their median annual salaries:

  • University archivist: $47,318
  • Museum curator: $41,316
  • Associate Curator: $48,400

Source: Payscale.com