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Museum Curator

Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

Also known as Exhibitions Officer and Gallery Curator.

Museum curators look after, manage, organise, display and develop museum collections, and conduct related research.

Museum curators usually specialise in a broad discipline, such as anthropology, art, decorative arts, natural history, social history, science or technology.

Within that discipline they are generally recognised as authorities on one or more specific subject areas.

They generally work indoors in museums and art galleries, but they may be required to travel extensively on field study.

In small museums, one curator may be responsible for the management of the entire institution and its collections.


    Museum curators may perform the following tasks:

  • acquire items for the collections in their care
  • examine items to determine condition and authenticity
  • identify and classify specimens, and arrange conservation and restoration work
  • maintain records about all items in the collection
  • organise and participate in display teams, which may involve travelling or arranging for loan exhibitions, or overseeing the organisation of in-house temporary exhibitions or displays
  • initiate and maintain research and publication programmes
  • establish networks and assist other professionals on request
  • lecture and write about collections and answer public enquiries
  • supervise support staff and organise administrative duties associated with the use and care of collections


  • appreciation of the history of science, the environment or the arts
  • patient
  • able to pay attention to detail
  • an objective, methodical approach to work
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • a good imagination
  • aptitude for research

Interest Area

Clerical/Administrative Scientific Influencing/Personal Contact Literary


Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites

To become a museum curator you usually have to complete an arts or science degree at university with a major in a relevant area, such as anthropology, archaeology, fine arts, history, cultural studies, astronomy, biology or environmental science (preferably at honours level), followed by a postgraduate qualification in museum studies, curatorship or cultural heritage management.

To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree and may require previous museum experience.

A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact Open Universities Australia or the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.


Curators may be required to travel to seek work.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Museum Curator Museums Australia National Museum of Australia Museums and Galleries NSW

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