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There is something so glamorous and fascinating about museum curators.  They’re surrounded each day by beautiful art, historical pieces or other exquisite material things that have so much significance that they’re protected via any number of methods, up to and including security guards.  But what exactly does a museum curator do throughout the course of a day?  We asked renowned career coach and founder what it is that makes a curator’s job so envious – and whether or not the salary is as envious as the glamour of the position itself.

Curators are responsible for making the sometimes difficult choice of selecting one or two pieces of art to be shown in a museum’s limited space.  The difficulty, as many curators will tell you, is choosing those few pieces when you must decide between several historical and valuable collections.  Once they’ve chosen what their museum will house, they must then creatively display those pieces that protect the valuables, but that also allow visitors to get a true sense of what they’re viewing.  They must also showcase them in such a way that any piece on either side complements the next.  Further, they must ensure the museum itself beautifully showcases the art with strategic lighting, flooring and walls.

The founder says curators also work to locate especially rare pieces and many will spend months or even years to acquire various collections.  Sculptures, photography and paintings are all creations one’s likely to discover in any museum around the country.  As A. Harrison Barnes explains, all of this sounds like a dream career – and it is; but there is also a huge responsibility a curator must shoulder.  In recent years, attempts at forgery and thievery have become sophisticated and even technologically advanced. A curator is always aware of the dangers that lurk in every corner of his or her museum.  After all, the sole responsibility lies on his or her shoulders.

Most curators possess a master’s degree and some museums even require a doctoral.  The specialties and educational backgrounds might range from art history, archaeology and business.  What Barnes says is most surprising is that virtually all museum curators begin as an assistant and work their way up the ladder.  During this phase, they, of course, will pursue the applicable educational requirements and in the process, they receive training during the course of the work day.  The best curators are those who have a broad range of experience with every kind of art and in any form.

Curators will often travel the globe; sometimes taking whirlwind trips around the world to see a single pottery vase.  Their salaries are quite impressive and the best curators can easily secure salaries of $150,000 or more on an annual basis.

The outlook for careers such as these are expected to grow; albeit slowly, as more museums are erected around the world.  It’s an exciting career and one that offers a worldly existence.  For those who have worked hard, the rewards they reap are almost always worth the sacrifices they make

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