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Career and Education Opportunities for Curators in Birmingham, Alabama

If you want to be a curator, the Birmingham, Alabama area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 180 people are currently employed as curators in Alabama. By 2016, this is expected to grow 17% to 210 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for curators, which sees this job pool growing by about 23.0% over the next eight years. Curators generally administer affairs of museum and conduct research programs.

The income of a curator is about $18 per hour or $38,980 per year on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $22 per hour or $47,220 annually on average. Curators earn more than people working in the category of Libraries and Museums generally in Alabama and more than people in the Libraries and Museums category nationally. People working as curators can fill a number of jobs, such as: historic site administrator, manager of exhibitions and collections, and museum or zoo director.

The Birmingham area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree as a curator. The most common level of education for curators is a Master's degree. You can expect to spend about six years training to become a curator if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Curator

In general, curators administer affairs of museum and conduct research programs. They also direct instructional, research, and public service activities of institution.

Curators train and supervise curatorial, fiscal and clerical staff, as well as volunteers or interns. They also furnish data from the institution's holdings to other curators and to the public. Equally important, curators have to formulate and organize the acquisition and exhibition of collections and related materials, including the selection of exhibition themes and designs. They are often called upon to conduct or organize tours, workshops, and instructional sessions to acquaint individuals with an institution's facilities and materials. They are expected to negotiate and authorize purchase, sale or loan of collections. Finally, curators schedule events, and organize details including refreshment and the collection of any fees.

Every day, curators are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.

It is important for curators to design and maintain an institution's registration and basic recordkeeping systems, using computer databases. They are often called upon to talk with the board of directors to formulate and interpret policies, to establish budget requirements, and to develop overall operations. They also attend meetings and civic events to promote use of institution's services, to seek financing, and to maintain community alliances. They are sometimes expected to write and review grant proposals and publicity materials. Somewhat less frequently, curators are also expected to inspect premises to gauge the need for repairs and to insure that climate and pest-control issues are addressed.

and study and test acquisitions to authenticate their origin and to gauge their current value. And finally, they sometimes have to study and test acquisitions to authenticate their origin and to gauge their current value.

Like many other jobs, curators must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Archivist. Appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.
  • Elementary School Teacher. Teach pupils in public or private schools at the elementary level basic academic, social, and other formative skills.
  • Kindergarten Teacher. Teach elemental natural and social science, personal hygiene, and literature to children from 4 to 6 years old. Promote physical, mental, and social development. May be required to hold State certification.
  • Museum Technician. Prepare specimens, such as fossils, skeletal parts, and textiles, for museum collection and exhibits. May restore documents or install, arrange, and exhibit materials.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Curator Training

Birmingham Southern College - Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254. Birmingham Southern College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,458 students and an admission rate of 69%. Birmingham Southern College has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated seven students in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has a master's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated two students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.