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Career and Education Opportunities for Curators in Chicago, Illinois

Curator career and educational opportunities abound in Chicago, Illinois. About 280 people are currently employed as curators in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow 22% to about 340 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for curators are expected to grow by about 23.0%. Curators generally administer affairs of museum and conduct research programs.

Curators earn approximately $29 hourly or $61,110 per year on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $22 hourly or $47,220 annually. Earnings for curators are better than earnings in the general category of Libraries and Museums in Illinois and better than general Libraries and Museums category earnings nationally. Curators work in a variety of jobs, including: historic sites supervisor, manager of exhibitions and collections, and numismatist.

There are eight schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a curator, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Given that the most common education level 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 Chicago include:

  • Archivist. Appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.
  • Audio-Visual Director. Prepare, plan, and operate audio-visual teaching aids for use in education. May record, catalogue, and file audio-visual 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.
  • Librarian. Administer libraries and perform related library services. Work in a variety of settings, including public libraries, schools, colleges and universities, museums, corporations, government agencies, law firms, non-profit organizations, and healthcare providers. Tasks may include selecting, acquiring, and maintaining library materials; and furnishing reference, bibliographical, and readers' advisory services. May perform in-depth, strategic research, and synthesize, analyze, and filter information. May set up or work with databases and information systems to catalogue and access information.
  • Library Information Technian. Assist librarians by helping readers in the use of library catalogs, databases, and indexes to locate books and other materials; and by answering questions that require only brief consultation of standard reference. Compile records; sort and shelve books; remove or repair damaged books; register patrons; check materials in and out of the circulation process. Replace materials in shelving area (stacks) or files. Includes bookmobile drivers who operate bookmobiles or light trucks that pull trailers to specific locations on a predetermined schedule and assist with providing services in mobile libraries.
  • 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

University of Illinois at Chicago - Chicago, IL

University of Illinois at Chicago, 601 S Morgan, Chicago, IL 60607. University of Illinois at Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,709 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of Illinois at Chicago has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated seventeen, six, and one students respectively in 2008.

DePaul University - Chicago, IL

DePaul University, 55 E Jackson, Chicago, IL 60604. DePaul University is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 22,554 students. DePaul University has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated fifty-six students in 2008.

Roosevelt University - Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University, 430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1394. Roosevelt University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,708 students and an admission rate of 43%. Roosevelt University has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated one student in 2008.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago - Chicago, IL

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 36 S Wabash, Chicago, IL 60603. School of the Art Institute of Chicago is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,990 students and an admission rate of 81%. School of the Art Institute of Chicago has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated seven, zero, and nineteen students respectively in 2008.

Dominican University - River Forest, IL

Dominican University, 7900 W Division St, River Forest, IL 60305. Dominican University is a small university located in River Forest, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,413 students and an admission rate of 85%. Dominican University has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Chicago - Chicago, IL

University of Chicago, 5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637. University of Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,620 students and an admission rate of 28%. University of Chicago has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated eighteen, seven, and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated nine, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Loyola University Chicago - Chicago, IL

Loyola University Chicago, 820 N. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60611-9810. Loyola University Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,670 students and an admission rate of 74%. Loyola University Chicago has a master's degree program in Public/Applied History and Archival Administration.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.