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Career and Education Opportunities for Curators in Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for curators. There are currently 280 working curators in Illinois; this should grow by 22% to about 340 working curators in the state by 2016. 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. In general, curators administer affairs of museum and conduct research programs.

Curators earn about $29 per hour or $61,110 annually on average in Illinois and about $22 hourly or $47,220 per year on average nationally. 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. Jobs in this field include: coin collector, educational resource coordinator, and research associate.

There are sixty-one schools of higher education in the Elgin area, including one within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Elgin 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.
  • 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

Northern Illinois University - Dekalb, IL

Northern Illinois University, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., Dekalb, IL 60115-2825. Northern Illinois University is a large university located in Dekalb, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,397 students and an admission rate of 58%. Northern Illinois University has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.