Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Curators in Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for curators. About 110 people are currently employed as curators in Iowa. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 17% to 130 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.

Curators earn approximately $18 hourly or $39,270 yearly on average in Iowa. Nationally they average about $22 per hour or $47,220 yearly. Incomes for curators are better than in the overall category of Libraries and Museums in Iowa, and better than the overall Libraries and Museums category nationally. People working as curators can fill a number of jobs, such as: museum director, coin collector, and stamp collector.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Des Moines area, including one within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree to start your career as a curator. Given that the most common education level for curators is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years studying to be 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 Des Moines 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

Drake University - Des Moines, IA

Drake University, 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505. Drake University is a medium sized university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,753 students and an admission rate of 69%. Drake University has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.