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Career and Education Opportunities for Curators in Seattle, Washington

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for curators in the Seattle, Washington area. There are currently 280 jobs for curators in Washington and this is projected to grow by 21% to 340 jobs 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. Curators generally administer affairs of museum and conduct research programs.

Curators earn about $24 hourly or $50,820 yearly on average in Washington and about $22 hourly or $47,220 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for curators are better than in the overall category of Libraries and Museums in Washington, and better than the overall Libraries and Museums category nationally. Curators work in a variety of jobs, including: manager of exhibitions and collections, coin collector, and collections manager.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree 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 starting with a Bachelor's degree.


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 Seattle 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.
  • 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.


Seattle University - Seattle, WA

Seattle University, 900 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122-4340. Seattle University is a medium sized university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,560 students and an admission rate of 65%. Seattle University has a bachelor's degree program in Art History, Criticism and Conservation which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA

University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has 2 areas of study related to Curator. They are:

  • Museology/Museum Studies, master's degree which graduated 22 students in 2008.
  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated eight, eight, and one students respectively in 2008.


Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.