Archivists and curators


Average Annual Pay

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Average Weekly Hours

Annual Survey of Hours and Earning 2018


Unemployment Rate

Labour Force Survey 2018

Future employment projections (Working Futures UK)


Archivists and curators collect, appraise and preserve collections of recorded and other material of historical interest.


Entrants require a good first degree in order to gain entry to a relevant postgraduate course. Many postgraduate courses also require applicants to have gained relevant practical experience prior to entry. Training is typically received on-the-job. Professional qualifications leading to NVQs/SVQs in relevant areas at Levels 3, 4 and 5 are available.

Typical tasks

  • examines, appraises and advises on the acquisition of exhibits, historic records, government papers and other material;
  • classifies material and arranges for its safe keeping and preservation;
  • maintains indexes, bibliographies and descriptive details of archive material and arranges for reproductions of items where necessary;
  • examines objects to identify any damage and carries out necessary restoration whilst preserving original characteristics;
  • makes sure that storage and display conditions protect objects from deterioration and damage;
  • allows access to original material or material not on display for researchers;
  • develops and promotes ideas for exhibitions and displays;
  • negotiates loans of material for specialist displays;
  • liaises with school and other groups or individuals, publicises exhibits and arranges special displays for general, specialised or educational interest;
  • answers verbal or written enquiries and gives advice on exhibits or other material.

Common job titles

Officer, museum
Assistant, curatorial
Keeper (museum)
Officer, museums
Keeper (Public Record Office)
Keeper (art gallery)
Keeper, museum
Officer, collection (museum)
Inspector of ancient monuments
Officer, education, arts
Investigator (Historical Monuments Commission)
Officer, conservation, museum
Officer, education
Officer, education (art gallery, museum)

Education background

Destination of Leavers survey, supplied by the Higher Education Statistics.