careers.novascotia.ca

Conservators and Curators

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NOC:5112
Occupation:Conservators and Curators
Category:Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

About the job

Nature of work:

Conservators restore and conserve artifacts belonging to museums, galleries and owners of cultural property. They research, interpret, organize, and maintain collections for museums and art galleries. They also preserve and restore cultural and historical artifacts and artistic works with the goal of preserving each item for future generations. Curators recommend the acquisition of museum artifacts and gallery works of art and research their artistic history. Conservators and curators are employed in museums, art galleries and universities. Conservators may be self-employed.

Job duties:
Conservators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Examine artifacts, determine their condition, suggest methods for treating them and recommend preventive conservation techniques to their owners.
  • Restore and conserve paintings, photographs, sculptures, furniture, pottery and other museum and art gallery artifacts.
  • Provide advice on display and storage of museum and gallery artifacts to ensure proper maintenance and preservation.
  • Research new conservation and restoration techniques.
  • Provide consultation to museums, art galleries or private individuals.
  • Supervise conservation technicians and other museum technicians.
Curators perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Recommend the acquisition of paintings, photographs, sculptures, documents and other museum and art gallery artifacts.
  • Research origins and artistic history of artifacts.
  • Develop storylines and themes and organize displays and exhibitions.
  • Coordinate the storage of collections and the setting up of displays and exhibitions.
  • Oversee the conservation, display and circulation of collections.
  • Supervise curatorial assistants and other museum technicians.

Conservators and curators may specialize in a particular type of collection or material, such as furniture, weapons, books, paintings and musical instruments.

Sample job titles:
  • art gallery conservator
  • art gallery curator
  • assistant curator
  • assistant museum curator
  • curator
  • library curator
  • museum conservator
  • museum curator
Skills:

To work in this field, you need excellent administrative, research, organizational, writing, and planning skills, as well as intellectual curiosity. You should have supervisory skills and the ability to work with people of all ages, including other staff. Knowledge of computer systems, literature, and current information sources is also important. Conservationists require a good understanding of chemistry. Being able to speak and write French would be an asset in some positions.

Job requirements:
  • Conservators require a master's degree in art conservation or completion of a three-year college program in conservation technology and several years of experience in conservation work.
  • Curators require a master's or bachelor's degree in museology, art history or a field related to their specific area of work.
Other considerations:

Progression to museum or art gallery management positions is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Undetermined

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Conservators and Curators most commonly work full-time hours. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 73% of Conservators and Curators who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $38,915. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Conservators and Curators90xxx
Minimum:  N/A
Median:  N/A
Maximum:  N/A
Minimum:  N/A
Median: $32,766
Maximum:  N/A
Occupations in Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport11,000Moderate growth735Moderate
Minimum: $10.81
Median: $16.00
Maximum: $31.00
Minimum: $945
Median: $11,712
Maximum: $60,447
Conservators and CuratorsCompared to: Occupations in Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
Percent employed full-time86%59%
Percent self-employed33%33%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentConservators and CuratorsCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern20%x12%$30,581
Northern16%x16%$33,660
Cape Breton8%x13%$32,974
Halifax48%x47%$41,209
Annapolis Valley8%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeConservators and CuratorsCompared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
% Employed% Employed
15-24N/AN/A
25-34N/A13%
35-4450%44%
45-54N/A35%
55-6450%8%
65+N/A4%
Median Age5038
GenderConservators and CuratorsCompared to: Occupations in Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
% Employed% Employed
Female68%56%
Male32%44%
EducationConservators and CuratorsCompared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high schoolxx10.2%$2,298
High schoolxx26.2%$7,127
Trades certificatexx3.6%$13,575
College certificate or diploma9.1%x20.3%$20,158
University certificate or diplomaxx1.7%$20,801
Bachelor's degree36.4%x27.5%$19,705
University advanced certificate or diplomaxx1.5%$18,274
Master's degreex$70,6058.0%x
Doctorate40.9%x1.0%$30,975
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryxx0.1%$11,741
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
PO Box 2262
Halifax, NS B3J 3C8
Tel: (902) 424-5280
Fax: (902) 424-7359
info.desk@novascotia.ca
Nova Scotia Museum
1747 Summer Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3A6
Tel: (902) 424-7353
Canadian Museums Association
280 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400
Ottawa, ON K2P 1R7
Tel: (613) 567-0099
Fax: (613) 233-5438
info@museums.ca

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Anthropology - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the systematic study of human beings, their antecedents and related primates, and their cultural behaviour and institutions, in comparative perspective. These programs include courses in biological/physical anthropology, primatology, human paleontology and prehistoric archeology, hominid evolution, anthropological linguistics, ethnography, ethnology, ethnohistory, sociocultural anthropology, psychological anthropology, research methods, and applications to areas such as medicine, forensic pathology, museum studies, and international affairs.
See all institutions providing this program+
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Program Name:Art history, criticism and conservation
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the study of the historical development of art as a social and intellectual phenomenon, the analysis of works of art, and art conservation. These programs include courses in the theory of art, art history research methods, connoisseurship, the preservation and conservation of works of art, and the study of specific periods, cultures, styles, and themes.
See all institutions providing this program+
NSCAD University
5163 Duke Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3J6
(902) 444-9600
admissions@nscad.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Program Name:Art/art studies - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the introductory study and appreciation of the visual arts. These programs include courses in art, photography, and other visual communications media.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
NSCAD University
5163 Duke Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3J6
(902) 444-9600
admissions@nscad.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Program Name:Cultural anthropology
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the study of culture and the relationship of culture to other aspects of social life. These programs include courses in cultural anthropology, anthropological theory, ethnography, linguistics, and quantitative and qualitative research methods.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Program Name:Fine/studio arts - General
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to generally function as creative artists in the visual and plastic media. These programs include courses in the traditional fine arts media (drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, CAD/CAM) and/or modern media (ceramics, textiles, intermedia, photography, digital images); theory of art; colour theory; composition and perspective; anatomy; the techniques and procedures for maintaining equipment and managing a studio; and art portfolio marketing.
See all institutions providing this program+
NSCAD University
5163 Duke Street
Halifax, NS B3J 3J6
(902) 444-9600
admissions@nscad.ca
Program Name:History - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the general study and interpretation of the past, including the gathering, recording, synthesizing and criticizing of evidence and theories about past events. These programs include courses in historiography; historical research methods; studies of specific periods, issues and cultures; and applications to areas such as historic preservation, public policy, and records administration.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, NS B3H 2A1
(902) 422-1271
admissions@ukings.ca
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Program Name:History - Other
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program not listed above that relates to History.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.