Archivists and museum technicians will work for museums, governments, colleges, and many other institutions in order to preserve historical documents and works of art, in addition to other documentation. Curators will be responsible for cataloging and managing collections of rare antiques, in addition to preserving documents and historical items for storage or display.
Archivists may catalog and analyze various pieces of work that are of value to the public, and the mediums that they will work with can include films, sound recordings, photographs, letters, and documents. An archivist will follow specific standards of practice in preserving various types of records, and they will also be responsible for organizing and creating electronic archives of historical pieces of work.
Curators are responsible for the administration of zoos, gardens, aquariums, and historical sites, and they may also be called museum directors if they are working in management at a museum. They will specialize in the acquisition and exhibition of various collections which can include managing the purchase and sales of various specimens in an arrangement.
Curators will usually specialize in a particular field, which can include botany, history, or a number of other topics. Some will mostly perform administrative museum related tasks, while others will have a more hands on role in managing a collection.
Conservators are responsible for managing and treating various forms of art and paper documentation in order to preserve it for posterity. They may use special lights and microscopes in order to repair objects and to identify their condition.
The working conditions for archivists will vary, with most working about 40 hours a week providing educational services. Those professionals with a great deal of experience in preserving historical relics may have to travel frequently in order to work on specialized projects. Most archivists will require a graduate level education in order to work on historical treasures.
In 2006, these professionals had about 27,000 jobs in America, with about a third being employed by museums and another third working for Federal and state governmental agencies. Employment growth for these individuals is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade as increased volumes of information must be processed.
In 2006, the median 50th percentile of archivists made between $30,610 and $53,990, with curators making between $34,410 and $61,740. In 2007, those professionals working for the Federal government as museum specialists made $58,855.