Variant of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 Version 1.0 for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

51101 - Conservators and curators

Conservators restore and conserve artifacts belonging to museums, galleries and owners of cultural property. 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, archives, libraries, government agencies and universities. Conservators may be self-employed.

  • Illustrative example(s)

    • art gallery conservator
    • art objects conservator
    • conservator - museum
    • curator
    • historical artifact conservator
    • natural history museum curator

    All examples

  • Inclusion(s)

    • assistant curator
  • Exclusion(s)

    • Curatorial assistant (See 53100 Registrars, restorers, interpreters and other occupations related to museum and art galleries)
    • Museum designer (See 53123 Theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers)
    • Museum educator (See 11202 Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations)
    • Restaurateur - food services (See 60030 Restaurant and food service managers)
  • Main duties

    This group performs 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, books, papers, sculptures, furniture, pottery or other museum and art gallery artifacts as per particular field of specialization
    • Provide advice on display and storage of museum and gallery artifacts to ensure proper maintenance and preservation
    • Explore new conservation and restoration techniques
    • Provide consultation to museums, art galleries or private individuals
    • Supervise conservation technicians and other museum technicians.


    • Recommend the acquisition of paintings, photographs, sculptures, documents and other museum and art gallery artifacts
    • Conduct research into objects' methods of construction techniques, structure and materials to understand its physical and chemical makeup
    • 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.
  • Employment requirements

    • Conservators require a master's degree in art conservation or completion of a two-year college program in conservation technology and several years of experience in conservation work.
    • Conservators may be accredited by the Canadian Association of Professional Conservators.
    • Curators require a master's or bachelor's degree in museology, art history or a field related to their specific area of work.
  • Additional information

    • Progression to museum or art gallery management positions is possible with experience.
    • Conservators and curators may specialize in a particular type of collection or material, such as furniture, weapons, books, paintings and musical instruments.
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