New Study Reveals Increasing Salaries in Museum Field

The recently released Association of Art Museum Directors’s (AAMD) 2017 salary survey reveals that employment in the museum field is strengthening. Based on responses from 219 museums in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, as well as fifty different staff positions ranging from leadership and support positions in curatorial, education, advancement, communications, and security departments, the report states that the average median salary increased by 3 percent in 2016. The preceding year, the rate grew by 2.7 percent.

Highlights of the survey include a 4.6 percent increase rate in average median incomes within curatorial staffs between 2011 and 2016, a 1.6 percent growth rate in median salaries among museum directors between 2015 and 2016, and a 5.5 percent compound annual growth rate increase for chief operating manager salaries.

“The trends highlight an industry recognition of the increasing complexity of running a museum and making the arts available to the public, and the team you need to make it all happen,” said Rafi Musher, founder and CEO of Stax Inc., the company that partnered with AAMD to conduct the research.

The rising salaries may be the result of an increase in the number of people visiting museums. According to Judith H Dobrzynski of, 242 museums affiliated with the AAMD attracted more than sixty million visits annually in the past three years.

To read the full report, visit AAMD’s website.