A beginning curator who has almost completed a Ph.D. would start somewhere in mid-thirties. Smithsonian staff are employees of the federal government and follow the General Schedule (GS) pay scale. A supervisory museum curator, a job that requires specialized experience, could start at over $100,000.
In 2004, median annual earnings of curators were $43,620, with the majority earning between $32,790 and $58,280. The lowest 10
percent earned less than $25,360, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $77,490. In 2005, the average annual salary of curators in the federal government was $76,126.