Press Releases & Statements

AAMD Releases 2020 Salary Survey, Includes New Data Points for Visitor Service Associates and Museum Security Guards

New York, NY
October 21, 2020

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) today released its 2020 Salary Survey, which includes responses from 187 museums in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This year’s report includes more than 50 different full-time staff positions within a museum, from the director’s office to leadership and support positions in curatorial, education, advancement, communications, and security departments. New for this year is the addition of data for full-time Visitor Services Associates, as well as for the part-time positions of Visitor Services Associates and Museum Security Guard.* The report was developed in partnership with Stax Inc., a consulting and analytics firm.

Salary information in this report is based on compensation for the museums’ 2019 fiscal year— and therefore reflects the status of salaries and positions before the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the museum field and the wider economy. However, as part of AAMD’s ongoing commitment to supporting and making public data about the art museum field, the report is important to share. Moreover, it remains relevant as a snapshot of an important moment in time, particularly in the United States: a period of low unemployment, low interest rates, and yet also one of economic uncertainty and concern over the stagnation of wages. Some of these elements are addressed in this report, such as the comparison of salary increases reported by AAMD members against the larger US national average (pages 14, 21-22), or data on the benefits provided by responding museums (pages 17-20).

About AAMD

The Association of Art Museum Directors advances the profession by cultivating leadership capabilities of directors, advocating for the field, and fostering excellence in art museums. An agile, issues-driven organization, AAMD has three desired outcomes: engagement, leadership, and shared learning. Further information about AAMD’s professional practice guidelines and position papers is available at


*In accordance with US Department of Justice anti-trust guidelines, salary comparison by designation is not presented for positions if fewer than five museums reported figures for a given designation. AAMD hopes to be able to expand the range of data for part-time positions in future reports.


Sascha Freudenheim
PAVE Communications and Consulting