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Department of Human Resources

Museum Preparator (#3520)
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$24.20-$29.43 Hourly / $4,195.00-$5,100.00 Monthly / $50,336.00-$61,204.00 Yearly


Under general supervision, performs a wide variety of semi-skilled and skilled duties in the preparation, installation and care of museum exhibits and works of art; and performs related duties as required.

Requires normal responsibility for: Following established procedures in connection with the preparation, installation and care of museum exhibits and works of art. Nature of work requires manual dexterity and unusual care in the handling of valuable art objects.

Distinguishing Features
The 3520 Museum Preparator is the entry-level class in the Museum Preparator class series. The 3520 Museum Preparator is distinguished from the 3522 Senior Museum Preparator in that the latter performs more difficult and responsible tasks with greater independence than those assigned to incumbents in this job code.

Examples of Important and Essential Duties

 1. Constructs and prepares props, backgrounds and special lighting effects for exhibits; uses hand and power tools; paints with brush and spray equipment; constructs and finishes temporary partitions, including framing and hanging of doors.

2. Builds fine cabinets, such as vitrines and showcases.

3. Prepares, hangs and installs art objects for exhibit.

4. Mounts wall readers, labels, photographs and other material using a dry mounting press.

5. Under supervision, cuts and assembles mats and frames for prints and drawings.

6. Reclaims materials from the installation for future use.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Requires knowledge of: The standard tools, practices and methods used in painting; rough and finish carpentry as well as cabinet work; and the use of different materials such as various kinds of lumber, fabrics, plastics, mechanical fasteners and adhesives.

Requires ability to: Physically handle delicate and valuable works of art with extreme care; work from sketches and follow oral instructions as to construction and installation of museum exhibits.

Requires skill in the use of a variety of hand and power tools and in the use and application of various materials.

AMENDED DATE: 11/2/73; 3/20/15

Minimum Qualifications

These minimum qualifications establish the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license(s) which are required for employment in the classification.  Please note, additional qualifications (i.e., special conditions) may apply to a particular position and will be stated on the exam/job announcement.


Possession of an Associate degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in Art, Fine Arts, Museum Studies or a related field.


License and Certification:


Qualifying full time work experience (2000 hours equal one year) in the preparation, fabrication, installation and the care and handling of valuable art objects; making museum mounts for objects; building exhibition furniture and working closely with museum staff at a museum, gallery, or traveling exhibition program may be substituted for the required education on a year-for-year basis. One year of work experience equals to thirty (30) semester units or forty-five (45) quarter units.

Disaster Service Workers
All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.