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Career Opportunity

Principal Museum Preparator (3524) Asian Art Museum (TPV)

Recruitment: RTF0132136-01115512

Published: September 19, 2023

Accepting applications until: September 26, 2023


Nathaniel Cleveland Jr -

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Department: Asian Art Museum
Job class: 3524-Principal Museum Preparator
Salary range: $86,788.00 - $105,456.00
Role type: Temporary Provisional Permanent Civil Service What does this mean?
Hours: Full-time
Exam type: Contact us for more information
Rule: Contact us for more information
List type: Contact us for more information


Position Update: Amended to reflect updated application deadline of 09/26/2023 5:00 PM.  Candidates who have already applied are not required to resubmit a new application. 

About Us 

Careers - Asian Art Museum

Strategically located on the Pacific Rim and serving one of the most diverse communities in the United States, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco – Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is uniquely positioned to lead a diverse, global audience in discovering the distinctive materials, aesthetics and intellectual achievements of Asian art and cultures, and to serve as a bridge of understanding between Asia and the United States and among the diverse cultures of Asia.

Located in the heart of San Francisco, the museum is home to one of the world’s finest collections of Asian art, boasting more than 18,000 awe-inspiring artworks ranging from ancient jades and ceramics to contemporary video installations. Dynamic special exhibitions, cultural celebrations and public programs for all ages provide rich art experiences that unlock the past and spark questions about the future.

Our Vision 

Where experiences of Asian and Asian American art and cultures inspire and connect us all.

Our Mission

The Asian Art Museum celebrates, preserves, and promotes Asian and Asian American art and cultures for local and global audiences. We provide a dynamic forum for exchanging ideas, inviting collaboration, and fueling imagination to deepen understanding and empathy among people of all backgrounds.

Our Values

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco strives to always be Respectful, Engaging, Inspirational, Nimble, & Accessible.

We Value Equal Employment Opportunity! 

At the Asian Art Museum, we’re dedicated to ideating, building, & holding ourselves accountable for Diversity, Equity, Accessibility & Inclusion in everything we do. We strive to foster a culture of respect, belonging and inclusivity for all employees.  Diversity of thought and experience is essential to our mission, and we are committed to recruiting, hiring, and retaining a diverse workforce. We encourage applicants from all backgrounds to apply. 

Appointment Type: This is a Temporary Provisional (TPV) position excluded by the Charter from the competitive Civil Service examination process. It is considered "at will" and shall serve at the discretion of the Department Head. This position will be subject to the Permanent Civil Service examination process at a later date. Successful participation in the Permanent Civil Service examination and selection through an open competitive process is needed in order to be considered for the permanent appointment.

Specific information regarding this recruitment process are listed below:

Application Opening: May 19, 2023
Application Deadline: September 26, 2023
Compensation Range:  $81,614 - $99,138 Annually
Recruitment ID: TPV-3524-132137

Role description

Under the general direction of the Head of Preparation, serves as lead preparator on exhibition projects.  Assists in the management and coordination of the preparation of exhibition spaces, and the installation and deinstallation of art; supervises temporary staff.  Performs a wide variety of skilled and semi-skilled duties in the preparation, installation, and care of museum exhibits and works of art. Supervises departmental operations in the absence of the Head of Preparation.  

Position Description: 

  • Oversees gallery lighting installation, maintenance, inventory, and
  • implementation of lighting design strategies.   
  • Supervises as needed and temporary preparators in the preparation, installation,  
  • and deinstallation of exhibition spaces; prioritizes activities and responsibilities; provides training as necessary in preparation duties.  
  • Assists in the preparation, construction, installation, and deinstallation of exhibits
  • and/or works of art; paints; lays out, moves, and places walls, platforms, and casework; loads and unloads art objects; handles, moves, hangs, and installs art objects; installs labels, text panels, and other signage/graphics.   
  • Tracks and manages the preparation aspects of art rotations in the permanent
  • galleries; coordinates with curators, registrars, conservators, and exhibition designer.   
  • Manages the ongoing monitoring of the condition and appearance of permanent
  • galleries; provides regular walk-through of galleries to ensure maintenance of exhibits; identifies problem areas and recommends solutions; creates a punch list of preparation issues; oversees the necessary repair/maintenance or coordinates work with other museum departments as required.   
  • Participates in general shop operations including cleaning, preparing cost and
  • material estimates, purchasing supplies, maintaining tools and equipment.
  • Assists in the administrative work of the department.  

How to qualify



  • Possession of an Associate Degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in Art, Fine Arts, Museum Studies, or a related field.  


  • Four (4) years of verifiable experience 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.  


Additional qualifying full time work experience (2000 hours equal one year) as described above may be substituted for the required education on a year-for-year basis. One year of work experience equals thirty (30) semester units or forty-five (45) quarter units.


Desirable Qualifications:  


  • Valid California Class C Driver's license.
  • Three (3) years experience working cross-departmentally planning and coordinating exhibit productions. 
  • Strong knowledge of the techniques of exhibit design and lighting; all related safety codes, ordinances, procedures, and regulations; standard tools, practices, methods used in exhibit construction and installation.  
  • Knowledge of art handing procedures for two- and three-dimensional type art objects.   
  • Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office.  
  • Ability to explain and carry out methods and procedures relating to the handling of irreplaceable objects of art; to lift and move heavy objects up to 75 lbs.  
  • Ability to plan, prioritize, schedule, and implement projects; simultaneously oversee a variety of projects.  
  • Creativity, flexibility, and resourcefulness
  • Ability to direct and work with other staff in the installation of exhibitions.  
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of people both internal and external to the museum.  
  • Ability to operate genie lifts, forklifts, pallet jacks, and similar equipment.  
  • Skill in the use and care of standard hand and power tools.

Applicants must meet the minimum qualification requirement by the final filing date unless otherwise noted.

One-year fulltime employment is equivalent to 2,000 hours (2,000 hours of qualifying work experience is based on a 40-hour work week). Any overtime hours that you work above 40 hours per week are not included in the calculation to determine fulltime employment.

Verification of Experience:
Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process.

Verification of Education: If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline. Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores.

What else should I know?

SELECTION PROCEDURE: The selection process will include evaluation of applications in relation to minimum requirements. Depending on the number of applicants, the Department may establish and implement additional screening mechanisms to comparatively evaluate qualifications of candidates. If this becomes necessary, only applicants whose qualifications most closely meet the Department's needs will be invited for an interview.

Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed to advance through all the steps in the selection process.

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit and begin the application process.

• Select the “I’m Interested” button and follow the instructions on the screen.

Applicants may be contacted by email about this recruitment and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date. Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter. To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file. Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records. Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the analyst,

To find Departments which use this classification, please see

Additional Information Regarding Employment with the City and County of San Francisco: 

The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.