Oakland Museum of CA

Associate Preparator

Req No.
Regular Full-Time


The Associate Preparator works with the larger Preparation Team in collaboration with Exhibition Teams and Collections staff on the preparation, fabrication, installation, de-installation, maintenance, transportation and storage activities related to temporary exhibitions, core gallery rotations, collections care, and institutional projects as assigned. May act as a Lead Preparator for assigned projects. 



The following reflects OMCA’s definition of essential functions for this position, but does not restrict the tasks that may be assigned. OMCA may assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this position at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons. 



  • Support the Museum’s mission, values, vision, and core commitment to the visitor experience, community engagement, anti-racism and institutional relevancy for the future.
  • Contribute to and support the OMCA strategic plan, annual priorities, and institutional initiatives such as diversity advancement.
  • Contribute to a positive organizational culture based on mutual respect, a spirit of collegiality, cooperation, and openness to many perspectives.
  • Participate in a culture of ongoing learning, collaboration, innovation, creativity, and community engagement.
  • All positions will have core functional responsibilities, cross functional team activation and learning and development as a core function of each role.



Culture Setting

  • Engage in a positive culture of mutual accountability both within the Preparation Team and with staff across the organization.
  • Communicate widely and effectively to ensure all possible stakeholders are included in decision making, and to establish clear expectations. Collaborate with project/production teams. Provide and receive status updates, and thoroughly and effectively convey information to staff and fellow teammates.
  • Maintain and share knowledge of safe practices and reinforce a culture of mutual accountability for safety.


Core Galleries/Collections

  • Handling and preparation of art, artifacts and specimens; assist with packing, storage, transport, and installation.
  • Participate in maintenance, cleaning, treatment, repair, collections research, examination, and documentation.
  • Engage in collections handling, retrieval, and re-housing activities, and the development, organization, and maintenance of storage facilities in collaboration with Registration and Conservation staff.
  • Perform duties related to gallery lighting, framing and mounting as assigned.
  • Perform climate monitoring, microclimate design,and testing as guided by Conservation.
  • Participate in disaster mitigation and response, pest management, design and maintenance of earthquake mitigation systems and security barriers.



  • Fabricate exhibit casework, furniture, props, prototypes, counters, tables, exhibit display cases, as well as scenic construction, guardrails, paneling, platforms, graphic boards, and dioramas.
  • Build and paint temporary walls, and assist with the installation of wiring and lighting.  
  • Clean and maintain objects and exhibits on display, as assigned.
  • Handle, pack, transport and install artifacts and art for temporary exhibitions as required.
  • Assist with media prototyping and the construction of enclosures, mounts, and hardware (speakers, monitors, interactives, cables). Support media installation and maintenance as needed.
  • Participate in the purchasing of supplies and processing of invoices.
  • When necessary, demonstrate museum techniques to the public.
  • Assist with larger scale campus events and garden related installations.
  • May be asked to operate scissor lift, forklift, gantry, and other museum vehicles.



  • Ability to display and encourage visitor and internal customer service, take and share responsibility and treat others with respect.
  • 2-3 years related experience.
  • English language proficiency in both spoken and written form.
  • Basic knowledge of office computer systems, collections management systems, technical reference materials, and drawings.
  • Knowledge of and adherence to personal and workplace safety procedures and tool operation.
  • Intermediate knowledge of museum standards for environment, artifact handling, storage and display.
  • Intermediate knowledge of gallery operations and maintenance requirements.
  • Understanding of methods and materials for fabrication of museum exhibit elements.
  • Ability to work independently with minimum supervision as necessary.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a team, and across the institution.



The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The environment may include:

  • Museum environment involves both indoor and outdoor working conditions.
  • Ability to travel between OMCA locations, and other travel as required by position responsibilities.
  • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs.
  • Requires strenuous physical work including lifting, pushing and pulling.
  • Moderate to loud noise from production events, machinery, equipment or vehicles.
  • Working near mechanical parts.
  • Exposure to dirt, dust and fumes.



The Oakland Museum of California is dedicated to diversity, inclusion, accessibility and equity. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ability/disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We highly encourage our diverse community to apply for available employment, internship, fellowship and volunteer positions at the Museum, as we aim to ensure our staff reflects the diversity of our visitors and the surrounding community. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, OMCA will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities.


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