Placer County

Museum Curator (#14780)

$22.59-$28.21 Hourly / $3,915.60-$4,889.73 Monthly / $46,987.20-$58,676.80 Yearly


To perform professional museum duties in caring for and interpreting objects belonging to or lent to the County museums; and to oversee and administer specific museum project and program areas as assigned.


This is the journey level in the Museum Curator series. Incumbents initially perform the more routine duties assigned to positions in this series and work under close supervision.  However, as experience is gained, incumbents are expected to perform the full range of duties as assigned with increasing independence.


Receives direction from department management and supervisory staff.

Exercises technical and functional supervision over technical and clerical staff and volunteers.


Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Care for and interpret items belonging to or on loan to the museums; research collections owned by or lent to the museums.
  • Disseminate information to the public; prepare and evaluate exhibitions. 
  • Assist with community education and school education programs.
  • Prepare educational materials and publicity for exhibits and programs.
  • Assist with budget preparation in assigned program areas; monitor revenue and expenditures; assist with recruiting, training, evaluating and overseeing volunteer staff; maintain appropriate records; assist in the maintenance and daily operation of the museums. 
  • Build and maintain positive working relationships with co-workers, other County employees and the public using principles of good customer service.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.

When assigned to Archives:
  • Administer the professional archives management program, including conservation and preservation of historic books, documents, photos and ephemera.
  • Assist public with research.
  • Determine records and documents that are appropriate for retention in the Archives.
  • Administer processing and accessioning procedures.
  • Conduct research, analyze information and write reports for a variety of uses and develop historical context for volunteer training and presentations.
  • Train and supervise docents and volunteers in Placer County history, research methods, archival procedures and conservation and preservation techniques.
  • Assign and monitor volunteers’ projects in the Archives.
  • Prepare for and conduct oral histories.
  • Serve as a member of the Exhibit Team.

When assigned to Collections:
  • Administer the collections management programs, collect significant artifacts relating to Placer County and ensure a safe environment for their preservation.
  • Maintain the integrity of artifacts through routine maintenance and preventative conservation.
  • Administer accessioning programs, donor relations and loan activities.
  • Supervise and monitor work of volunteers and part-time, temporary staff assigned to collections. 
  • Serve as a member of Exhibit Team.

When assigned to Education:
  • Coordinate community education and living history programs.
  • Assist with volunteer and docent training.
  • Assist with visitor services, museum tours and special programs and tourism activities.
  • Serve as member of the Exhibit Team, performing original research on exhibit themes and providing expertise in education trends and exhibit techniques.
  • Prepare docent and public education materials.
  • Develop and coordinate publicity for exhibits and programs of the museums.
  • Supervise and monitor work of volunteers and part-time temporary staff assigned to education programs.  

When assigned to Cultural Resources:
  • Inventory and analyze historical cultural and paleontological resources, including archaeological sites and historically and architecturally significant structures, sites and districts.  
  • Review the cultural resource elements of environmental impact reports and community development plans for compliance with State and Federal legislation, including CEQA, NEPA and the National Preservation Act of 1966.
  • Provide other technical assistance to the Planning Department and coordinate with other County departments, agencies, boards and commissions.


Experience and Training
Any combination of experience and training that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and abilities would be:

Experience: Two years experience in archives, collections, education, cultural resources or performing general museum duties.

Training: Equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in history, art, anthropology, the humanities or a related field.

Required License or Certificate:
May need to possess a valid driver's license as required by the position.  Proof of adequate vehicle insurance and medical clearance may also be required.


Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of professional museum work as it applies to archives, collections, education and cultural resources.
  • Methods of interpretation relating to museum artifacts, exhibits and educational programs.
  • Museum exhibit design.
  • General principles of education. 
  • Public relations and fiscal management.
  • Modern office procedures, methods and computer equipment.
  • Principles and practices of work safety.
  • English usage, spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Arithmetic and mathematical calculations.

Ability to:

  • On a continuous basis, know and understand all aspects of the job; intermittently analyze work papers, reports and special projects; identify and interpret technical and numerical information; observe and problem solve operational and technical policy and procedures.
  • On a continuous basis sit at a desk for long periods of time; intermittently twist to reach equipment surrounding desk; perform simple grasping and fine manipulation; use telephone and write or use a keyboard to communicate through written means.  Intermittently walk, stand, bend or climb while cataloging, conducting tours, assisting with exhibit installation or working in the field; and lift very heavy weight.
  • Independently perform professional museum duties of interpretation, collection research, exhibition planning, collection cataloging and care and public education.
  • Independently monitor budgets and oversee volunteer staff activities. 
  • Use various graphic arts techniques.
  • Work with various cultural and ethnic groups in a tactful and effective manner.
  • Use a computer, calculator, typewriter, telephone, facsimile machine and photocopy machine.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

CLASS: 14780; EST: 9/1/1995; REV: 12/8/2003;