3524 Principal Museum Preparator

Recruitment #PBT-3524-903884


This is a Position Based Test administered in accordance with Civil Service Rule 111A.

The Department
SFO is a world-class, award-winning airport that serves nearly 58 million passengers annually. SFO offers nonstop flights to 51 international cities on 43 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport also connects nonstop with 86 U.S. cities on 12 domestic airlines.

SFO’s mission is to provide an exceptional airport in service to our communities, and its core values are safety and security, teamwork, excellence, and care. The airport is committed to redefining air travel by providing the highest level of service to our guests.

The Airport, an enterprise department of the City & County of San Francisco, has a workforce of approximately 1,700 City employees and strives to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive employer. For more information, visit www.flysfo.com and watch this video about careers at SFO.

Established in 1980 by the Airport Commission, SFO Museum’s mission is to delight, engage, and inspire a global audience with programming on a broad range of subjects; to collect, preserve, interpret, and share the history of commercial aviation; and to enrich the public experience at San Francisco International Airport. The Museum was granted initial accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2005, and has the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport. Today, SFO Museum features twenty-five galleries throughout the Airport’s terminals displaying a rotating schedule of approximately forty exhibitions annually on themes such as art, history, science, and popular culture.  Additionally, the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum are dedicated to the history of commercial aviation and house a permanent collection of over 140,000 objects and books. For more information, visit www.SFOMuseum.org

Position Description
The Principal Museum Preparator (3524) reports to the Production Supervisor (3542). As part of the Preparation Department’s leadership team, composed of the Head of Shops and Preparation (3544), the Exhibition Designer (3546), and the Production Supervisor (3542), the position may assist in the guidance and direction of Senior Museum Preparators (3522) and as-needed TEX Museum Preparators (3520), but has no direct reports. The Principal Museum Preparator provides critical support to the Museum’s responsibility to prepare and install 30 to 40 exhibitions annually in public spaces throughout the Airport’s terminals.

The Principal Museum Preparator performs complex work regularly requiring the exercise of independent judgment in the preparation and installation of exhibitions. When required, the Principal Museum Preparator designs and constructs special museum fixtures, showcases, temporary walls and partitions; installs and arranges exhibits; packs, unpacks, and supervises the storage of valuable works of art, and performs related duties as required.  The position requires responsibility for explaining and carrying out methods and procedures relating to the handling of valuable objects of art.  The nature of work requires high level of manual dexterity and skill for the handling and preparation of valuable art objects.

Additionally and when called upon, the Principal Museum Preparator provides support to Exhibition Design with responsibilities for assistance with exhibition layout, documentation, and quality control. Lastly, the Principal Museum Preparator serves as the Museum’s Safety Officer, attending all required Airport-wide Safety meetings, leading weekly Safety tailgate meetings for all preparators, and maintaining all safety and training records.

The essential functions of this position include:

  • Member of a four-person leadership team for the Museum’s Preparation Department; 
  • Responsible for the installation and deinstallation of approximately 40 exhibitions per year;
  • Confers with preparation, curatorial, registration, and conservation staff in the planning and construction of exhibits and accessory materials;
  • Designs and constructs certain types of installations, such as showcases, pedestals, settings, partitions, walls and special exhibit effects;
  • Paints exhibition installations;
  • Adjusts or installs additional lighting fixtures for exhibits;
  • Installs objects in gallery cases;
  • Installs exhibition labels, didactics, and graphics;
  • When called upon, act as lead in the installation, removal and salvage of exhibit fixtures;
  • Packs, ships, receives, and unpacks paintings and other valuable art objects;
  • Re-houses permanent collection artwork: box and storage mount construction;
  • Utilizes standard Museum techniques to protect art objects;
  • Mounts wall readers, labels, photographs and other material as required;
  • Cuts and assembles mats and frames for prints and drawings;
  • Must have good manual dexterity and have knowledge in special care and handling of irreplaceable and valuable objects;
  • Responsible for maintenance and upkeep of assigned shop area;
  • Upholds and enforces safety and security as first priority;
  • Upholds and enforces values of teamwork, mutual respect, open communication, and ready assistance to colleagues;
  • Upholds and enforces the values of excellence, innovation, and pride in accomplishment;
  • Assists Exhibition Designer with initial exhibition layout, as needed; 
  • Records all objects requiring mounts and/or furniture for preliminary layout;
  • Records all objects requiring mounts and/or furniture after confirmation of design;
  • Completes check of quality control to Museum standards and provide clear documentation package to Production Supervisor;
  • Attends all required Airport-wide Safety meetings;
  • Leads weekly Safety tailgate for all preparators;
  • Assists the Head of Shops and Preparation and the Production Supervisor with responsibilities for maintenance/refinement of safety protocol (CSP) for all stationary equipment and power tools;
  • Assists the Head of Shops and Preparation and the Production Supervisor with responsibilities for maintenance/refinement of all relevant Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS);
  • Performs quarterly audit of First-Aid cabinets in shops and work with Safety, Health, and Wellness to secure all necessary replacement/additional supplies;
  • Assists Head of Shops and Preparation in responsibility to produce safety and training videos;
  • Assists Head of Shops and Preparation in responsibility to document all staff training;
  • Responsible for maintaining all safety, training, and tool maintenance records;
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

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.

Education substitution: 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.

Additional Requirement: Ability to lift and carry objects weighing up to 50 lbs.

The above minimum qualifications reflect special conditions associated with the position(s) to be filled.  They may differ from the standard minimum qualifications associated with this classification.

Desirable Qualifications
The stated desirable qualifications may be used to identify job finalists at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred to hiring.

  • Familiarity with a wide variety of shop equipment and machinery; 
  • Knowledge of proper techniques for handling valuable works of art, including those for mount-making, installing exhibits, crating, packing and unpacking objects;
  • Knowledge of the principles of museum exhibition production, including demonstrated ability with brazing, woodworking, mannequin making, and painting;
  • Knowledge of the general methods of museum operations and procedures;
  • Demonstrated concern for detail, accuracy, and neat execution of work;
  • Familiarity with Filemaker Pro;
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Excel;
  • Familiarity with Adobe Illustrator;
  • Familiarity with Adobe Photoshop;
  • Familiarity with SketchUp modeling program;
  • Demeanor suited to a fast-moving and dynamic environment;
  • Excellent oral communication skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to deal effectively and courteously with Museum and Airport staff, lenders, donors, vendors, and the public;
  • Ability to multitask and perform a variety of tasks independently;
  • Ability to work collaboratively and efficiently within the team and organization;
  • Demonstrated comprehension and commitment to all production deadlines. 

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

One year full-time 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 full-time employment.

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit www.jobaps.com/sf to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

  • Select the desired job announcement
  • Select “Apply” and read and acknowledge the information
  • Select either “I am a New User” if you have not previously registered, or “I have Registered Previously”
  • Follow instructions on the screen

Computers are available for the public (from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) to file online applications in the lobby of the Department of Human Resources at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103, or the Airport Commission Human Resources office at 710 N. McDonnell Road, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94128.

Applicants may be contacted by email about this announcement 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 (@sfgov.org, @sfdpw.org, @sfport.com, @flysfo.com, @sfwater.org, @sfdph.org, @asianart.org, @sfmta.com).

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.

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. If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the exam analyst, Charlene Cun, by telephone at 650-821-2018, or by email at Charlene.cun@flysfo.com.

Resumes may be attached to the application; however, resumes will not be accepted in lieu of a completed City and County of San Francisco application.

Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found here.

Verification of qualifying experience, when requested, must be documented on the employer's business letterhead and must include the name of the applicant, job title(s), dates of employment, description of job duties performed, and signature of the employer or the employer’s authorized representative. Experience claimed in self-employment will only be accepted if supported by documents verifying income, earnings, business license and experience comparable to minimum qualifications above. Copies of income tax papers or other documents listing occupation and total earnings must be submitted. Employees of the City and County of San Francisco may submit performance evaluations showing duties performed to verify qualifying City experience. City employees will receive credit for the duties of the class to which appointed. Credit for experience obtained outside of the employee's class will be allowed only if recorded in accordance with the provisions of Civil Service Commission Rules. Verification may be waived if impossible to obtain. The applicant must submit a signed statement explaining why verification cannot be obtained. Waiver requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Failure to provide the required verification, or request for waiver when requested may result in rejection of application.

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. Make sure your application and any attachments to the application submitted at the time of filing are complete and accurate and include details on all experience, education, training and other information that qualifies you for this recruitment. Failure to submit a complete and accurate application at the time of filing may result in your ineligibility for this recruitment or inability to receive full credit for scoring purposes. Any new information concerning work experience, education, training and other information that is submitted after the filing deadline may not be used for scoring or considered to determine whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Selection Procedures

Minimum Qualification Supplemental Questionnaire (Weight: Qualifying)
Candidates will be prompted to complete a Supplemental Questionnaire as part of the online employment application. This Minimum Qualification Supplemental Questionnaire is designed to obtain specific information regarding an applicant's experience in relation to the Minimum Qualifications for this position. Applicants must also complete the official application. It is essential that applicants provide complete information in identifying their education, experience and training. The Minimum Qualification Supplemental Questionnaire will be used to evaluate if the applicant possesses the required minimum qualifications.

Oral Examination (Weight: 100%)
Candidates who meet the minimum qualifications will be invited to participate in an oral examination designed to measure their relative knowledge, ability and skill levels in job related areas. Written, assessment type, or other performance-based exercises may be utilized.  

Candidates will be placed on the eligible list in rank order according to their final passing score. Candidates must achieve a passing score on the oral examination in order to be ranked on the eligible list.

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

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Security Clearance
Candidates for employment with the San Francisco Airport Commission are required to undergo a criminal history record check, including FBI fingerprints, and Security Threat Assessment in order to determine eligibility for security clearance and may be required to undergo drug/alcohol screening. Per Civil Service Commission Rule Section 110.9.1, every applicant for an examination must possess and maintain the qualifications required by law and by the examination announcement for the examination. Failure to obtain and maintain security clearance may be basis for termination from employment with the Airport Commission.

Certification Rule
The certification rule for the eligible list resulting from this examination will be Rule of Three Scores. Additional selection processes may be conducted by the hiring department prior to making final hiring decisions.

Eligible List
A confidential eligible list with names of candidates who have passed the civil service examination process will be created and used for certification purposes only. An examination score report will be established so interested parties can view the ranks, final scores, and number of eligible candidates. Applicant information, including names of candidates on the eligible list, shall not be made public unless required by law. However, an eligible list shall be made available for public inspection, upon request, once that eligible list is exhausted or expired and referrals resolved. The eligible list/score report resulting from this civil service examination process is subject to change after adoption (e.g., as a result of appeals), as directed by the Human Resources Director or the Civil Service Commission.

The duration of the eligible list resulting from this examination process will be six months, and may be extended with the approval of the Human Resources Director.

Upon approval of the Human Resource Director (see Civil Service Rule 111A.26.5), the eligible list/score report resulting from this announcement may be used by other departments that also use this classification or a similar classification. To find other Departments that use this classification, please click here. Search that document by title or job code to see which departments use the classification.


Conviction History

As a finalist for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a finalist. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as:

  • Candidates applying for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code.
  • Candidates applying for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.

Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City. If you are selected as a finalist, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

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.


Reasonable Accommodation Request
Applicants with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodation for this examination can find information on requesting a reasonable accommodation here.

Seniority Credit in Promotional Exams
Information regarding seniority credit can be found here.

Veterans Preference
Information regarding requests for veteran’s preference can be found here.

Terms of the Announcement
Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations. Clerical errors may be corrected by the posting the correction on the Department of Human Resources website at www.jobaps.com/sf. The terms of this announcement may be appealed under Civil Service Rule 111A.35.1. The standard for the review of such appeals is ‘abuse of discretion’ or ‘no rational basis’ for establishing the position description, the minimum qualifications and/or the certification rule. Appeals must include a written statement of the item(s) being contested and the specific reason(s) why the cited item(s) constitute(s) abuse of discretion by the Human Resources Director. Appeals must be submitted directly to the Executive Officer of the Civil Service Commission within five business days of the announcement issuance date.

Copies of Application Documents
Applicants are advised to keep copies of all documents submitted. Submitted documents become a permanent part of the exam record and will not be returned. The hiring department may require applicants to submit the same documents and/or additional documents at a later date.

Right to Work
All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.

General Information Concerning City and County of San Francisco Employment Policies and Procedures
Important employment information for the City and County of San Francisco can be obtained online here or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor.

Exam Type: Combined Promotive & Entrance
Issued: 12/20/19
Micki Callahan
Human Resources Director
Department of Human Resources
Recruitment ID #: 903884



All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.

For more information about benefits, please click here.


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