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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 260L
Category: Education


Serves as the lead curator responsible for activities within a department (such as Collections, Education, Exhibits, or State Capital Museum and Outreach Services) performing administrative and program responsibilities in respect to collections or exhibits in a gallery, laboratory, herbarium or museum; OR manages a non-headquarters site (such as the Research Center, Heritage Resource Center, Center for Columbia River History). May supervise lower level staff.

Typical Work

Recommends artifact acquisitions and de-accessions; monitors storage locations;

Acts as liaison between the agency and the community and provides technical assistance as requested.

Develops, implements, and monitors collection management and preservation policies and procedures; estimates and orders collection storage materials; develops procedures for packing, unpacking, and shipping of materials;

Manages and coordinates the development, conceptualization, and evaluation of an exhibit story line;

Provides responses to research inquires; conducts research or oversees staff conducting research on specific topics related to specialized discipline;

Confers with researchers, artists, dealers, and collectors regarding content of collections; obtains new collections; loan materials for displays at other institutions and museums; provide assistance to individuals who visit facilities; arrange for publicity regarding collections and exhibitions;

Coordinates public lectures, workshops, seminars and conferences.

Coordinates and conducts research and development of related products, such as publications and presentations on community heritage and history.

Prepares educational materials, including curricula, for use by students and educators. 

Direct and train assistants, part–time help, volunteers, and students who are assisting with the movement, maintenance, or security of collections and exhibits;

Writes and reviews contracts; provides written and oral reports to board, staff and outside groups;

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Museum administration and methods including knowledge of state rules relating to personnel, finance, and contracting; proper function of exhibit and other teams; successfully negotiating with other museums for traveling exhibits and other projects; methods of documenting, researching organizing and caring for collections; education theory and practice; state history and heritage.

Ability to:  Use computer-assisted design programs such as Auto-Cad to produce scaled floor plans, perspective colored renderings, and 3-dimensional views of case design; use graphic design software such as Freehand or In-Design, to design, create, and edit images including text and photos on exhibit panels and directional signage; use video editing programs to produce finished 2- to 15 minute video presentation from raw footage, including the addition of sound or music and such special effects as zooming and fading;  use collections management software for cataloging collections such as Argus, Mimsy, Post Perfect; identify and classify museum objects or archival collections; lift 30 pounds.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification.  It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Persons legally authorized to work in the U.S. under federal law, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, are eligible for employment unless prohibited by other state or federal law.

Desirable Qualifications

Positions typically require a Bachelor’s degree in history, museum studies, fine arts, education, anthropology


four years experience as a museum curator or equivalent. 

Some positions require a Bachelor’s degree in art or science and three years of professional experience in a program specialty.

Class Specification History

New class consolidates 4283 Curator II, 25710 Curator 2, adopted January 1, 2006.
Revise class. Revises distinguishing characteristics adopted May 12, 2006.
Revise class. General revision, adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.

Revised Legal Requirements; effective June 6, 2024, due to adopted legislative action.