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Preparator 1

Job Details

MOCA - Los Angeles, CA
Full Time
$25.02 Hourly

Preparator I is an entry level position and works onsite under the supervision of the Director of Exhibition Production, the Exhibition Production Managers, and/or Senior Preparators as assigned, to receive, mount, pack and disperse all exhibitions, including loans and works in the Permanent Collection. These functions involve working closely with the Registration Department, Curatorial Department, and visiting artists and curators. Primary responsibility is the safe and careful handling of all objects placed within the Museum's care, and overall collection stewardship and maintenance. Because the scope of the MOCA's exhibition program incorporates conventional art forms as well as those which are more experimental in nature, Preparator I will have a variety of tasks and functions to perform, relating to all aspects of construction, fabrication, installation and maintenance of exhibitions.


Essential Functions

  • Work well as a team member and interact with a wide variety of staff and non-museum personnel.

  • Safely and carefully handle all objects placed within the museums care, using best practices.

  • Receive, release, load, and unload shipments of art as assigned. Direct crews in safe loading and unloading of trucks and movement of art.

  • Work with the Senior Preparator to maintain and replenish inventory of tools, supplies and materials.

  • Work in a precise and careful manner under stringent deadlines.

  • Display creativity in solving technical problems and flexibility in adapting to unusual circumstances.

  • Attend all mandatory safety and equipment training sessions. Comply with safety standards on all equipment use.

  • Operate fork/aerial lifts.

  • Help to foster a collegial and synergistic work environment, contributing to the development of department staff at all skill levels.

  • Act as a team leader to Temporary Preparators in accomplishing daily departmental goals.

  • Maintain work spaces, gallery spaces, and artworks on display or in the collection according to standards set by Registrars, Exhibition Production Managers, and Senior Preparators.

  • Participate in the planning and installation of exhibitions; includes attending meetings with other departments, creating physical and digital maquettes of artworks, and contributing to the design and fabrication of exhibition furniture for shows as assigned.

  • Work closely with other departments, particularly Operations, Facilities, and Security staff as needed to provide continued assistance to the greater museum.

Desired Skills

  • Experience with Microsoft Office, Adobe CS, TMS, Sketchup and/or other relevant exhibition design software.

  • Experience with various fabrication, carpentry and construction techniques, and gallery lighting.

  • Experience using forklifts, aerial lifts and other motorized equipment.

  • Knowledge of contemporary art.



  • Minimum of two years experience working in museums, galleries, or professional artist studios. Contemporary art museum experience preferred.

  • Excellent manual dexterity and visual acuity skills.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

  • Knowledge of the safe handling, care and installation of all art objects, installation hardware, and movement techniques.

  • Safe use of tools and equipment including, but not limited to: ladders, pallet jacks, non-electrical hand tools and various portable and stationary power tools.

  • Ability to multitask on a variety of concurrent projects.

  • Ability to work nights and weekends as needed.


Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

While performing the duties of this job, the incumbent must be able to do the following:

  • Stand for long periods.

  • Bend, stoop, reach, lift, and climb to move materials and carefully handle artwork.

  • Climb up and down stairs and ladders; comfortably work at heights.

  • Reach both above and below shoulder height.

  • Be able to lift up to 50 pounds individually.

  • Operate manually-controlled equipment and safely handle works of art.

  • Ability to visually inspect work; specific visual abilities include close vision, color vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.



Rate: $25.02 per hour

This position is covered by MOCA/AFSCME Collective Bargaining Unit Agreement: Yes



The Museum of Contemporary Art is an equal opportunity employer. We will extend equal opportunity to all individuals without regard to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and related medical conditions), gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status or any other status protected under applicable federal, state or local laws. Our policy reflects and affirms the Museum of Contemporary Arts commitment to the principles of fair employment and the elimination of all discriminatory practices.


Research shows that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that an applicant meets 100% of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if much of this job description describes you, then you are highly encouraged to apply for this role.


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by individuals assigned to this position; they do not purport to describe all functions of the position. Employees may be assigned other duties and the essential functions of the position may change or be changed as necessary.