Collections and Exhibitions Technical Specialist 4 (Chief Preparator)

Penn State University

University Park Campus
Campus City:
University Park, PA
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
open until filled
Job Number:
Level/Salary Band:
04 – I – Exempt
Work Unit:
College of Arts and Architecture
Palmer Museum of Art
Full/Part Time:


The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State is seeking applicants for the position of Chief Preparator. This is a full-time staff position reporting directly to the Assistant Director. This is a professional position that requires considerable experience and expertise in art handling, preparation, and installation, as well as mastery of specialized skills, strategic thinking, and knowledge of best practices in the field of museum preparation. The Chief Preparator supervises and coordinates the installation of permanent collection displays and temporary exhibitions; oversees the preparation and maintenance of gallery spaces (including painting, lighting, and exhibition furniture); matting, framing, and mounting works of art; and preparation of budgets for maintaining and upgrading design, exhibition furniture, framing, gallery lighting, and shop supplies. This position directs and supervises a full-time preparator. As a collaborative member of the exhibition leadership team, the Chief Preparator will strive to accomplish the museum's mission and to support its strategic direction as set by the Director and the senior leadership of the university. Typically requires a Bachelor's degree or higher (Master's degree preferred) or higher plus six years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Extensive experience in fine art handling and installation, with a minimum of five years’ experience in a museum or gallery setting. Supervisory experience and familiarity with principles of exhibition design are strongly preferred. Willingness to work occasional evening and weekend hours.

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088