Museum Operations Supervisor
Olympia, WA Gallery Services
Job Type

Located on Olympia’s East Bay waterfront, the Hands On Children’s Museum is the leading play-based, early learning institution in Southwest Washington and the most visited children’s museum in the Pacific Northwest hosting 300,000 annually (excluding pandemic). Our mission is to stimulate curiosity, creativity and critical thinking skills through rich, interactive learning experiences. We believe that all children deserve respect and the opportunity to learn regardless of their ability to pay which is why the Museum works hard to serve more than one-third of its visitation through a robust suite of Access programs.

Voted a “Best Place for Kids” for more than a decade, the Museum offers a state-of-the-art LEED Gold facility with 150 indoor exhibits, a half-acre Outdoor Discovery Center and nature play space, Arts Studio, MakeSpace for tinkering and inventing, café and gift shop. Our award-winning education programs including camps, workshops, preschool, parenting classes, field trips, community outreach and family support programs.

Do you enjoy a fast-paced work environment where fun and learning meet? Then apply to join our team at HOCM! The Museum Operations Supervisor assists in overseeing the daily operations of the museum galleries. They will actively supervise, train, coach, schedule and appraise the Play Facilitator team, Gallery Leads, Assistants, and Custodial teams. This position also serves as Supervisor on Duty (SOD) as assigned, overseeing operations of the museum facility and supporting all leadership staff in solving customer service, staffing and other issues that may arise. The Operations Supervisor requires a mission focused, driven person who prioritizes the visitor experience, communication, and enjoys working on a diverse team.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include:

Museum Gallery Service Operations

  • Take lead in GS operations for the day. Includes opening and closing procedure coordination and detailed pre-opening and mid-day facility & exhibit inspection. Ensures indoor and outdoor facility areas are clean, safe, well stocked and inviting - includes parking lot, entrances, garbage areas.
  • Ensure all GS staff scheduled are on site or initiate follow up call/substitution. Solve daily staffing issues as they arise – including increasing or decreasing staffing as warranted by visitation levels.
  • Responsible for daily end of day facility and gallery walk through to ensure all windows closed, fire and exit doors secure and no unauthorized persons still in the facility. Ensures all galleries properly closed before sending staff home. Notifies any remaining staff in building who is still here, or if last person out sets the alarm.
  • Ensures smooth transition between day and evening programs and weekday and weekend programs. Communicates with program or event leads to have a clear plan for set up and timing.
  • Daily active supervision of GS staff. Observes and coaches staff, conducts introductory and annual reviews for all GS L1, L2, Specialists and Gallery Assistant Supervisor.
  • Communicates with a variety of visitors with diverse interest and abilities to ensure a positive Museum experience.

Supervisor on Duty

  • When assigned SOD role – responsible for managing injuries, incidents and emergencies according to museum procedures: determines whether or not to call 911 when managers or directors are not onsite; takes incident report, confers with on call director if warranted. Carries assigned keys to assist in emergency evacuation or shelter in place.
  • When acting as SOD, periodically checks with Department Leads to evaluate any support needed, or if Leads need support to enforce museum policy, procedure or customer service standards.


  • Communicate with management/director team for urgent situations/decisions as needed, use on-call director if director not on site.
  • Regularly checks and responds in a timely manner to emails and phone messages.
  • Participate in daily rally and communicate facility information to other staff.
  • Create and maintain a positive, professional work environment by ensuring employee interactions are professional and productive.
  • Meet weekly with Sr. Manager V.S Admin. to discuss current workload, priorities and any challenges needing support or clarification.

Staff Scheduling, Supervision & Training

  • Draft Gallery Services weekly work schedule to ensure appropriate staffing coverage (within labor budget).
  • Actively supervises GS staff including maintaining a regular presence on floor to direct staff to areas needing attention and observing staff performance. Identify scheduling, email, or other admin time during slow visitation hours or when budgeted support in place.
  • Documents less than satisfactory staff performance to Sr. Manager V.S. Admin to determine next steps for follow up counseling/documentation.
  • Executes training plans for new Gallery Services L1, L2 & Specialist staff and volunteers – utilizing training plan/checklist.
  • Screens initial resumes and does 1st telephone interviews for Gallery Services Candidates. Leads 1st in-person interview with Sr. Manager Lead in attendance. Upon completion of a successful interview, schedules one-on-one meeting with the Operations Director in conjunction with an experience day. This group will make a hiring decision.
  • Approves timecards for assigned GS Staff per procedure ensuring correct task codes, tracking tardiness and missed shifts.
  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred, relevant work experience may substitute.
  • Excellent customer service skills required.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent initiative and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent office skills including: word processing; e-mail; record keeping and multi-line phone system.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Excellent project coordination skills; multi-tasking and prioritizing.
  • Two years experience supervising staff of 5 or more.
  • Ability to work with individuals from a wide variety of ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds.
  • Able to work independently with limited direction in a fast-paced environment with a great deal of flexibility.
  • Ability to work in a team setting with a high degree of daily communication required. Must support and value the viewpoints of the other team members and organizational mission.
  • Ability to be on feet for long periods of time.
  • Ability to climb ladders.
  • Can lift up to 30lbs.

Workplace Values

Achieving our mission requires great people who actively demonstrate our core values.

When applying, please submit a cover letter, resume, and 3 professional references.

Compensation & Benefits: As a leading non-profit, we offer competitive compensation, medical, dental and vision coverage, an Employee Assistance Plan, paid time off, paid holidays, a 401(k)-retirement plan, and special perks including museum passes and membership, discounts on preschool, camps, in the Museum Store and Café, and paid parking. Benefits vary by number of regularly scheduled hours worked, length of employment, and employment status. See benefit details for this position here.

The Hands On Children’s Museum exhibits, education programs, and employment are available to all without discrimination.

Salary Description
$21 - 23/hr