Job Opportunity – Curatorial Assistant

High Desert Museum Job Opportunity – Curatorial Assistant

Title:   Curatorial Assistant
Division:   Program Development
Classification:    Hourly, full-time, non-exempt
Directly supported by:    Program Development Manager
Directly supports:   N/A
Salary Range:    $20/hour + depending on experience

About us

Since opening in 1982, HIGH DESERT MUSEUM has brought together wildlife, cultures, art and natural resources to promote an understanding of North America’s High Desert country. We do so through indoor and outdoor exhibits, wildlife in natural habitats, living history demonstrations and dynamic programs on a beautiful, 135-acre campus in the pine forest. The Museum is a nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was awarded the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Services. During the 2018-19 fiscal year, 195,000 visitors enjoyed the Museum.

The Museum is located in Bend, Oregon, a fast-growing, charismatic city nestled against the Cascade Range at the edge of the High Desert. We strive to be inclusive, culturally humble, relevant, curious, and mindful. As a team, we work together to wildly excite and responsibly teach, creating connection to and dialogue about the High Desert.

About this job and what you’ll do

The Curatorial Assistant is a critical source of support for our Creating Together initiative—a collaborative exhibit development process for the renovation of the Museum’s permanent exhibition on the Indigenous Plateau. From helping to manage communication and schedule meetings to supporting the development of meeting agendas, taking notes, and organizing project documentation, you will help facilitate the collaboration of the initiative’s 13 project advisors, architecture and design team, external evaluation team, and Museum staff. In playing a key role in preparing objects for the new exhibition, you will help manage database records, create condition reports, and support with object handling. You will also support the Program Development Manager and Creating Together team in conducting research and other tasks related to the exhibit development. Additionally, there will be opportunities to provide these types of support with changing exhibitions as directed by the Exhibits Team.

About who you are

The Curatorial Assistant is a skilled planner, organizer, and communicator and has a strong interest in museums or cultural institutions. You can navigate multiple activities at once and have a keen attention to details. You might have some knowledge of collection practices or object handling experience in a museum or gallery. Or perhaps you are starting your career in the museum field and are looking for an opportunity to gain experience with exhibit development and collection management to support your career. You value collaboration and enjoy working with a team to accomplish shared goals.

Want to learn more?

For a detailed job description listing the essential functions of this position and the education, experience, and skills requirements, click here.

Importantly, we recognize and honor that the qualifications required to excel in this position can come from a range of both professional and lived experiences. In the job description we describe what we believe to be important qualifications for a candidate to have while remaining open to the diversity of experiences that can lead to these skill sets. Position descriptions are often presented in a way that leaves qualified candidates feeling unwelcome, intimidated, uncomfortable and/or unqualified to apply. Recognizing that, we strongly encourage anyone who feels passionate about this work and believes they have what it takes to thrive in this role to apply.

Want to apply?

Please send a resume & cover letter to:

The Museum provides an equal employment opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/transgender status, age, disability, veteran or marital status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.


The High Desert Museum wildly excites and responsibly teaches through innovative, interdisciplinary experiences, creating connection to and dialogue about the High Desert.