Employment

Are you looking for fun, fast-paced work in an entertaining, educational environment? We're looking for candidates that show a commitment to the Museum mission and a philosophy of play-based, experiential learning environment. Check out our current job openings.
About Us

The Hands On Children’s Museum is Washington’s award-winning youth Museum located on Olympia’s East Bay waterfront. Our mission is to stimulate curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking skills through rich, interactive learning experiences.

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, a MakeSpace for tinkering and inventing, and award-winning education programs including camps, workshops, preschool, parenting classes, field trips, community outreach, and family support programs.

Join Our Team

Thank you for your interest in working with the Hands On Children’s Museum! We offer paid time off, Museum passes, birthday party and café card, medical, dental, and pre-tax supplemental insurance, a retirement plan, and a scream room! For more information about Olympia visit Experience Olympia.

Open Positions

Applicants who are offered employment must pass a background check as a condition of employment.

Preschool & Camp Teaching Assistant

About the Position

Seeking flexible and energetic educator to teach in the Museum’s award-winning Early Learning Program. Year-round position includes supporting the lead teacher in our preschool program and assisting in camps during school breaks.

Responsibilities include prepping curriculum materials for the lead teacher for one or more classes, participating in events including Orientation Day and Parent Family conferences and supporting the lead in creating a classroom atmosphere that includes group and individual activity opportunities, colorful materials and projects on display, items from nature, light tables, and more. The assistant teacher is familiar with the Preschool program’s handbook and all policies within and can communicate them to parents as needed. The assistant addresses students’ strengths and areas of growth, openly communicating with the lead teacher to best support students. Must aspire to meet the highest standards in program quality and Museum safety.  Communicate and work effectively with other team members, various museum departments and stakeholders in the broader community.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Creates a welcoming and warm environment for students and parents.
  • Organizes and preps curriculum materials for classroom.
  • Stages activities and materials in the classroom to encourage active and imaginative play.
  • Works with lead to develop engaging and enriching curriculum.
  • Cleans, sanitizes, washes textiles and otherwise organizes and cleans the learning space.
  • Provides substitute teaching as assigned by Education Department Manager.
  • Practices effective communication with families via digital sites, newsletters, signage and direct contact.
  • Effectively manages classroom. Plan effective classroom function and flow, helping to assess all furniture and equipment. Responsible for maintenance of work area, classroom, storage areas.
  • Seeks support from other preschool teachers or Education Department Manager for challenges with students or parents.  Report significant challenges to Director of Education.
  • Provides event education support for Museum major events such as Boo Bash, Noon Year’s Eve, Adult Swim, Summer Splash! Gala,

Minimum Qualifications & Experience: 

  • Degree in ECE, Education or relevant field preferred.
  • Must have a minimum of three years of experience in formal and/or informal educational setting.
  • Washington State Driver’s License. Ability to obtain First Aid and CPR certification, Food Handler’s Card
  • Must be able to lift 50lbs and be able to be on feet for most of the work day.

Desired Qualifications:

  • CDA certification or STARS certificate preferred.

Knowledge, Skills & Talents:

  • Ability to support innovative curriculum development and delivery.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Ability to communicate with a wide variety of audiences including general Museum visitors, children, teachers, parents/caregivers, program donors, and community members in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Ability to work in a team setting where a high degree of daily communication is required. Must care about and value viewpoints of other team members with different areas of responsibility.
  • Must be able to work independently and multi-task in a fast-paced environment.
  • High level of energy, enthusiasm, flexibility, and patience.
  • Good administrative skills including computer program familiarity, correspondence, record keeping, filing and e-mail applications.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, 3 professional references to employment@hocm.org.
Job Type: Part Time to Full Time. Core schedule Mon-Fri; flexible schedule required for occasional evening or weekend programs and museum events.

Preschool Teacher

About the Position

This Education Department position lead teaches the museum’s Pre-Kindergarten class, and school break day camps during non-preschool weeks.

The position has primary responsibility for the overall HOCM preschool curriculum research, updates & documentation. Works with the Education Department Manager to ensure preschool program meets educational goals, and goals are aligned with state Kindergarten readiness goals.  This position acts as a substitute teacher as scheduling allows for:  Special Mornings of Play, Field Trip Program, Social Service Partner Programs and will support all museum events including Boo Bash, Noon Year’s, Adult Swim and Summer Splash/Gala.  Learn, acquire and research new knowledge to inform curriculum and best practices.  Continually evaluate and improve programming to ensure effective delivery.  Support and advise fellow teachers to help resolve student or classroom environment challenges.  Follow museum safety, security procedures and ensure the highest quality standards are met in curriculum and customer interactions.  Communicate and work effectively with other team members and museum departments including attending department and all staff meetings.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities: 

  • Overall
    • Timely and professional response to communication including responding to emails, returning phone calls, in person discussions to resolve problems or for planning.
    • Responsible maintenance of work area, classroom, storage areas.
    • Follow all museum safety and other procedures and practices, including field trips and guests to HOCM.
    • Orient support staff and volunteers to safety rules and practices and actively supervise that they practice such.
    • Create a welcoming and warm environment for students and parents.
    • Establish effective communication with parents.
    • Effectively manage classroom.
    • Seek support from other preschool teachers or Education Department Manager for challenges with students or parents.  Report significant challenges to Director of Education.
    • React to parent feedback on review forms or other by evaluating curriculum or practices and making improvements.
    • Communicate room set up needs via floor plan or other method to Gallery Services or other staff.
    • Supervise assigned assistant teaching staff, including participating in interview process and leading disciplinary and performance reviews.
  • Preschool Teaching
    • Work with Education Department Manager to establish annual curriculum plan for preschool.  Ensure curriculum is aligned with State Kindergarten Readiness standards, developmentally appropriate, and in sync with HOCM Preschool Program progressive classes.
    • Order and prepare (or direct staff to prepare) curriculum supplies.
    • Plan effective classroom function and flow, assess all furniture and equipment.
    • Report repairs needed to Facilities Department utilizing forms provided, immediate verbally report items that are safety issues.
    • Become familiar with all registration documents for each child in assigned preschool classes.  Keep appropriate records regarding student progress, injury, etc.
    • Report attendance and other statistics to appropriate HOCM staff person.
    • Establish effective communication with families including monthly newsletter, Shutterfly site maintenance, classroom signage about current day’s activities, handouts or other methods.
    • Prepare for and deliver Fall and Spring Parent/Teacher Conference for each student, utilizing common program assessment.
    • Substitute teach as assigned by Education Department Manager.
    • Create clear weekly and periodic task lists for assigned program assistant, interns or volunteers.
    • Attend Open Houses and otherwise support active marketing efforts to fill assigned classes/programs.
  • Camp Teaching
    • Understand number and age range of assigned camps to teach.
    • Research “hot” topics and propose camps to Education Department Manager prior to newsletter deadlines.
    • Develop short “blurb” description highlighting action items for camps for marketing purposes.
    • Design developmentally appropriate and innovative curriculum.
    • Submit daily plan/layout for camp curriculum and submit to Education Department Manager for approval.
    • Once camp curriculum is approved, order supplies.
    • Prepare or oversee assistant or volunteer in preparing materials.
    • Prepare letter for parents clearly communicating what will happen in camp.
  • Other Assigned Teaching
    • Substitute Teaching:Substitute for Lead or Assistant Teachers in Preschool, Camp, Social Service Agency Partner Programs, or other programs as assigned.
    • Event support – Boo Bash, Noon Year’s, Adult Swim, Gala, Breakfast, Summer Splash. Will be assigned within job outline ratios.
  • Meetings & Training
    • Attend quarterly All Staff meetings.
    • Attend monthly Education Department meetings.
    • Attend bi-monthly Preschool Department meetings.
    • Attend assigned trainings.

Qualifications & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in ECE, Education or relevant field strongly preferred. WA State teacher certification and/or Master’s degree preferred.
  • Must have a minimum of three years of experience in lead role in formal and or informal educational setting.
  • Experience supervising one or more staff.
  • Washington State Driver’s License. Ability to obtain First Aid and CPR certification, Food Handler’s Card
  • Must be able to lift 50lbs and be able to be on feet for most of the work day.

Knowledge, Skills & Talents:

  • Ability to practice innovative curriculum development and delivery.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to communicate with a wide variety of audiences including general Museum visitors, children, teachers, parents/caregivers, program donors, and community members in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Ability to work in a team setting where a high degree of daily communication is required. Must care about and value viewpoints of other team members with different areas of responsibility.
  • Must be able to work independently and multi-task in a chaotic, fast-paced environment.
  • High level of energy, enthusiasm, flexibility and patience.
  • Good administrative skills including computer program familiarity, correspondence, record keeping, filing and e-mail applications.
  • Good sense of humor.
  • Supportive and caring of other staff, visitors and organizational mission.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, 3 professional references to employment@hocm.org.
Job Type: Part Time to Full Time. Core schedule Mon-Fri; flexible as needed for evening or weekend programs, museum events and other staffing needs.

Finance Manager

About the Position

The Museum is looking for an enthusiastic and experienced accounting professional who enjoys a fast-paced position with lots of variety and the chance to work with a wonderful, caring staff.

As a key member of the management team, the Finance Manager is responsible for managing daily and periodic accounting, accounts receivable, accounts payable, month-end closing, semi-monthly payroll processing and records on all transactions and assets. Additionally, the Finance Manager collaborates with senior management to prepare a variety of statistical and other financial reports and performs related duties as needed or assigned.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities: 

  • Reporting and Compliance
    • Prepare and analyze daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual financial reports to the management team.
    • Maintain current and effective standard operating procedures for financial management.
    • Assists in annual budget preparation process.
    • Assist in the management of grant reporting, compliance and reconciliation.
    • Oversees Café and Giftshop inventory.
    • Implement policies and procedures to ensure all Museum records are archived in compliance with state and local laws.
    • Manages physical inventory of museum furniture, fixtures & equipment.
    • Attends & participates in meetings & training,
    • Assist with museum special events.
    • Completes special projects as assigned.
  • Accounts Payable
    • Reviews and enters invoices, credit card purchases and reimbursements in accounting system, ensures accuracy and compliance with internal controls
    • Weekly payment of invoices
    • Manages 1099 vendor filing
    • Researches and resolves vendor inquiries or discrepancies
    • Reconcile monthly vendor and credit card statements
    • Reconcile monthly bank statements
  • Accounts Receivable
    • Ensure transactions and reports for correct entry, mathematical accuracy and proper budget allocations.
    • Invoicing for field trips, groups, private events, pledges
    • Research and resolve billing/payment discrepancies
    • Review receivable aging and proactively work with internal departments to follow-up on outstanding payments.
    • Perform monthly reconciliation of contributed income with Development Dept.
    • Month-end closing of accounts receivable functions.
    • Oversee parking pay station & fee collections.

Job Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting or related experience.
  • Previous accounting experience with a non-profit organization desired
  • 3+ years using QuickBooks or other accounting software
  • Experience working with generally accepted accounting principles and internal controls.
  • Ability to take initiative to solve problems and have good planning and organization skills to balance and prioritize work.
  • Ability to work and succeed in a dynamic and fast-paced environment with multiple and changing priorities while establishing and meeting deadlines.
  • Must be able to work independently and to exercise professional judgment.
  • Ability to maintain accurate and detailed records and to learn new programs, processes and technology.
  • Excellent computer literacy is required, particularly using spreadsheets — advanced user of Microsoft Excel and proficient in Word & Outlook.
  • Excellent communication skills — both written & verbal
  • Supportive and caring of other staff, visitors and organizational mission.

Salary & Benefits: As a leading non-profit, we offer a competitive salary, medical, dental and vision coverage, paid time off and paid holidays, a 401(k) plan and lots of special educational perks including discounts on camps, classes, museum membership and special employee benefits. This is a full-time exempt position.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, 3 professional references, and a bullet point list noting how your experience and skills match the requirements of the position to employment@hocm.org.

Museum Gallery Services Assistant

We are Seeking:

Outgoing, flexible assistants for the Museum’s Gallery Services Dept. who enjoy providing an outstanding fun and educational experience for our customers! You may be assigned to work in the Museum’s galleries including the interactive Art Studio, MakeSpace, Children’s Garden and Outdoor Discovery Center. These positions also assist with the rotation and sanitization of museum props and help to monitor the galleries for safe play. Must be able to adjust and think dynamically.

These are part-time positions – 20+ hours a week on average but more during school breaks and holidays.

Who Should Apply?

  • Perfect part-time positions for college and grad students with interest in the arts, science and tinkering essential.
  • Ideal candidates have excellent customer service skills and relevant experience in a children’s or other museum, arts, recreation, education or hospitality setting.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, ability to work in a team setting with a high degree of daily communication.
  • Flexibility to work occasional evenings, weekends, holidays and special events as needed for museum programming.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, 3 professional references to employment@hocm.org.
Job Type: Part-time
Pay: From $13.69 per hour

Museum Receptionists

Overview of the Positions:

We are looking for reliable, flexible, positive, and outgoing team members to join our front desk team. Our Front Desk Receptionists will cheerfully greet & interact with visitors, sell memberships and education programs, process admissions and reservations for Museum programs & events.

Qualifications & Experience:

Previously demonstrated excellence in customer service and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment are a must for this fun, front line position. Other requirements include:

  • HS diploma required
  • Minimum 1-2 years of customer service and cash handling experience
  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Strong verbal and interpersonal skills
  • Proficient using Microsoft Office
  • Experience with Point-of-Sale or retail software and answering phones a plus

Candidates must have weekday and weekend availability. These are part-time positions and hours vary and depend on Museum programming and visitation demands so dependability and flexibility are a must. EOE. No phone calls, please.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, 3 professional references employment@hocm.org.

Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

Non-Discrimination Policy: Hands On Children’s Museum exhibits, education programs, and employment are available to all without discrimination.

Equal Opportunity Statement: Hands On Children’s Museum is committed to the policy of equal opportunity in employment. It is our policy to recruit and employ qualified persons on the basis of merit without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, military or honorably discharged veteran status, or any other protected class as set forth under applicable state and federal civil rights laws. Employment decisions will be based on the individual’s qualifications to perform the job. This policy of nondiscrimination applies to employment, training, compensation, promotion, transfer and all other conditions of employment.