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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. 

Are you looking for fun, fast-paced work in an entertaining, educational environment? All candidates must show a demonstrated commitment to the museum mission and a philosophy of play-based, experiential learning environment. Check out our current job openings below.

Hands On offers paid time off, museum passes, birthday party and café card, medical, dental and pre-tax supplemental insurance, a retirement plan and a scream room!

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

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

To learn more about Olympia, visit Experience Olympia.

Open Positions:

Front Desk & Reservations Assistant Manager

Hours/Status: 1.0 FTE exempt; Core schedule varies depending on time of year; ability to flex from core for occasional evening or weekend programs, museum events and support for Front Desk Manager.

Compensation: DOQ

Benefits: Comprehensive Package available from Director of Business & HR

Reports to: Front Desk & Reservations Manager

Organizational Overview and Position Description: Located on Olympia’s East Bay waterfront, the Hands On Children’s Museum is an award-winning cultural institution and popular early learning destination for families throughout the Northwest and the nation. The Museum served 325,000 annual visitors pre-COVID, with more than one-third of our visitors served through free or reduced fee Access programs. After two COVID closures in the past year, the Museum is open at 20% capacity with multiple timed sessions offered daily each week. As such, we are rebuilding our Visitor Services staff team.

This key Visitor Services position is a busy, front-line role that is responsible for reservation systems and activities for the Museum’s many education programs including camps, preschool, field trips and birthday parties. Also, serves as the lead Front Desk Manager, managing Front Desk operations and staff two days a week. Responsible for all aspects of Museum program registration, data entry and records, payment management, calendar management, confirmations, and records management as part of the registration process.

Key Position Responsibilities
  • Manage daily reservations, respond to inquiries, match customers to education programs.Manage waitlists and interest lists for various programs. Produce a detailed weekly registration report.
  • Works with Senior Database Manager to ensure updated registration procedures are documented and followed. Ensures appropriate reservations training for other front-line staff.
  • Manages complex organizational calendar including program scheduling, room reservations, training sessions and other facility impacts.
  • Manages Front Desk operations and staff two days each week and when Front Desk Manager is on vacation or sick leave.
  • Ensures program statistics are properly recorded entered correctly into the database.
  • Completes all aspects of reservation process including sales, registration, payment, confirmation, participant records, or other information.
  • Works with operations and education managers to create group visit schedules including workshops and lunches.
  • Process on-line payments and reconcile tuition and registration payments.
  • Acts as key registration staff for Museum special events.
Knowledge, Skills and Talents
  • Excellent customer service skills required for our customer-focused values.
  • Ability to communicate with a wide variety of audiences including general Museum visitors, children, teachers, parents/caregivers, program donors, and community members in a professional manner.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Sales skills desired.
  • Exceptional project management & problem-solving skills. Demonstrated ability to use good judgement.
  • High level administrative skills including familiarity with various database programs, word processing; spreadsheets; records management.
  • Retail and cash handling experience preferred.
  • 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.
  • Supportive and caring of other staff, visitors and organizational mission.
  • Ability to respond quickly and positively to changing business needs.
  • Ability to gain high-level of competency in POS system.
Minimum Qualifications
  • Minimum three-years of experience in reservations or registration management.
  • Minimum of three-years of management experience in hospitality, office or retail setting
  • Bachelor’s degree in hospitality, business, or any relevant field preferred. May substitute a mix of college, professional education and on the job experience.
  • Washington State Driver’s License. Ability to obtain a First Aid and CPR certification.
Workplace Values
  • The Museum is managed in an entrepreneurial spirit that values new ideas, risk-taking and employee participation.
  • We believe in continuous improvement in all areas and aggressively pursue all ideas to improve what we do.
  • We are customer focused. We listen, respond, and redesign the way we work based on customer feedback.
  • We believe in collaboration not competition with other Museums, community organizations, and non-profits, to improve the quality of life in our community.

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

Museum Education and Gallery Service Assistants

HOCM is seeking outgoing, flexible assistants for the Museum's Education programs and gallery services who enjoy providing outstanding fun and educational experiences for our customers!

You may be assigned to work in galleries including the interactive Art Studio, MakeSpace, Children’s Garden, and Outdoor Discovery Center. You may also assist in curriculum delivery and classroom management for Museum camp, preschool, or other programs as a sub. 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.
  • Experience in college-level arts or early childhood education preferred.
  • Specialized experience in silk screening, animation, nature/garden programs a plus.
  • 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 and 3 professional references to employment@hocm.org

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.