Job Analysis Part 1/Job 1

February 22, 2013

For the next couple of entries I will be looking at couple of recent job postings that interest me. The first one is a job in archives and requires a little more experience. It may be something for me to look into a little farther down the road, after I am more established.

Job #1:

This job is through the Smithsonian Institute at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. It has been kind of a “dream” of mine to end up in Washington, D.C., though I always envisioned the National Archives and Records Administration. However, I was unable to find any recent job postings for the National Archives. This job looks very interesting and would be something I would like to do, either at the NMAAHC or the National Archives.

Job Title:

Smithsonian Institution

Salary Range:

Job Summary:
This Archivist position is located in the Division of Curatorial Affairs within the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Responsibilities include cataloging, overseeing the care and restoration of the Museum’s photography, film, sound, and digital media.

The applicant, if hired will create, promote, and implement the NMAAHC organizational plan for archival and photographic collections, video, sound, and various digital media. He/she will develop and implement formal policies and procedures for collections access and consult with museum staff to ensure security and preservation of collections. The applicant must be able to organize, enter, and maintain information concerning collections in the Smithsonian database and other appropriate national and international databases. He/she will provide day-to-day management of the Archives unit.

I would have to say that the care, organization, and restoration of the NMAAHC’s photography, film, sound, and digital media are aspects of the job that interest me most, especially the preservation of collections part. I am looking forward to taking electives such as LIS 7750 Introduction to Library and Archival Preservation and LIS 7730 Administration of Visual Collections for my Archival Administration certificate. I am very interested in learning about restoration and conservation so these classes are on the top of my electives list. Because the NMAAHC is a new museum that has not even opened yet the Archivist hired will pretty much be creating the archives from scratch and implementing its policy. While, challenging this would be a great job for someone to really get in at the ground level and create a wonderful, state of the art archives.
The job listing does not really specify whom the position reports to except for mentioning that he/she will be working with museum staff and managing the day-to-day operations of the Archives Unit. So this is a supervisory position, which is definitely not my favorite aspect of the job. As for whom he/she would report to, that would likely be the department head.

All applicants need to meet the following education requirements. Bachelor’s degree in archival science or a bachelor’s degree with a major that included 18 semester hours in archival science, history and/or political science, and 12 semester hours in one or a combination of archival science, history, American civilization, political science, public administration, or government.
A Combination of education and experience- at least 30 semester hours that included courses shown above, plus appropriate experience or supplemental education.

Even though I do not possess the required bachelor’s degree required, I think that a MLIS with a Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration would be appropriate and applicable. In fact I am a little curious as to why it was not listed under desired education in the first place. To me, at an established place such as the Smithsonian, they would at least mention some kind of post-baccalaureate or Master’s degree as a requirement. I would think that in a job of this level a master’s degree would not only be desired, but required.

One-year full time at the Grade 12 level in a position similar to this job posting.

Grade 12 is part of the federal government pay scale; there are 15 grades with 10 steps each. Basically, they want the applicant to be at a certain pay level. Grade 12, step 1 is about $60,274 a year; step 10 is about $78,355 a year. Most jobs listed on USA Jobs have some sort of pay grade requirement. Though not meeting this particular requirement has never stopped me from applying for a job.

I was again surprised that only one year of experience is listed under requirements. However, after thinking about it for a few minutes I remembered it also lists that the pay grade during this year minimum of experience is about $60,274 a year. A pay grade at this level would indicate that the applicant had been in archives a number of years, as one does not generally start out at that high of a pay level. So more accurately, I would guess that the applicant would have at least five years working in an archives. This is a conservative guess; an applicant would probably have even more than five years experience working in archives.

This looks like a pretty typical archival job. I would love to have a job like this and be able to live in Washington, D.C. Hopefully, one day I will be able to make it happen.

Fed Jobs. (2013). Base general schedule pay scale: Rates frozen at 2010 levels.
Retrieved from

Kokemuller, N. (2013). Grade levels in government jobs. Retrieved from

USA Jobs. (February 14, 2013). Smithsonian institute: Job title archivist
Retrieved from.

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