Lead Officer

The Des Moines Art Center is a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest. With a focus on contemporary art, it has amassed an important collection exhibited in three major buildings, on the grounds, and downtown in the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. In addition, the Art Center presents thought-provoking exhibitions and educational programs.


The Lead Officer of the Des Moines Art Center safeguards and protects all assets, personnel, students, visitors and guests. Concurrent with ensuring a safe environment, Lead Officers support security staff by initiating break rotations, responding to guest concerns or issues, supporting frontline operations, and setting an example of excellent customer service.  Lead Officers assist the Director of Security by executing security operations, by training new officers, reinforcing training topics with existing officers, and providing support for other departments. The Lead Officer must be adaptable and maintain a positive attitude while fulfilling multiple roles, often simultaneously.

Essential Functions

  • Executes security operations
    • Maintains current knowledge of museum exhibitions and related security considerations for all galleries; clearly understands Art Center policies to ensure compliance; attends meetings and training programs to maintain current knowledge
    • Initiates break rotations and responds to security team requests
    • Monitors and reports on Security Officer’s performance when necessary
    • Opens the building and secures it at closing time. Remains alert to prevent persons from removing, vandalizing, stealing or destroying works of art or other museum buildings or property.
    • Observes artwork and galleries in assigned area of responsibility for condition changes of any kind; immediately reports inconsistencies and potentially harmful conditions such as environmental effects (water leak, humidity, temperature, condensation, etc.) to the appropriate department heads
    • Responds promptly to alarms when onsite or as needed during off hours in rotation with other Lead Officers and Director of Security
  • Provide leadership in the area of customer service
    • Respectfully reminds/informs visitors of rules, regulations, and proper conduct while in the museum
    • Acts as a resource to Security Officers when customer service issues are identified or addressed
    • Sets an example of excellent customer service by interacting with all staff, volunteers, students and visitors with respectfully and courteously.
    • Upholds the Art Center’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. 
  • Act as an effective liaison
    • Effectively communicates information between multiple departments, Security Officers, the Director of Security, and the public.
    • Assists Director of Security in scheduling and assigning officers to gallery posts; particularly with short-notice needs
    • Generates excitement about and interest in the Art Center by providing visitor information on the Art Center, its programs and activities
  • Provide training and cross-departmental support

    • Provides on-the-job training for newly hired Security Officers

    • Evaluates training practices and coordinate with Security Director to adjust training plans

    • Obtains training across departments to support Education, Visitor Services, and other departments as required

    • Acts as a resource to Security Officers when customer service issues are identified or addressed

    • Models excellent customer service for current staff by interacting with all employees, volunteers, students and visitors with respectfully and courteously

Other Responsibilities

  • Act in ways that reflect favorably on the Art Center and maintains professional standards in the quality of performance and demonstration of concern for the Art Center’s collection, programs, and facilities.  Adheres to Des Moines Art Center Code of Ethics, Employee Handbook and other organizational policies.

Qualifications (work experience, education, certification) including KSAOs

  • Dependability, flexibility, and adaptability, in a dynamically moving and event-driven environment
  • Ability to exercise good judgment in carrying out established policies and procedures for security and safety of people, artwork and museum facilities in a consistent manner
  • Ability to understand and effectively communicate in writing, verbally, and with appropriate body language
  • Ability to instruct, lead, and gain the cooperation of others
  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Some college or other training in security and/or safety is preferred

Decision Making

  • Makes and participates in day-to-day decision making within established security procedures and organizational policies, utilizing good judgement in evolving situations, always with a visitor-focused mindset


  • This position reports to the Director of Security and has frequent contact with peers in security, maintenance, installations, education, visitor experience, museum shop, and curatorial departments. Lead Officers are in constant contact with museum visitors, docent volunteers, and students of all ages.

Special Considerations (Work Environment, Schedule, Required Travel, etc.)

  • Most often, work is inside, in a climate-controlled environment with light background noise. Shift times may vary to meet the museum’s requirement to staff the facilities during open hours and to staff private eventsWork may require long periods of sustained standing
  • Work may require long periods of sustained standing

Starting wage based on skill and experience. The Des Moines Art Center offers a full array of benefits to our fulltime employees including medical, dental, vision, life, LTD, 403(b), flex spending, critical illness, accident insurance, museum membership and studio class credits. 

Equal Employment Statement

The Art Center is dedicated to equal employment and advancement opportunities. It is the Art Center’s policy to hire and promote qualified individuals on the basis of their qualifications, interest and aptitude, without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or any other protected group under applicable state, federal or local law.

To be considered for this position, please fill out the application below.

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Personal Information


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Application Materials


Unless otherwise stated, I voluntarily give the Des Moines Art Center the right to make a thorough investigation of my past employment and activities. I agree to cooperate in such investigation, and release from all liability all persons, companies, or corporations supplying such information. If an offer of employment is given, I understand I must successfully complete a pre-employment criminal background check. I am also aware that I will be required to provide proof/identification that I am eligible to work in the United States. I certify that information given in this application is accurate and complete, and understand that inaccurate information may be cause for termination if discovered after employment begins.

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