Volunteer Now

Did you know that more than 50% of our volunteers work directly with the public?  Every year, more than a thousand volunteers help the American Museum of Natural History meet its mission and goals by donating in excess of 115,000 hours to the Museum. We would like to take a moment to thank all our volunteers for their hard work and dedication.

Volunteers work individually or in groups, performing a variety of duties throughout the Museum. The Museum is open to the public seven days a week, and volunteers are utilized at all times.  All the "behind the scenes" volunteer positions, including the science departments, are only available Monday-Friday during normal business hours.  Our volunteers are from diverse backgrounds and reflect the population of the city.  There are two volunteer categories: Volunteers who work with the Public and Volunteers who work behind-the-scenes as Research and Departmental Volunteers.  Learn more about them by reading further.

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Volunteers who work with the Public

Volunteers who work with the public conduct tours of the permanent halls and special exhibitions, staff information desks, engage students through hands-on learning and immersive experiences as teaching volunteers and act as explainers in the fossil halls and in the earth and space halls.  Apply now to make a real difference in the lives of others and to meet other volunteers who are also passionate about natural history, science and learning.

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Volunteers who work Behind-the-Scenes

Volunteers who work behind the scenes offer a wide range of essential services in the administrative and scientific departments. These volunteers work side-by-side with collections managers in our research departments or with staff in marketing, IT, HR and other departments. Skills generally required are organizational and administrative in nature and might include providing computer and clerical services, cataloging of new and rare books in the library, or labeling of specimens in the collections. 

My Volunteer Story

Share your enthusiasm for natural history. From greeting guests to working alongside Museum curators, volunteers enable the Museum to provide a lively, fun, and educational experience.  Learn more about some of the typical volunteer duties.

Current Openings

Fossil Hall Explainers

The office of Volunteer Services is currently recruiting motivated, engaging individuals to join the ranks of the Fossil Hall Explainers. Fossil Explainers work as interpreters on the Museum’s fourth floor where they help visitors enjoy the world’s largest collection of vertebrate fossils.

Explainers are expected to work one two-hour shift per week with a minimum commitment of one year. There are openings Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. as well as Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Training consists of weekday evening classes and will be comprehensive, covering the science of paleontology and the art of working with visitors. Upon acceptance all explainers will be required to complete this training.

Successful candidates will have an interest in paleontology and desire to work directly with the public. A background in science or education is welcome but not required.

Please complete the volunteer application and indicate that you are interested in becoming a Fossil Explainer. After completing this application, please send an email to explainers@amnh.org with a brief (200 word) introductory letter explaining why you would like to be a Fossil Explainer. Introductory letter must be received by September 22, 2016. Applications will no longer be accepted after this date.

Night at the Museum Sleepover Volunteers

The Sleepover department is looking for friendly, knowledgeable volunteers to welcome guests, help out at craft tables and enrich our guests’ experience. We run 22-26 events a year on Fridays or Saturdays. Children’s programs generally run from 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. while adult programs run from 6:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m. but neither require a commitment for the entire timeslot. If you’re interested or would like to learn more information about the program, send an e-mail to Pierce Lydon at plydon@amnh.org.

Teaching Volunteers

Teaching Volunteers teach science to K-12 students who visit the Museum’s exhibition halls weekday mornings from 9:30-12:30.  They teach with objects, conduct a specific exhibition hall tour and/or explain a diorama.

Volunteers work one shift a week, during the public school year.

Please indicate on the online application that you are interested in becoming a Teaching Volunteer. Contact Donna Sethi at dsethi@amnh.org for further information.

Discovery Room Volunteers

The Discovery Room is looking for volunteers who are outgoing, scientifically-minded, and kid-friendly. The position involves facilitating the use of the room for visitors of all ages, basic exhibit maintenance tasks, greeting visitors, and controlling the flow of traffic in and out of the space.

Currently, we are in need of volunteers for the following shifts:  

Saturdays (2:00 pm - 5:15 pm)

Our weekday volunteers work one shift per week and our weekend volunteers work one shift every other weekend. A one year commitment is required. Please indicate on the online application that you are interested in becoming a Discovery Room Volunteer.