Flexibility: High

Social Engagement: High

What’s What: If you’re an art lover and you love spending time in a museum environment, a volunteer docent gig could be a great fit for you!

Amava Take: Cultural institutions depend upon docents to be knowledgeable, enthusiastic and skilled at giving tours of their collections. Docents interact with tourist groups, kids on field trips, college and graduate school students, professors and other art enthusiasts. If you love your local museum, why not show it and look into showing other people around?

From the Front Lines:

What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these jobs?

People who love art, history and who like to answer questions!

Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?

If you have a group that has a leader, especially with kids involved, discuss museum rules with that person at the start so you can focus on the art!

What’s a typical daily schedule like?

Tour schedules are flexible and lengths vary. Usually there is a schedule coordinated by someone at the museum.

From the Trenches:

What’s the most satisfying part of the job?

Sharing works that I love with people who are interested in them!

How would you describe the hard parts?

Sometimes showing VIPs around can be stressful, but kids are usually great!

Monet or Manet?

Manet! All day.

Special Requirements Most museums have their own docent training programs, and some are more involved than others. Some require art history training, others do not require specific training, but have specific docent recruitment processes. Museums affiliated with universities tend to have some course auditing requirements or other academic aspects.

Related Classes: How to Look at and Understand Great Art, Interpersonal Communication, Keys to Effective Communication, Mastering Public Speaking, Skills for Making Great Decisions.

Finding a Position: Most often, going directly to the websites of museums you are interested in will be your best bet. Here’s an overview about docent volunteering to get you started. You can also search arts volunteering websites for docent positions.