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Volunteer

The Volunteer Organization of The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1967 by 12 Members of the Museum who assisted at the information desk in the Great Hall. Responding to the needs of the Museum over the years, the Volunteer Organization has grown to more than 1,250 men and women working throughout the Museum.

There are two volunteer categories: Museum Department Volunteers and Guided Tour Programs Volunteers. Each requires a separate application. Please review the descriptions of the opportunities in the two categories below to determine to which area you would like to apply. The descriptions provide a broad overview of the responsibilities and time commitment required by each.

If you have any questions about these positions, or would like more information about a specific volunteer opportunity, please feel free to email volunteers@metmuseum.org. All volunteers are encouraged to become Members of the Museum.

Staff members of the various departments will directly contact and interview prospective volunteers. We regret that there may not be opportunities for all qualified candidates.

Please review the following assignment descriptions to understand the requirements of each department and decide which ones best match your interests and abilities. You must indicate your preferred department assignments in the online application form.

Apply online.

Note: The Volunteer Organization does not accept applications from high school or college students. Tristate-area high school students are eligible to apply for a paid internship. Several internships are offered for college and graduate students.


Department Assignments: The Met Fifth Avenue

Clerical Volunteers

Clerical Volunteers work alone or in groups, performing a variety of duties in departments throughout the Museum, such as Concerts & Lectures, Merchandising, and Education. They are needed for weekday, evening, and weekend positions, year-round. The time commitment varies, depending on the demands of the particular department and position (a typical shift is four to five hours a week on a year-round basis).

Education: Access Programs Volunteers

Access Volunteers help make programs accessible and engaging for visitors with disabilities. They assist educators with program preparation, carrying and distributing materials, and helping visitors get around the Museum.

Education: Family Programs Volunteers

Family Programs Volunteers are a friendly, professional face for the Museum, and help welcome families to a variety of programs. Volunteers gather and prepare supplies, help with set-up and clean-up, assist teaching staff in facilitating hands-on experiences, help with wayfinding, and provide a positive, personal museum experience. (Applicants should be able to volunteer at least once per month.)

Education: Gallery Talks and Exhibition Tours Volunteers

Adult Gallery Programs Volunteers welcome visitors and distribute and collect assistive listening devices used to enhance the experience for those participating in gallery conversations led by curators, educators, other Museum staff, and guest speakers.

Education: Studio Programs Volunteers

Studio Programs Volunteers assist staff and teaching artists in hosting art-making programs for all ages that take place in the galleries, with the goal of creating a more personalized and intimate experience for participating visitors.

Library Volunteers

Opportunities to volunteer in the Museum's libraries occur infrequently. When needed, volunteers primarily serve in Thomas J. Watson Library and Nolen Library in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education. Watson Library Volunteers assist behind the scenes in every aspect of the library, including helping to acquire and conserve material, and updating and managing information files. They work one half-day per week, year-round. Nolen Library Volunteers assist with resource management and help users with reference and teacher resource materials. Weekday Nolen Volunteers work at least one half-day per week, year-round. Weekend Nolen Volunteers work a minimum of one day every three weeks. Library or teaching experience is preferred for Nolen Library Volunteers.

Membership Volunteers

These volunteers help with check-in and provide any additional assistance and information to our Members during exhibition previews and in the Balcony and Patrons Lounges. They work one four-hour shift each week, year-round, either during the week or on weekends. Volunteers in this role must have excellent communication and customer-service skills. Computer proficiency is required, and familiarity with a fund-raising database is preferred.

Research Volunteers

These volunteers typically work alone, performing research and scholarly duties in departments throughout the Museum, such as The American Wing, Conservation and Scientific Research, and Education. They are needed for weekday, evening, and weekend positions, year-round. The time commitment varies, depending on the demands of the particular department and position (a typical shift is four to five hours a week on a year-round basis).

Survey Volunteers

Survey Volunteers are the backbone of the Museum's visitor-research efforts. They help the Museum gather visitor feedback by conducting surveys and interviews. Survey Volunteers do not have fixed weekly shifts; they work for two to three hours periodically, when surveys are scheduled. Candidates must have a flexible schedule, including availability on weekdays and weekends. No previous survey experience is necessary, as training will be provided, but strong interpersonal skills and the ability to successfully interact with Museum visitors are required.

Visitor Services Volunteers

Visitor Services Volunteers serve as "Met ambassadors" at Information Desks throughout the Museum and in Carson Family Hall, offering assistance and recommendations to individual visitors and groups. Clear and friendly communication skills are a basic requirement. Volunteers must enjoy providing accurate directions to visitors from every background, and must acquire a thorough knowledge of the Museum. Computer skills, especially Internet-search skills, are required. Multilingual candidates are preferred for Information Desk positions, and candidates with a teaching background are preferred for Carson Family Hall positions. Volunteers who serve in Carson Family Hall offer support to, and facilitate the processing of, K–12 school students visiting the Museum for group tours. Visitor Services Volunteers serve one half-day a week, year-round, for weekday shifts, or one half-day every other week for evening and weekend shifts. Volunteers must work a minimum number of shifts to satisfy departmental requirements.


Department Assignments: The Met Cloisters

Concerts at the Cloisters Volunteer Ushers

Concert Volunteers assist Museum staff who oversee the concert series at The Met Cloisters. There are about seven to nine concert dates per year, usually with two performances on each date. Volunteers arrive in the morning to assist with phone calls, phone sales, and concert-desk setup. Volunteers assist with ticket sales at the door, greet and give directions and information to ticket holders, take tickets, usher concert goers at seating time, monitor the concert-hall door for latecomers, and ensure efficient exit of concert goers after the conclusion of event. Experience with event ticketing and engaging with the public in a performing-arts setting is desired.

Sights & Scents Program for Visitors with Dementia and their Care Partners

Sights & Scents Volunteers assist Museum staff who teach this program for visitors with dementia and their care partners. It occurs once a month on Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday. Volunteers arrive one hour before the program, greet visitors, accompany those in wheelchairs who require escort through non-public areas, make and distribute name tags, distribute sketching material during the program, help carry folding stools between galleries, engage with visitors before and during the program, and assist visitors in leaving the Museum. Experience engaging with the elderly or people with dementia is desired.

Sights & Sounds Program for Visitors on the Autism Spectrum and their Families

Sights & Sounds Volunteers assist Museum staff who teach this program for children on the autism spectrum and their families or caregivers. It occurs once a month on Saturday. Volunteers arrive one hour before the program, greet participants, accompany those who require an escort through nonpublic areas, make and distribute name tags, engage with visitors before and during the program, and assist visitors in leaving the Museum. Experience engaging with children on the autism spectrum is desired.

The Gardens

Garden Volunteers assist horticultural staff at The Met Cloisters with garden maintenance, including weeding, deadheading, and sweeping paths. These volunteers are required to work half days (three hours) or full days (five hours).


Applications

Only those who submit an online application will be considered for placement. The application requires a personal statement expressing why you wish to volunteer at The Met, and what interests, skills, and experiences you would bring to the position (maximum 250 words).

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and remain on file for two years. We regret that there may not be opportunities for all qualified candidates.

Apply online.

The Volunteer Organization of the Metropolitan Museum recruits and trains volunteers for the Museum's Guided Tour Programs, designed to serve the needs and interests of our diverse visitors, from elementary school children to adults. No prior art history background or work experience is required to volunteer; however, those wishing to volunteer in the Guided Tour Programs should be comfortable working and communicating with the public. Volunteers for these positions undergo extensive, rigorous training to achieve the highest standards of content and presentation.

We will only be accepting applications for the weekend Guided Tour Program and the weekday International Guided Tour Program. Applicants for either of these programs must be available to train during the 2016–17 weekend training program described below. Those interested in applying for our School Tour Programs or the weekday Guided Tour Program for adults may do so beginning in fall 2016 for the 2017–18 training program.

All accepted applicants for Guided Tour and International Guided Tour Programs are required to attend a yearlong training course concentrating on the history of art as it applies to the Museum's collection, as well as on presentation skills and research techniques. Training classes are held on Friday evenings, with some additional Saturday sessions. After the initial training year, mandatory ongoing training continues during the academic year. Volunteers are responsible for extensive research and preparation for their weekly tours. Volunteering in the Museum's Guided Tour Programs requires a high degree of motivation and dedication, and a minimum commitment of at least three years. The experience is highly rewarding.

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to follow volunteer-led guided tours before applying.

Please read the following program descriptions to determine to which program you would like to apply.


Guided Tour Programs for Adults 2016–17

Weekend Guided Highlights Tours

Volunteers in this program conduct regularly scheduled Highlights Tours designed to give visitors a general introduction to the Museum's collection. These tours are given in English and on weekdays in nine other languages (see International Guided Tours below).

Weekday International Guided Tours

International Guided Tours are designed to introduce international visitors to the Museum's collection. These tours are offered in nine languages: French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Candidates for this program must be proficient in English in addition to the language in which they will be conducting tours. All training is conducted in English.


Applications and Inquiries

We are not currently accepting applications for the Guided Tour Program. Please check back in fall 2016 for information regarding the 2017 Guided Tour Program application.

Note: The Volunteer Organization does not accept applications from high school or college students. Tristate-area high school students are eligible to apply for a paid internship. Several internships are offered for college and graduate students. We regret that there may not be opportunities for all qualified candidates.

Volunteer and Coordinator Login

Current volunteers and coordinators may log in here to schedule shifts, view important announcements, and update contact information.