Volunteer

Would you like to help tell the story of life on Earth through science? Volunteers bring science to life for over one million visitors to the Field Museum each year.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Field Museum. We value each and every passionate applicant. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are not accepting applications for any volunteer positions at this time.

Volunteers share fun facts with visitors, help scientists with research, and work behind the scenes. Over 600 volunteers assist our work in different departments across the Museum and contribute to our mission to make the world better, too!

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Ways to volunteer

A young girl and volunteer look at a fossilized jaw set atop a Discovery Squad cart in Stanley Field Hall. The volunteer points to the large, flat molars set inside the fossil.

Discovery Squad Volunteers handle artifacts and specimens on carts and share them with visitors.

Morgan Anderson

With museum visitors

Do you enjoy interacting with people and sparking their curiosity? You could be a perfect fit for a volunteer team that creates memorable experiences for visitors of all ages.

Field Trip Experience Volunteer

You could inspire students to think like scientists and engage them with fun, object-based activities. Field Trip Experience Volunteers help students to discover themes while using the collections. This is a great opportunity for pre-service teachers, retired educators, or those who enjoy working with children.

Field Trip Experience Volunteers commit to one weekday shift (Monday through Thursday, 10am–12:30pm).

Crown Family PlayLab

You could encourage children to imagine and grow through art, science, and discovery. The Crown Family PlayLab (insert hyperlink) is a space where young children and families engage in play-based learning. 
Ideal volunteers have a background in early childhood education and enjoy working with families.


Volunteers in the Crown Family PlayLab commit to two full days or four shifts per month. Shifts are available 9:30am–1pm or 12:00–3:30pm.

Discovery Squad

You could show visitors how scientists use artifacts and specimens and why they’re so important. Discovery Squad Volunteers engage visitors in exploring interactive carts filled with samples from the collections. Having theater or teaching experience is a plus.


Discovery Squad shifts are available every day of the week. Volunteers commit to four half-day shifts (9:30am–1pm or 12–3:30pm) or two full-day shifts (9:30am–3:30pm) per month.


Guest Relations

You could be a friendly face and welcoming voice for guests from around the world at our information booths. Guest Relations Volunteers help visitors with everything. They give directions, suggest exhibitions based on visitors' interests, and more. Customer service and bilingual skills are a plus.

Guest Relations Volunteers are needed seven days a week. Shifts are available in the morning and afternoon.

Research and Evaluation Volunteer

You could empower the Field Museum to make data-driven decisions to improve the experiences of visitors. Volunteers collect and compile qualitative data alongside the team—Audience Insights, Research and Evaluation. We use surveys, interviews, and observations to understand how diverse audiences engage with the Museum. The data helps us answer questions about how our exhibits and programs inspire learning, curiosity, and fun.

Ideal volunteers are pursuing or have received a bachelor's or master’s degree in social science, statistics, or a related field. Experience with qualitative research methods is preferred.

Docents

You could give tours all about SUE, the Museum highlights, or one of our engaging exhibitions. Receive formal training to provide guided tours in our exhibition halls. Docents give in-depth tours and share little-known Field facts you won’t find anywhere else! Volunteers engage a variety of learners in exploring science, natural history, and human cultures. Opportunities are available for select permanent and ticketed exhibitions.

Docents commit to a full year of volunteering. Weekday docents volunteer once per week; weekend docents volunteer two half-days per month.

Two volunteers sit at a table and look into microscopes while they carve away at fossils. A woman in the background handles another microscope.

In the McDonald’s Fossil Preparation Lab, volunteers can work with fossils behind the scenes.

Morgan Anderson

Behind the scenes

Are you curious about the work happening behind the walls of our exhibitions? You could be a perfect fit to support the Museum’s administrative, scientific, and collections departments. These opportunities are only available on weekdays, 9am–5pm.

Conservation Education Volunteer

You could engage students, community groups, and educators in local conservation. The Keller Science Action Center hosts field trips in Chicagoland’s Calumet Region. Conservation Education Volunteers work with small groups of students in grades 3–12. They lead educational activities in natural areas and supervise the safety and well-being of students.

The opportunity requires a yearlong commitment (at least six field trips). Volunteers must have access to transportation to sites in Chicagoland’s Calumet Region.

Research and Collections Center

You could get hands-on experience with collections. Research and Collection Volunteers count, sort, or prep collection items. They also digitize records and compile data for research. Ideal candidates have academic or professional backgrounds in anthropology, botany, geology, or zoology.

The opportunity requires a six-month commitment, working one weekday every week.

Administrative Support Volunteer

You could keep the wheels turning: organize files, maintain databases, and provide support for events. Administrative Support Volunteers work in fundraising, communications, and other administrative areas. Ideal candidates are organized, tech-savvy, and detail-oriented.

The opportunity requires a six-month commitment, working one weekday every week.

Teen opportunities

Are you in grades 9–12, and do you want to share your passion for science, culture, and history? You could engage young learners in imaginative play and share artifacts and specimens with visitors. The Summer Teen Volunteer Program supports future leaders in science and natural history.

No previous experience is necessary. All you need is to be curious about scientific discoveries, cultures and histories, and the many ways people impact the earth.

Learn more about Summer Teen Volunteers

Benefits

Volunteers are unpaid, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be rewarded.

You’ll enjoy free Field Museum membership, free admission to other area museums, and discounts at our restaurants and shops. Volunteers also get invites to staff celebrations, special exhibition previews, and more. And there are opportunities to meet world-renowned scientists and experts. Volunteering is a great way to connect with other enthusiasts who love culture, nature, and science. We can’t wait to meet you!