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.

Welcome!

We are now actively recruiting volunteers again for many of our programs and exhibits. Don't see a position you are interested in? Please check back soon as we will be adding new opportunities on an on-going basis.

Log-in for current volunteers

Please note

In order to protect the health and safety of our community, employees, visitors, and their families from COVID-19, the Field Museum is requiring all employees and volunteers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to provide proof of that status. 

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.

Crown Family PlayLab

You could encourage children to imagine and grow through art, science, and discovery. The Crown Family PlayLab 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.

What's Available

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.

What's Available

Pawnee Earth Lodge

The Pawnee Earth Lodge was built in 1977 as the result of a collaboration with the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma and the Field Museum. The Lodge represents a typical Pawnee home in the 1850s in Nebraska, the Pawnee homelands. In 2022 half of the lodge was reconceived to include contemporary items that represent Pawnee culture today. Today the Lodge tells a story of Pawnee life in the past and present, showing how cultural traditions continue and change over time. All the furnishings in the Lodge are meant to be touched by visitors and is a unique hands-on experience for all ages.

What's Available—Exhibition Host

What's Available—Field Trip Docent

Visitor Services

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

What's Available

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.

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.

What's Available—Herbarium Curation

What's Available—Birds Collection 

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.

Interested?

Did you see a volunteer position that you are interested in and available for the required time commitment?  If so, please fill out our online Field Museum Volunteer Application and a representative from HR will contact you soon. Thank you!

Apply Now

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!