The Museum has a number of volunteer opportunities. Learn more about each below.
Our stellar volunteers at the Museum's Welcome Center answer many of the visitors' questions, give directions and offer advice on how visitors can best use their time. If you are enthusiastic and want to meet people from all over the world, this might be the opportunity for you!
The Visitor Services volunteers are often one of the very first faces that visitors see once they enter the National Air and Space Museum. The Welcome Center is a readily accessible source of information - with a personal touch - for every visitor. Our mission is to ensure that each visitor's experience at the Museum is special and memorable, and our volunteers make that a reality. Our minimum requirement is 50 hours per year for students and 100 hours per year for adults.
*Interested candidates must be 16 years or older to apply. All volunteer applicants will be subject to completion of a pre-appointment background check and subsequent background investigation.
If you have any questions about becoming a Visitor Services volunteer, please email us at NASM-VisitorServices@si.edu or call us at 202-633-2211.
There are opportunities to volunteer behind-the-scenes at the National Air and Space Museum, as well as at other Smithsonian Museums. Opportunities include working in archives, libraries, administrative offices, conservation laboratories, and curatorial divisions related to art, history, and science collections. Placements are determined by matching volunteer qualifications, knowledge, interests, and availability with project requirements.
Find out more about additional Smithsonian behind-the-scenes volunteer opportunities.
All guided tours at the Museum are conducted by docents (volunteer guides), a diverse team of men and women who are passionate about air and space. Many of our docents have a background in aeronautics or space exploration, but those who do not have a love for the subject. Training classes are held every two years, with the next class scheduled for Fall of 2021. Applications will be made available on this site starting in Spring of 2021. In the meantime, if you have apassion for volunteering at the National Air and Space Museum, please consider some of our other volunteering opportunities!
Join Our Education Team
The Museum offers several educational programs that are staffed primarily by volunteers.
We are looking for volunteers to lead children along a literary journey to Mars, tell them about Lisa the bunny's first airplane trip, and share in their excitement as they experience the Wright brothers' first flight. If you have a good speaking voice and experience working with young children, we would like to talk to you! Previous storytelling experience is not required. We will teach you how to use props and engage in dramatic play and movement. Volunteers are needed weekday mornings, and Saturday mornings and afternoons. You must be at least 16 years old to volunteer.
This opportunity is only available at the Washington, DC location of the National Air and Space Museum.
Volunteers engage visitors in observing the Sun, Moon, and planets through telescopes at the Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory. On days when it's cloudy, volunteers interact with visitors at Discovery Stations inside the Museum. Your training will include how to facilitate inquiry-based learning in museums, how to use telescopes, and how to communicate about astronomy with the public. Volunteers are needed weekdays, weekends, and occasional evenings. You must be at least 16 years old to volunteer. For more information, email or call (202) 633-2517.
Students interested in a paid position at the National Air and Space Museum are encouraged to apply for the Explainers Program. Explainers inspire life-long learners by connecting them to our iconic artifacts and stories about the science and technology that make innovation possible. The Explainers Program hires high school and college students to help visitors better understand the Museum's artifacts and exhibitions through hands-on programming. Explainers also engage visitors on the How Things Fly website. There's even the chance to teach people how to fly an airplane or operate a space shuttle toilet! Explainers can work at either the Museum in DC or at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
Aerospace Educators interact with visiting students by facilitating educational and engaging activities based on age-appropriate content. The aerospace educator should have an appreciation of air and space-related concepts, but more importantly, must have a desire to share knowledge and foster the love of learning within people of all ages. This volunteer position occurs on weekdays from September to May, and requires public speaking and some knowledge of various teaching concepts; any past education or public speaking experience is helpful but not necessary. Responsibilities primarily consist of providing direct instruction to students K-12 on various aerospace concepts. All volunteers must be at least 25 years of age, and pass a background check. If you would like to volunteer at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA apply here.
Field Trip Facilitators at our National Mall Building connect with visiting school groups through hands-on educational activities and engaging demonstrations on the museum floor. School groups are primarily middle school classes from DC Public Schools and other local communities. Field Trip Facilitators should have an appreciation of air and space-related concepts, and most importantly, must have a love of learning and a passion for inspiring young minds. Some previous education or public speaking experience is helpful but not necessary. This volunteer opportunity occurs on weekdays from September to May, and requires some training before engaging with visitors. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age, possess a high school diploma, and pass a background check. If you would like to volunteer as a Field Trip Facilitator at the National Mall Building please apply here.
We are looking for enthusiastic individuals to teach Discovery Stations, interpretation stations for visitors of all ages. Volunteers engage visitors in hands-on exploration of artifacts and teaching materials related to five general subject areas: commercial aviation, space history, astronomy, planetary geology, and the invention of powered, human-controlled flight. You must be 16 years old to volunteer.
For more information please contact Jennifer McIntosh, (703) 572-4113.