How to become a museum docent

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Become a Museum Docent

Thank you for your interest in the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum’s docent program. Here you will find information on how to become a volunteer docent, what a museum docent does, and what benefits there are to being one.

What is a docent?

The word docent is derived from the Latin verb, “docere,” meaning, “to teach.” A museum docent’s primary task is to educate the visitor about the museum’s collections and exhibits. At the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum docents are trained volunteers who guide visitors through the museum and are available to answer questions.

What does a docent do?

Docents engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds in an active exploration of art, history, and archaeology. They are the museum’s public representatives. In addition to facilitating the visitor’s experience, docents are responsible for staffing the docent’s desk, monitoring museum equipment and displays, maintaining the docent log, and encouraging visitor feedback through visitor survey online form. Experienced docents may be asked to give guided tours.

What is expected of a docent?

They are expected to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the content of the museum’s exhibitions and have a basic knowledge of the objects in the museum. In addition, every docent must attend docent meetings and may be asked to participate in the museum’s special events. Finally, a docent is expected to adhere to the dress code and dress appropriately when on duty.

What are the qualities of a docent?

A good docent is punctual, reliable, helpful, and cordial to all visitors. A good docent has a positive attitude, a strong interest in the Bible and archaeology, and demonstrates the ability to speak to groups and follow established lesson plans. As tour guides, docents must be willing to actively improve their interpretive skills and increase their knowledge of biblical archaeology.

What kind of training is involved?

Those entering the docent program must attend two one-hour training sessions with the curator or the museum coordinator. These sessions will include a guided walkthrough of the museum’s exhibition areas, a detailed explanation of the museum’s daily operations, and a brief overview of the museum’s emergency response protocols. In addition, docents may participate in a museum studies class (when available). Within the first four months after joining the program, docents are evaluated through an oral and written examination that will demonstrate knowledge of the museum and the docent handbook.

What are the benefits of being a docent?

  • An initial training program in museum education and interpretive techniques.
  • Invitations to symposia, gallery talks, and other continuing education events.
  • Field trips, including docent-led tours at neighboring museums.
  • Time with others who are passionate about art, archaeology, and learning.
  • Time with archaeologists, biblical scholars, art historians, and museum professionals.
  • Invitations to exhibition opening receptions at the museum.
  • Invitations to various Institute of Archaeology events and activities.
  • Free Museum membership and subscription to DigSight newsletter.
  • Unrestricted access to the William G. Dever Research Library.
  • Annual docent appreciation dinner and/or excursion.

DOWNLOAD AN APPLICATION: HERE

Find The Best Museum Docent Jobs For You

Where do you want to work?

Working as a Museum Docent

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a museum docent. For example, did you know that they make an average of $15.5 an hour? That’s $32,250 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 9% and produce 3,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Museum Docent Do

There are certain skills that many museum docents have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, computer skills and customer-service skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a museum docent, we found that a lot of resumes listed 34.9% of museum docents included natural history, while 28.3% of resumes included gallery exhibitions, and 6.6% of resumes included front office. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

How To Become a Museum Docent

If you’re interested in becoming a museum docent, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We’ve determined that 66.7% of museum docents have a bachelor’s degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 14.3% of museum docents have master’s degrees. Even though most museum docents have a college degree, it’s possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a museum docent. When we researched the most common majors for a museum docent, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor’s degree degrees or master’s degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on museum docent resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a museum docent. In fact, many museum docent jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many museum docents also have previous career experience in roles such as volunteer or sales associate.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we’ll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Become a Docent
The Docent Program at The Dalí Museum is at the heart of the Museum’s educational mission. Adult docents enroll in a 21-week training program (roughly the equivalent of a 3 credit university-level course) that consists of weekly three-hour lectures, three written tests, and a final mini-tour examination. There is a $150 dollar fee for the program plus a $100 deposit. After completion of initial training, docents are required to conduct six tours to receive a return of deposit.

In addition to the initial training period, there is ongoing training for docents including curatorial walk-throughs of new exhibitions, refresher classes and advanced seminars. Docents are responsible for developing their own tours and are encouraged to develop a repertoire of tours for specific audiences and special interest groups.

Adult Docents: Create and conduct public tours of the Museum’s permanent and visiting exhibitions as well as private tours arranged by the Group Tours department. Over 100 docents currently lead tours at the Museum.

Teen Docents: Check back soon for more information.

Junior Docents: As part of the Junior Docent Art Camp, elementary and middle school students are trained in a mini-docent course that enables them to share general information about Dalí and his paintings. This program introduces students to artistic processes, builds self-esteem and public speaking skills, and brings families to the Museum.

The Dalí encourages people of all ages, ethnicities and cultures to apply. The Dalí welcomes visitors from more than 30 nations; those who speak additional languages (other than English) are especially encouraged to get involved.

The next Docent training program has not yet been scheduled, but applications will be kept on file.
Get started right away with Architecture and Garden Tours. For more information, email [email protected]

Email your application to [email protected]
or
Mail your application to:
The Dalí Museum
1 Dalí Blvd
St. Petersburg, FL 33704
ATTN: Education

Support the Dalí

The Dalí Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Gifts to The Dalí directly support our mission to preserve Salvador Dalí’s work and legacy. Learn more.

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Museum Technicians and Conservators

restore, maintain, or prepare objects in museum collections for storage, research, or exhibit. May work with specimens such as fossils, skeletal parts, or botanicals; or artifacts, textiles, or art. May identify and record objects or install and arrange them in exhibits. Includes book or document conservators.

Last updated: April 28, 2020

Table of Contents

What degree do you need

One of the most common questions that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become Museum Technicians and Conservators or what courses do I need to take.

We also asked Museum Technicians and Conservators what did they major in college or university and here are the top 5 most popular majors that came up.

Museology or Museum Studies
Art History, Criticism and Conservation
Public or Applied History

Museum technicians (registrars) usually need a bachelor’s degree related to the museum’s specialty, training in museum studies, or previous experience working in museums, particularly in designing exhibits. When hiring conservators, employers look for a master’s degree in conservation or in a closely related field.

Featured Schools

How hard is it

You will need a considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be a Museum Technician and Conservator . For example, an accountant must complete 4 years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.

Careers in this difficulty category will usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training. These careers usually involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Similar careers include sales managers, database administrators, chemists, and art directors.

Docents of the Fine Arts Museums provide tours of the permanent collections and special exhibitions at the de Young and Legion of Honor. Their service follows extensive training, including seminars and continuing education lectures. With additional training, they also provide private group, school group, and access tours, and participate in our Art Talks program, which offers lectures for the community on museum-related topics.

Daily Tours

Enhance your visit to the museum with a permanent collection or special exhibition tour. Choose from a self-guided audio tour (rental fees apply) or one of the many daily docent-led tours. See the daily tours schedule in the calendar listings for de Young and the Legion .

Docent tours are free after museum admission and special exhibition tickets, where required. Some tours require sign-up on the day of your visit. Reservations are not taken.

Private Docent-Led Tours

Private docent-led tours of the permanent collections or special exhibitions are offered to groups of 10 or more guests for a fee. Tours must be arranged four weeks in advance and are usually 45 minutes long. To reserve a tour contact the Group Sales department at 415.750.3620 or [email protected] .

School Group Tours

Docents work in conjunction with the Museums’ school programs to offer tours that allow students to develop an understanding of art in both creative and historical contexts. Visit the K–12 students page for more information.

College instructors from any accredited college may also arrange docent-led tours of the permanent collections or special exhibitions for their classes. Tours must be arranged four weeks in advance and are about 45 minutes long. Visit the college programs page for information and to download a request form.

Access Programs

Specially trained docents are available by appointment to lead tours that accommodate the accessibility needs of a group or individual. For sight-impaired visitors, a tour might include verbal descriptions and the opportunity to touch certain objects. Docents for the deaf offer tours using American Sign Language interpreters.

Docents are also involved in access programs designed for individuals living with dementia, for veterans who want to explore healing through art, and more. For more information on these programs, visit our access page .

Art Talks

The Art Talks program features entertaining, educational art talks delivered by museum docents, available on location to community groups throughout the Bay Area and on site at the de Young and the Legion of Honor. To learn more and schedule an art talk for your group, click here.

Click here to view the schedule of docent art talks in the Museums.

Love people?
Love art?
Love meaningful conversation?

The CCMH needs YOU! Join the elite corps of CCMH volunteer docents.

How to become a museum docent

If you love culture, heritage, art and history, share your passion with visitors from all over the world. Become a Czech Center Museum Houston Docent! No previous experience required, just a passion for history, art and interest in meeting international visitors. For information on becoming a CCMH Docent, contact us at [email protected]

Our mission is to instill pride in one’s roots whatever they may be. It is our intent to teach people to be proud of their own culture while teaching them not just about the Czech lands but also Slavic culture. The Czech Center Museum Houston is an elegant, small museum focusing on the education of the Eastern European history, arts and identity. Become a docent at our museum and once a week enjoy the feeling of a small baroque palace in Houston,Texas!

What does a docent do?
A docent is a volunteer gallery educator. At the CCMH, our dynamic docent corps helps to create and facilitate conversation-based tours in the Museum’s galleries. Our docents provide an invaluable service to the community, especially the students who are often visiting the museum for the first time as well as senior groups.

Docents entering the training program in the summer of 2019 will commit to lead three tours per day. A background in art history is not required. Spanish-English or Czech-English bilingual skills are helpful, but not required. We ask that all new docents commit to remaining in the program for a minimum of one years.

Although CCMH docents come from all walks of life, they share a few common traits; each of our docent volunteers are curious, passionate about volunteering, flexible and open to feedback and enjoy interacting with people from all over Houston, Texas, USA, and worldwide.

What qualities are you looking for?

An ideal candidate for the docent program:

Demonstrates a strong interest in community service and volunteerism

Wants to act as a mediator between objects and the public

Can be a flexible thinker, especially when confronted with difficult or sensitive ideas

Demonstrates a positive attitude

How can I apply to become a docent?
Anyone is welcome to apply. All applicants should be available during business hours, Monday–Friday, for training and leading tours. If you are interested in applying to the docent program, please send an email to [email protected] or fill out our application form.

After completing your application, you will have an interview with Museum staff. At the conclusion of the interviews, the new docent training class will be selected based on a demonstrated commitment to collaborative learning, an openness to multiple perspectives, the ability to communicate with energy and diplomacy, and demonstrate a growth mindset through constructive feedback.

Expectations for Docents
CCMH Docent Candidates are expected to:

Complete the training process

Commit to serving as a docent for 1 year

Comply with all policies and practices established by the Museum

Additionally, successful docent candidates will:

Enjoy working with a team

Are flexible and dependable

Are able to solve problems efficiently

Are comfortable with public speaking

Are capable of physical activity, including standing, kneeling and bending for long periods of time

What to expect when applying:

Informational session about the CCMH docent program

Introduction of session leaders and participants

Short lecture about the museum and its history

Tell us a story

How to give a tour and what when I don’t remember my facts?

Lecture: Why the USA? Why Texas?

Lecture: How one monarchy shaped the history of Eastern Europe

How to Become a Museum Docent

2017-07-05 How To

How to Become a Museum Docent 00:00:49 Part 1 Researching the Work 00:00:56 1 – Identify the type of museum where you would like to lead tours 00:02:14 2 .

How to become a museum docent

Docent Training 101

2014-01-30 Melissa Follin

ODC Greco-Roman Museum.

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2016-09-08 Springfield Museums

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Become a Docent at The Corning Museum of Glass

2011-07-26 Corning Museum of Glass

Learn about our world-famous collection, share your knowledge, and grow in a dynamic volunteer environment as a Museum Docent. Docents (volunteer .

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Simple rules for becoming a great SOHO docent.

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Delaware Art Museum’s Docents

Docents are volunteer tour guides and educators who are essential to fulfilling the Museum’s educational mission. They promote the enjoyment of art through .

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Become An IMA Docent – Indianapolis Museum of Art

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2017-01-19 Cathy Dietz

A new class of docents is currently being recruited by the South Bend Museum of Art and the Snite Museum of Art. Learn how you can share you love of the arts!

How to become a museum docent

Biggs Museum of American Art: Junior Docent Program

2012-02-24 GIC Delaware

The Junior Docents program at the Biggs Museum engages 6th and 7th graders at the Campus Community School in Dover in identifying and researching art .

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What It Means to Be a Docent

Holocaust Museum Houston docent Diane Merrill discusses what it means to be a docent at the museum.

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2016-09-08 Springfield Museums

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The Junior Docent Program at the Hudson River Museum 2013

2013-10-15 Hudson River Museum

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2012-10-20 Oakland Symphony

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2014-05-12 Seattle Art Museum

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