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Behind-the-Scenes Visitor Information Specialist

Volunteers at the telephone information desk

Behind-the-Scenes Visitor Information Specialists engage and inspire visitors over the phone. When visitors call the main information line looking to plan memorable and exciting experiences, volunteers provide useful information about Smithsonian exhibitions, activities, services, and more. If you are looking for a volunteer role that allows you to speak with people from around the world and learn about new and exciting things happening at the Smithsonian, this position is for you!


Dynamic and friendly individuals 18 years or older who have a desire to speak with visitors and to share their enthusiasm for the Smithsonian. Also looking for people who...

  • show strong customer service skills
  • are enthusiastic and outgoing
  • enjoy working with diverse people
  • have outstanding computer skills in using web-based resources
  • possess fantastic listening skills
  • have a clear speaking style on the telephone and are fluent in English
  • Foreign-language skills are a plus.

Applicants must be able to volunteer for a minimum of one year, once a week or once every other Saturday (the program is closed on Sundays). Shift times 4 hours in length. Currently, we are looking to place volunteers in the following shifts:

Monday AM: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Monday PM: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Tuesday PM: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Wednesday AM: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Thursday AM: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Thursday PM: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Friday AM: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Friday PM: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Saturday AM: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Saturday PM: 1:00pm – 5:00pm


Smithsonian Institution Building in the Castle, 2nd Floor, Office of Visitor Services
1000 Jefferson Drive, SW, Washington, D.C. 20560

Please note, the work area is not wheelchair accessible and can only be accessed by stairs.


The training program consists of an at-home orientation to the Smithsonian, 1 day of in-person classroom training, and on-the-job training including self-guided museum and gallery tours.

The next training class for this program will begin in January 2016, with an in-person training held on Saturday, January 30.

Placement Process
  1. Complete an online application – search for "Behind-the-Scenes Visitor Information Specialist" to apply
  2. Interview with a staff member to ensure mutual fit and complete a computer skill assessment
  3. Receive tentative placement and initiate a background check
  4. Attend and complete self-guided and in-person training
  5. Start volunteering!

Start the process and apply today!

For more information:

Contact Abbey Earich, Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator, at or 202.633.5260 for more information.

To view all current volunteer opportunities at the Smithsonian, visit our application page here.