Education Tour Manager - Ford House

Full-time, exempt

Compensation: $40,000 - $50,000 annually

The Education Tour Manager works collaboratively with Education, Collections, Landscape, and other teams to share our historic, natural, and cultural resources through tours and related programs. The Education Tour Manager is responsible for: the development, oversight, running, and ongoing evolution and evaluation of the Ford House tour program. This includes creating new and engaging tours for diverse audiences, from original conceptualization, thematic development, and writing, to teaching, training and evaluation of education tour staff. The position involves the training, scheduling, management, and supervision of a team of 14-16 part time Education Tour Associates. The tour staff training will include hybrid learning opportunities to master historic content, develop public speaking skills, gain confidence in improvisational techniques, maintain awareness of best practices in public engagement, including person-first language, cultural sensitivity, and supporting accessibility initiatives.

This is a very exciting time at Ford House. We have a new, ambitious strategic plan. We just opened environmentally sustainable buildings with classrooms and public engagement spaces. Our landscape and coastline are undergoing major restoration. Ford House is reaching out to broader audiences and communities to develop and offer engaging and relevant experiences and opportunities. This is a time of great innovation, creativity, and experimentation at Ford House. We are looking for a culturally engaged, ambitious, creative, and dedicated individual who enjoys working across disciplinary boundaries and is prepared to create new and engaging tour experiences, and to make original contributions to the field of historic home interpretation. We are looking for an individual with significant management, storytelling, and public engagement experience.

The Education Tour Manager reports to the Education Director.


● Develop new tours and touring strategies based on the Ford House interpretive framework, the Ford House Strategic Plan, historic and cultural resources, and a progressive engagement with contemporary cultural themes for diverse audiences.
● Oversee all aspects of public, private, and school guided and self-guided tours.
● Develop and maintain tour and staffing schedules.
● Liaise with the Group Sales Manager to schedule and staff group and school tours.
● Manage the payroll and vacations through our online platform.
● Develop and conduct online and in-person training modules for tour staff.
● Lead public and group tours.
● Work with tour staff to manage capacity and flow through the historic House.
● Serve in various capacities related to running tours.
● Work closely with the Collections team on issues related to the maintenance of the House and the protection of the collection.
● Work with the Group Sales Manager, the Director of Education, and the Communications Department to develop promotional content for all tours.
● Conduct both regularly scheduled and drop in observations of tours and tour staff.
● Observe, evaluate, offer feedback, provide support, and supervise tour staff.
● Use visitor feedback and data to continually review and improve tours and strategies.
● Maintain accurate staff records.
● Communicate with the Directors of Education and Talent & Culture about tour staff performance, as needed.
● Support the visions of the Strategic Plan and the Ford House IDEA Mission.
● Realize the content and strategies outlined in the new Interpretive Master Plan.
● Work with the Education Coordinators to develop new school tours, based on state and national standards.
● Work with the Development and Community Engagement Manager on Members’ tour programs.
● Work with the Director of Education on new mobile app tours and virtual tours.

Skills and Experience

  • Excellent critical thinking skills and experience with contemporary cultural theory.
  • Excellent written and communication skills (writing sample required).
  • Excellent organizational skills across modalities.
  • Technical skills including Excel spreadsheets and the MS Office Suite, content management in online learning platforms, and scheduling software.
  • Experience managing teams, including evaluation and supervision, and scheduling.
  • Experience developing and maintaining budgets.
  • Experience with best practices in adult learning design and delivery.
  • Experience with hybrid learning strategies.
  • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently.
  • Ability to balances “big picture” thinking with attention to detail.

Physical Requirements

● Be on their feet and sit for 2-4 consecutive hours.
● Project and modulate their voice.
● Go up and down stairs and walk long distances.
● Stay calm under duress.
● Manage emergencies according to FH protocols.
● Complete CPR training, certification, and recertification.
● Bend and/or stoop, climb, and lift up to 25 lbs. to perform tasks that may be required in the course of museum operation.

Key Characteristics/Traits

● Positive and outgoing personality.
● Well-organized.
● Enjoy public speaking and presentations.
● Responsible, reliable, and able to use good judgment.
● Friendly, courteous, empathetic, and engaging presence with all visitors and staff, including those of all abilities, ages, and backgrounds.
● Growth mindset, interest in new technologies and new approaches to visitor engagement.


● A minimum of 3 years of experience managing teams.
● A minimum of 3 years of experience developing content for informal learning environments.
● Experience with diverse audiences.
● Familiarity with educational standards and experiential learning.
● Current knowledge of best accessibility practices.
● Experience and skill working collaboratively, across departments.
● Well-developed conflict negotiation skills, problem solving abilities.
● Knowledge of current audience research and familiarity with museum education theory, interpretive strategies, and visitor engagement.
● A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education/experience.
● Experience researching, writing, and conducting tours.
● Teaching experience is a plus.
● Theater/acting/performance/storytelling background is a plus.

Other Job Requirements

● Successful completion of background and credit check
● Available to work weekends, evenings, and holidays
● Uniform is required for special programs and events.

Email resume, salary requirements, and application to Indicate in subject line “Education Tour Manager.” Please, no phone calls.

Ford House is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and will not discriminate against an applicant on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, national origin, alienage or citizenship, disability, marital status, veteran or military status, genetic information, or any other legally-recognized protected basis under federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances. Applicants with disabilities may be entitled to reasonable accommodation under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or certain state or local laws.

Posted on 5/26/2021

    The Michigan Museums Association is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

    Thank you to our Partners!


    Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721

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