Museum Docent Lead (Part-time) - Detroit Historical Society (6/30/23)

Posted on 5/4/23

The Detroit Historical Society’s mission is to tell Detroit’s stories and why they matter. Founded in 1921, the Society has been bringing together diverse voices and communities around the stories of the region to find their place in the present and inspire the future for over 100 years. Located in Detroit’s cultural district, the Society administers and develops exhibitions and programming for the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, and our Collection Resource Center at Historic Ft Wayne. The team cares for nearly 300,000 artifacts in its collection and relies on a staff of over 50 individuals to help to continue to bring Detroit’s vibrant stories to life.

Position Description

Docents are educators for the Detroit Historical Society; they facilitate adult and student groups, pre-K to university and beyond. Docents lead group tours of special exhibitions and permanent collections at both the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Detroit Historical Museum, they also lead special thematic workshops for school audiences. As an emerging museum worker, docents will be provided opportunities for professional development that align with their goals and with the goal of improving our education services. Docents will also be trained with Altru CRM system and be required to assist with customer service when greeting groups. Docents will also train with the Visitor Experience Associates and offer assistance with greeting groups during slower seasons of touring.

The Museum Docent Lead is a part time position (up to 29 hours per week). Programs and tours are typically offered during museum hours, beginning at 10:00 am on weekdays and weekends. However, some evening and weekend work will be required.

Major Responsibilities

  • Greet and welcome tour groups, lead orientation upon their arrival at the Museum.
  • Conduct museum tours of 1-1 1/2 hours in length and facilitate workshops for small and large groups of all ages at the Detroit Historical Museum and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum.
  • Conduct special and VIP tours of the museum, as needed.
  • Provide effective and courteous tour services to a diverse body of visitors under a variety of circumstances.
  • Assist with tour support and tour group confirmations.
  • Provide input for docent tour outlines and educational resources.
  • General Responsibilities
  • Assist EPO and VEA team members with the logistics of servicing museum customers.
  • Attends meetings as required.
  • Completes other duties and projects as assigned, directed, or as required to facilitate Society business.

Required Qualifications for Successful Position Performance

  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Continuously exhibits a diplomatic and professional appearance with visitors and coworkers.
  • Possess a passion for Detroit and its regional culture and history.
  • Attendance at additional evening and weekend work events and exhibitions is required.
  • Have a can-do attitude and be solution oriented. Possess public speaking experience and/or ability to speak comfortably before diverse groups of visitors.
  • Ability to travel between Society locations: Detroit Historical Museum and Dossin Great Lakes Museum and other travel as required by position responsibilities.
  • Have exceptional communication skills.
  • Collaborates and works well with others.
  • Comfortable working in a fluid and ever-evolving work environment, both indoors and outdoors.
Preferred Qualifications
  • An interest in history or public history is a plus.
  • Knowledge of Detroit and its regional history.
  • Previous Museum work experience or in a similar cultural arts institution.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite 365.
  • Knowledge or familiarity with Altru or other CRM.

Education and Experience

  • 1 - 2 years of undergraduate study from an accredited college or university or 1 - 2 years of customer service experience.
  • Experience managing groups, particularly leading visitors of all ages on tours and during workshops.

Compensation & Benefits

  • Hourly Wage is $15 per hour.
  • Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of qualifying service in coordination with FMLA.

Candidates must have reliable transportation, a valid driver’s license and be willing to undergo a criminal background check. Please note Hourly Wage prior to sending résumé and cover letter to the Human Resources Department at No phone calls, please.

EEO Statement  

The Detroit Historical Society (DHS) is an Equal Opportunity Employer seeking to reach a broad and diverse candidate pool when filling vacant positions. We strongly encourage applications from individuals of diverse backgrounds. We sincerely believe that our organization and its work benefit from the perspectives and talents of a diverse staff. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability or other applicable legally protected characteristics. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

Thank you to our Partners!

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

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