Available Opportunities

Volunteer looking through microscope

Behind the Scenes

The research and collections areas offer fascinating opportunities to work with Museum scientists and collections managers. A background appropriate to the field is helpful, but not required. However, interest, enthusiasm, and commitment is important. Many of our "Behind the Scenes" positions may entail clerical work, data entry, specimen handling, research or some combination there of.

Applications for the research areas are screened by museum historians and collections staff in those areas. Volunteers in collections and research provide support in the following areas:

pottery pieces uncovered in archaeological dig
Surrender of General Burgoyne in Saratoga
chemist in lab
Green Frog

Please Note: Placement in these positions are for the most part Monday - Friday with some degree of flexibility in hours.  

3 boys reading and doing homework

Museum Club - After School Program

The Museum Club is an award-winning, nationally recognized program designed to serve Albany City youth, ages 8-18. 

Hailed in 1996 by the President's Council on the Arts and the Humanities and the Albany branch of the NAACP for its innovative educational programming for urban youth, the Museum Club continues to grow and strengthen its educational emphasis through hands-on enrichment activities. Students participate in and help develop academic and socio/cultural activities that link Museum exhibits to curriculum, current events, and social issues. 

Program components include:

  • Tutoring and reading incentive programs featuring a tutor, university interns and volunteers who assist children with homework and aim to improve reading and math skills.
  • Hands-on, long-term projects developed by experienced educators and community representatives. Activity topics range from science and nature, to the arts and humanities. Students choose a program area and explore a topic—from start to finish—through a multi-disciplinary, interactive approach. Children are encouraged to challenge themselves and utilize their own interests and talents to enhance their growing mastery of each topic.
  • "Personalized" informal learning with a strong emphasis on one-to-one relationships between staff and students. Staff strives to serve the "whole" child by working hard to build bridges between children, families, schools, and the community.

Volunteers/Interns must be assertive, energetic, education-oriented individuals who have an interest in education, psychology, sociology, etc. and would like to work with urban children in a museum setting.

(Program hours: 2:30-5:00PM, Mon-Fri. Flexible shifts available)

People in Kid's Cove

Public Programs

Public Program volunteers primarily are scheduled to work on weekends or during school breaks. 

Some of areas you may assist with include:

  • Special Events: Monster Mash and Bash, Taste NY Holiday Market, History Day 
  • Family Programs: Story Art, Family Fun Day, Holiday Vacation Programs
visitor services desk

Visitor Services

Visitor Services volunteers represent the face of the New York State Museum. This very important volunteer position plays a vital role in enhancing our visitors experience at the State Museum and within the Cultural Education Center.  Volunteers serving in this capacity provide information about our current exhibitions and offer directions to our various galleries, facility resources, as well as information on our many programs and special events.

Some duties may include:

  • Providing information to the public in person and over the phone
  • Orientation of visitors to the Museum and resources of the Cultural Education Center
  • Providing directions to exhibits and different program areas
  • Providing information about locations of interest in the Empire State Plaza and Albany area. 

Becoming a Visitor Service Volunteer also opens the door to many other volunteer opportunities within the New York State Museum.

Volunteer Benefits

  • On The Job Training
  • Rewarding Work
  • Learning Opportunities
  • New Experiences
  • Meet People with Common Interests
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Special Volunteer Benefits and Discounts