Maritime Jobs with Museums and Historical Organizations
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Tour Guides and Other Museum Ship Jobs
The photo shows the USS Essex in heavy seas in 1960. It is almost two decades since
her service as a fleet carrier in World War II. These were followed by a larger class, the
lead ship of which serves as the
U.S.S. Midway Museum on the West Coast.
A popular destination is the Museum of Science and Technology, which serves as a
home to the Type VII Class U-Boat U-505, captured off the coast of Africa in World War II.
About the Intrepid, people sometimes mistakenly refer to her as an Essex class. She is
actually a Ticonderoga class fleet carrier. The Intrepid Air Space & Sea Museum offers
job applicants a number of areas of employment aboard a museum vessel.
Jobs on Museum Ships
If you enjoy naval and maritime history and think you have the personality to deal with the
public, you might enjoy working aboard a museum ship. Keep in mind that many
museum ships do not hire paid employees. They seek volunteers… often from retirees
and veterans. But there are some museums that do hire paid employees, like the
Intrepid Museum, the Pampanito, in Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, or the Midway
Museum in San Diego. Museum positions that arise include:

Good luck and smooth sailing!

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Tour guides this involves taking groups on organized tours of museum exhibits and
artifacts. Since most museums direct visitors to tour the grounds on their own, the tour
guide is used for larger organized group tours. The tour guide must be outgoing and
friendly, as well as having the professional restraint to be tactful with things like a difficult
visitor that wants to impress other visitors about his knowledge.

Lecturers this is similar to a tour guide but it generally involves being specialized in a
particular facet of the museum’s attractions. If the museum has a planetarium, the
lecturer might deliver presentations about the major constellations or the history of
celestial navigation.

Fund raisers on a basic level, fundraising involves cold-calling businesses or preparing
letters to let them know that the mission of the museum is vital to the community and that
funds are needed to sustain operations. On a more sophisticated level, fund raising
involves working with corporate sponsors, philanthropies and charitable trusts to
develop strategies for donations.
Security positions these include security guard positions and security supervisor
positions. Since museums may have valuable exhibits or archeological artifacts on
loan from other museums or educational institutions, security can be a priority.

Administrative staff this can include secretaries, clerks, human resources people,
bookkeepers and purchasing staff to handle things like employee time cards, payroll,
employee benefits, procuring goods and supplies. If there are cafeterias and
concession stands, sales and customer service people will be needed to run those

Technical and operations staff Since any museum needs to have things fixed when
they break, larger museums will generally have on-site electricians, plumbers, HVAC,
and technicians. In a smaller operation, trades people will have to wear several hats to
keep costs down. The staff will also include janitors and cleaning staff as well as
maintenance crews for lawn care, grounds keeping and painting.
A contemporary of hers now serves as the U.S.S. Intrepid Museum, and features similar
modifications in superstructure, flight deck, and communications. Not too far from the
Intrepid, the
South Street Seaport Museum sometimes posts museum positions.