Tour Guide, Public Programs

New York Transit Museum

Organization Description: 
Founded in 1976, the New York Transit Museum is dedicated to telling and preserving the stories of mass transportation – extraordinary engineering feats, workers who labored in the tunnels over 100 years ago, communities that were drastically transformed, and the ever- evolving technology, design, and ridership of a system that runs 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The New York Transit Museum explores the development of the greater New York metropolitan region through the presentation of exhibitions, tours, educational programs, and workshops dealing with the cultural, social, and technological history of public transportation. Since its inception over 45 years ago, the Museum, housed in an historic 1936 subway station in Downtown Brooklyn, has grown in scope and popularity. The museum also maintains a gallery annex at Grand Central Terminal, an archive, and an off-site 14,000 square foot collections storage facility. As custodian and interpreter of the region’s extensive public transportation networks, the Museum strives to share, through its public programs, this rich and vibrant history with local, regional, and international audiences.

Position Description:
The New York Transit Museum is seeking exceptional and transit-loving tour guides for the upcoming spring, summer, and fall seasons. The Museum’s tour guides provide excellent walking tours of sites and neighborhoods in New York City on a contractual basis. We are looking for hard-working, curious, and engaging storytellers to join our team who will bring the history of the region and its transit system to life.

The New York Transit Museum (NYTM) provides walking and offsite tours at transit sites, including Old City Hall station, and in neighborhoods throughout the city. Led by the tour guide and organized and supported by Museum staff, these tours take place over the course of the year at various times on weekdays and weekends. Offsite tours are a way for the Museum to extend its educational programming to significant locations and sites beyond its walls and offer a variety of experiences.

NYTM tour guides produce and lead engaging, welcoming, and informative tours to a variety of adult audiences. Tour guides lead programs developed by others and may research and develop original tours as needed. They have demonstrated experience engaging with the public and providing unique visitor-centered experiences. They have an interest in and willingness to continue learning about museum engagement, the history of transit in our region, and related content and are enthusiastic ambassadors of the Museum. This is a contractual, as needed position in the Education Department, reporting to the Public Programs Manager.

Reports to:
Manager, Public Programs

Job Requirements & Responsibilities:
• Serve as an enthusiastic ambassador for the New York Transit Museum, leading fun, engaging and informative experiences. 
• Learn existing Transit Museum content and lead walking and offsite tours on transit-related topics.
• Adapt and update existing tours and research.
• Possibility to develop, research, and write new tour content and outlines for the Museum when needed at an additional fee.
• Become knowledgeable about and provide information to the public about the Museum, its programs and exhibits, and its collection.
• Correspond with Museum staff via email and attend trainings and check-ins in advance of tours. 
• Pick up and return any equipment or materials needed for tour implementation to the Museum before and after tours.

Candidate Qualifications:
• Experience leading group tours and/or performing or teaching in non-traditional, informal education settings.
• Enthusiastic and engaging storyteller dedicated to providing high-quality, visitor-centered experiences. 
• Genuine interest in the history of NYC and the surrounding region and a passion for sharing it with others. Some knowledge about transit and transit history a plus.
• Professional, responsible, reliable, and punctual. 
• Experience working with diverse groups with varied interests and knowledge of tour topics.
• Superb public speaking skills and an ability to communicate effectively to large groups.
• Ability to be physically active and work outdoors.
• Excellent research and writing skills in order to develop content for Museum tours as needed.
• Ability to learn, adapt, and memorize existing information and tour materials, while customizing content as needed for individual presentation styles.
• Flexible and adaptable, demonstrating good judgment and problem solving skills when faced with unforeseen circumstances.
• Ability to work independently while keeping supervisors apprised of work and asking for support when needed.
• Ability to anticipate and address the needs—mobility, auditory, and otherwise—of tour participants. 
• A commitment to supporting the Museum’s DEAI initiatives through ongoing trainings and work
• Education and/or experience equivalent to a four-year degree in humanities, history, urban planning, education, theatre, or a related field.
• Bonus if you have a NY Sightseeing Guide License, but not required.

Position Type:

Union Status:

FLSA Status:

Salary or Compensation:
$30 to $50 per hours depending on experience

Organization or Project Website:

Application Info:
Please email a cover letter and resume to with the subject Tour Guide. Due to high volume of applicants, only those who qualify for an interview will be contacted.

Tour guides are employed by the Museum’s non-profit affiliate, Friends of the New York Transit Museum.  

The New York Transit Museum is fully committed to equal employment opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, predisposing genetic characteristic, gender identity and expression, pregnancy, veteran or military status, marital/familial/partnership/caregiver status, status as a victim of domestic violence or stalking and/or sex offenses, or any legally protected basis. The Museum welcomes and encourages qualified candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

To protect our employees and continue to provide safe and reliable service to our communities, we are requiring all new hires to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to their start date. We will consider exceptions for religious and medical reasons, where appropriate. “Fully vaccinated” means you must have both doses of a 2-dose vaccine and two weeks have elapsed since the second dose or have received 1 dose of a 1-dose vaccine and two weeks have elapsed since the dose. Proof of your vaccination status in the form of a CDC vaccine card must be submitted prior to your start date.