Employment Opportunities

Available Positions

We are striving to preserve this amazing place we call home through the work taking place in our building and out in the field. That means building an empowered team. Learn more about our values and work towards greater inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in our current statement and action plan.

The San Diego Natural History Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Are you looking for volunteer opportunities instead? View our current needs.

The Facility Engineer is primarily responsible for maintaining the proper functioning of all MEP, HVAC, and life safety equipment throughout the building both during regular hours and after hours. This position aids the Senior Director of Operations in handling facility operations and protocols in order to uphold the appropriate standards of the SDNHM. The Facility Engineer is responsible for managing the overall maintenance of the Museum facilities, including off-site warehouse and Museum owned vehicles, and is accountable for maintaining compliance with hazardous materials and accessibility regulations, reporting compliance under OSHA and other government regulatory agencies.

Specific Responsibilities:


  • Maintains a functional knowledge of systems which include: HVAC/DDC Controls, Plumbing, Fire Protection/Fire Alarm, Elevators, Back-up Generators, Landscaping, Building Management Systems, Lighting Systems, Roof Systems, and Electrical Systems.
  • Diagnose, repair, and perform preventative maintenance on various types of equipment including, but not limited to: Chillers, Boilers, Air Handling Units, Cooling Towers, VAV Boxes, and Pumps.
  • Proactively inspect building and facilities equipment/furnishings to determine functional systems and detect malfunctions and needed repairs. Provide responsive assistance to the Senior Director of Operations to support the timely completion of Museum construction, repairs, or space alteration projects.
  • Oversees the General Maintenance Technician in order to maintain functionality and appearance of the facility, and all associated department personnel, including but not limited to, recruiting and selecting new staff, establishing work-related duties/responsibilities, training and scheduling, and periodically reviewing and evaluating staff performance.
  • Develops the department’s budget in collaboration with the Senior Director of Operations including negotiating with contractors, vendors, craftsmen, repair and cleaning services, and supply purchases.
  • Manages the selection of contracted vendors, schedules contractors, conducts site job walks, collects bids for projects, and manages adherence of vendors to Museum policies. 
  • Maintains a routine maintenance schedule including general painting needs, roof and other structural concerns, pest management, and safety training for all staff.
  • Maintains files on building plans and facility renovations. 

Health and Safety

  • Oversees the implementation of the Museum’s hazardous materials and disposal plan.
  • Ensures that permits/records pertaining to hazardous chemicals, generating periodic reports to the County and other agencies as required by law, are maintained.
  • Coordinates with the Fire Department as needed, for regular site inspections or responses to emergencies on site.
  • Responsible for the development and training under a disaster plan, devising a checklist to be followed in the event of an emergency.
  • Serves as primary contact in the event of certain facility emergencies.
  • Maintains functional knowledge of the condition of the Museum and the warehouse at all times including knowledge of security equipment (Fire Panel, Burglar alarm, Fire extinguishers, Fire Code Compliance).

Additional duties

  • Interacts with all Museum personnel to help facilitate the coordination of events, programs, projects, and storage within the facility, as well as being responsible for working with all departments to establish and monitor capital improvements that enhance the mission of the Museum and the visitor experience.

Essential Requirements:

  • Proven team player with strong communication skills who is approachable and responsive.
  • Expected to actively support diversity on their teams and museum-wide.
  • 5 years of demonstrated management experience in a large facility maintenance capacity within a museum or other similar environment.
  • Proven leader in hiring, training and supervising employees.
  • Frequent standing, walking, bending, sitting, climbing (stairs & ladders), crawling and lifting of moderately heavy loads up to 50lbs.
  • Occasional work in elevated places.
  • Good auditory skills with a full range of hearing. Good vision including acuity, depth perception, color vision.
  • Comfortable working around the general public.
  • Able to respond to emergency situations including but not limited to chemical spills, fires, and evacuations.
  • Able to safely operate an electric transport cart, a hand truck, a tractor, a forklift and scissor lift (used frequently) along with other equipment used to maintain the facilities.
  • Frequent work throughout all Museum and warehouse facilities including conference facilities, galleries, exhibit halls, presentation halls, research laboratories, storage rooms, and maintenance and/or metal/wood shop.
  • Frequent work outdoors.
  • Valid California driver’s license and good vehicle operation record.
  • Occasional work with or possible exposure to various chemicals.
  • Fluently bilingual in English/Spanish a plus.

To apply please submit resume, cover letter outlining your experience, salary requirement and three professional references to hr@sdnhm.org. No phone calls, no drop ins, and no recruiters please.

As The Nat’s Director of Volunteers, you will recruit, interview and oversee a robust core of over 700+ volunteers that provide vital services and public-facing activities for one of San Diego’s most popular and beloved museums.  This is a leadership position that is perfect for individuals who enjoy a variety of work and engaging with diverse groups and individuals.

The Nat’s volunteers interpret aboard whale-watching cruises; lead and recommend hikes throughout the region; provide educational experiences for students; engage guests with floor programming; and work behind-the-scenes with curators in the collections and research division. In addition to administrative work, the position presents an exciting opportunity to evolve the Museum’s volunteer offerings, working closely with the Education Department and leadership of flagship volunteer programs to facilitate, create, and update programs and trainings.

We seek a candidate who is a multi-tasker, enjoys working with a wide diversity of individuals and will be a strong and proactive collaborator. Active listening, patience, respectful communication and maintaining confidentiality are qualities that are essential for the position. You will be a key member of the Education and Engagement (EE) Division, and will help shape the strategic direction and growth of the Volunteer Department.  As the Director of the Volunteer Department, you will report directly to the Vice President of Education and Engagement, and work with a variety of Museum departments including Education, Exhibits, Science and Conservation, Institutional Advancement, Marketing and Operations.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Vision & Strategy: Works with staff and volunteer leadership to determine and implement strategic priorities that will advance remote, in-person and outreach volunteer offerings. Researches and envisions new volunteer programming, including plans to build a site-based horticultural stewardship program to maintain interpretive gardens; and a community science stewardship program. Strategizes volunteer, recruitment, training, and program development needs for volunteer programs.
  • Management & Leadership: Oversees the Department of Volunteers and the 700+ individuals that actively volunteer at The Nat, placing each into the most appropriate opportunity. Annually recruits, oversees and mentors seasonal Summer Camp Volunteer Liaison to help manage youth camp volunteers. Understands and responds to the needs and concerns of individuals and volunteer groups. Participates in volunteer group programs and meetings to build excitement and program ownership with volunteers through collaborative development. Addresses issues of concern with volunteers in a respectful and confidential manner. Communicates and administers Museum policies and updates, working closely with volunteer groups to collaborate on solutions and outcomes whenever possible.
  • Administration, Budgets, and Reporting:  Develops, plans, and tracks the Volunteer Department’s annual budget. Participates actively in planning and budgeting for the overall Education and Engagement Division. Oversees and directs the preparation of reports, conveying metrics, narratives, and/or budget. Shares highlights of volunteer activity with staff, volunteers and stakeholders. Celebrates volunteer accomplishments by planning annual recognition event, and keeping record of volunteer activities and hours through Volgistics. 

Traits & Qualifications:

  • A seasoned individual with Bachelor’s degree or four years equivalent experience.
  • Demonstrated experience of at least two years managing sizeable groups of staff and/or volunteers.
  • Experience working successfully with a wide range of ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
  • Background in education and/or natural science background is desirable.
  • Bi-lingual and/or ability to speak and write in Spanish is desirable.
  • Experience developing new programs and/or protocols.
  • Knowledge of (or experience with) Volgistics, Altru, or other comparable database programs.
  • Ability to connect effectively with diverse groups, write clearly and persuasively, and enhance and build meaningful relationships within and outside the Museum.
  • Experience planning, overseeing and reporting on sizeable budgets.

Personal Qualities:

  • Skilled communicator.
  • Creative thinker and innovator.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. 
  • Active listener who follows up on input.
  • Highly organized with strong skills in time management and multi-tasking.
  • Able to maintain confidentiality.
  • Collegial team player with excellent interpersonal skills.
  • A self-starter who demonstrates resourcefulness and good judgment.
  • Values inclusion, diversity of thought, backgrounds, and perspectives.
  • Integrity and ethics beyond reproach.

This is a full-time, exempt position. Some weekends and evenings are required.

Salary: $58,000 - $62,000 a year

Please submit a resume with three references, cover letter, and one page (600 word max.) writing sample that describes an instance that you handled a difficult situation that required diplomacy. All materials should go to hr@sdnhm.org. No phone calls or drop–ins, please. 

Review of applications will begin on March 8, 2021.



The Department of Paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum has an opening for paleontological field monitor. This position will be part-time temporary, as needed (0 – 29 hours per week). All work is funded through contracts.

The San Diego Natural History Museum is run and operated by the San Diego Society of Natural History, a private non-profit scientific organization incorporated in 1874. The Museum’s mission is to interpret the natural world through research, education and exhibits; to promote understanding of the evolution and diversity of southern California and the peninsula of Baja California; and to inspire in all a respect for nature and the environment.

Within the Museum, the Department of PaleoServices specializes in paleontological resource management. Our focus is on the recognition, recovery, and preservation of the significant and unique paleontological resources that occur in the greater southern California region.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Field monitoring of active mass grading, trenching, and other excavation activities into potentially fossil-bearing sedimentary rocks (Cenozoic and upper Mesozoic marine and/or non-marine rock units) in the greater southern California region.
  • Field monitor will work in close proximity to heavy equipment and be expected to work safely, to collect unearthed fossils, and to record relevant stratigraphic and taphonomic data.
  • Field monitoring can include working at distant locations for a week at a time, with commensurate reimbursement of per diem and mileage.
  • Opportunities for field survey work and fossil preparation are also possible.
  • Scheduled work hours are typically between the hours of 7 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday; however, work may also occur at night or on weekends.


  • A minimum of a B.S. in Geology or a related discipline with an emphasis in paleontology.
  • Experience in field paleontology and stratigraphy is preferred.
  • Must be able to lift at least 50 lbs
  • Have a valid Driver’s License and a clean driving record.

For general information about our paleontology mitigation program, please visit http://www.paleoservices.org

Start date: 15 April 2021

Please submit resumes and cover letter including salary expectations to hr@sdnhm.org. No phone calls or drop-ins, please.

Compensation: $20.09 to $25.00/hour depending on experience and qualifications.

The San Diego Natural History Museum is seeking intuitive, reliable, attentive, detail-oriented individuals with strong communication and customer service skills as part-time/as-needed Security Officers.  Security Officers are expected to uphold Museum rules and regulations by patrolling, observing, and reporting to the Facilities Supervisor and Senior Director of Operations. Security Officers are also expected to set the example for Museum safety and stellar customer service, and assist Museum guests, employees, and vendors during emergency situations.

Areas of responsibilities include:

  • Patrol, observe, and report to Facilities Supervisor and Senior Director of Operations.
  • Provide a high level of customer service and assistance to all Museum guests, staff, volunteers, and vendors.
  • Maintain a strong working knowledge of Museum policies and procedures, enforcing them with guests, staff, volunteers, and vendors as needed.
  • Document daily actions and situations in a Daily Log.
  • Respond to complaints and/or requests for assistance and evaluate appropriate course of action.
  • Respond to emergency situations within and directly outside Museum (i.e. natural disasters, medical emergencies, etc.)
  • Assist with building access and receiving/deliveries.
  • Perform other duties assigned by Facilities Supervisor and Senior Director of Operations.


  • Previous security experience at a cultural institution is preferred
  • Excellent customer service skills with the ability to maintain a professional and calm demeanor in a challenging, dynamic environment with all types of guests, staff, volunteers, and vendors.
  • Strong communication skills with attention to detail.
  • Must be able stand for long periods of time, respond quickly and communicate verbally for the majority of each shift.
  • Ability to perform crowd control by providing clear guidance and direction
  • Current Guard Card certification through BSIS
  • Current CPR/AED/First Aid Certification
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and Teams.
  • Bilingual preferred

This is a part-time/as-needed position. Friday availability is currently highly desired.

Position pays $15/hour. Employees enjoy free admission into all of Balboa Park’s museums as well as free admission to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.

Please send resume and cover letter to hr@sdnhm.org.  No phone calls or drop-ins please.


The Events Manager is responsible for the production and on-site execution of Museum events. This includes internal and external venue rentals and the scheduling and managing of part-time event staff.  In addition, this position supports the sales and marketing efforts of the Special Events Department. Reports directly to the Director of Events.

Roles and responsibilities:

Production of Facility Usage Events

  • Manages the production of facility usage events (external clients)
  • Conducts walk-throughs with booked clients and/or vendors
  • Advises the client throughout the planning process and provides pre-event guidance to clients to ensure adherence to all Museum regulations
  • Creates work orders and diagrams and distributes to key departments
  • Maintains a strong working relationship with museum staff to ensure event logistics are secured
  • Develops professional relationships with vendors and works closely with them throughout the event planning process, including the load-in and load-out logistics
  • Provides on-site coverage at events
  • Schedules and supervises all event staff
  • Works closely with museum operations and security department throughout the event planning process, including the day of the event.
  • Is knowledgeable on emergency procedures during event planning and the day of the event.
  • Provides on-site expertise and excellent customer service to the client throughout the planning, duration of the event, and post event.

Production of Internal Museum Events

  • Manages the production of facility usage events (internal departments)
  • Works closely with Museum staff to manage the internal departmental events, including: Fundraising, Membership, Paleo Dinner, Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, Educator Night, Staff Parties and other internal Museum events
  • Creates work orders and diagrams and distributes to key departments
  • Works closely with numerous Museum departments (security, operations, visitor services, marketing, audio visual, food & beverage and education) to ensure proper communication and that event logistics are secured
  • Provides on-site coverage at events, supervising all event staff

Events Staff

  • Manages the hiring process for all event staff
  • Reviews staffing pools and makes hiring recommendations
  • Trains all new hires
  • Conducts annual health and safety training for all departmental staff
  • Works closely with Director of Events and Senior Director of Operations to determine staffing needs for all events
  • Supervises event and bar staff during events
  • Reviews and submits all part-time staffing hours for payroll

Sales and Marketing 

  • Assists the Director of Events in reaching the department’s overall sales revenue goals
  • Responsible for booking events to meet a targeted personal sales revenue goal
  • Responds to all leads as assigned in a timely fashion
  • Conducts potential client virtual meetings, calls, and virtual or in person site visits
  • In Director of Events absence, responds to sales leads, conducts site visits and creates event estimates as needed
  • Focuses on wedding sales and client event booking experience
  • Prepares facility proposals, contracts, estimates, invoices, etc.
  • Assists with facility usage contracts and other sales functions as requested
  • Manages facility usage clients and vendors in Altru
  • Processes facility usage payments in Altru
  • Attends industry events as needed
  • Assists with the Annual Vendor Showcase marketing event
  • Works closely with the Director of Events to manage all marketing efforts, including print and online.

Department Resources

  • Updates and edits the Museum events calendar as needed
  • Attends (and leads as necessary) the weekly Museum Events meetings
  • Understands and is proficient in all Museum safety and emergency procedures

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or Associate’s degree preferred, special event certification a plus
  • 2-3 years special events experience required
  • Must have experience managing staff
  • Exemplary customer service skills
  • Must have rigorous attention to detail, ability to manage multiple deadlines, and excellent organizational abilities
  • Proficiency in computer applications, including Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Database experience preferred
  • Ability to work late nights and weekends
  • Must be guest-oriented and service-minded

This is a full-time, position with benefits such as health insurance, vacation, 13 paid holidays, free admission into all of Balboa Park’s museums as well as free admission to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.


  • $18.75-20/hour.

Please send resume and cover letter to jsahagun@sdnhm.org.  No phone calls or drop-ins please.

The San Diego Natural History Museum science research apprenticeship program are for members of groups of underrepresented High School seniors and Undergraduate students that provides training and mentoring in curation, imaging, databasing protocols, and collections-based research to prepare them for continued advancement in biological sciences, which can translate to career pathways in academia, research, as well as biological consulting.


  • Reside or attend a San Diego County High School or College
  • A special emphasis is placed on identifying and recruiting currently enrolled High School students and first-generation undergraduates residing or attending college in San Diego County who are members of groups underrepresented in STEM careers: including, but not limited to, individuals of African American, Asian, Latinx/Hispanic, Native American, and Pacific Islander descent
  • Applicants that are 16 -17 years old may be considered. If so they need to be able to obtain a work permit from their school upon notification of hire

Project Description:

Apprentices will work on-site with museum scientists in taxonomic curation, transcription of historical label data, data quality control, and georeferencing specimen records from the Museum’s collection and incorporating it into a national digital portal. Apprentices will receive daily instruction, guidance, and follow-up for all tasks assigned.

Some learning objectives include: 

-  COMMUNICATION: apprentices will provide project updates in written emails and spoken form in team and cohort meetings. Apprentices will document their experience, culminating in a written “cover letter” outlining their skill development for a hypothetical job.

-  COMPUTER/TECHNOLOGY SKILLS: apprentices will become familiar with a variety of databases, georeferencing tools, and image recognition apps. Apprentice will learn how to use Excel, tips for data quality control, and the use of pivot tables.

-  PROJECT MANAGEMENT SKILLS: apprentices will co-develop a project plan with their mentor, set milestones, and report of progress in team meetings.

-  DESCIPLINE SPECIFIC SKILLS: apprentices will gain experience in taxonomy, biodiversity data, and collections management.

-  PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: apprentices will participate in team and staff meetings, and attend in-house seminars

Term: Apprenticeships will be for up to 250 hours with negotiable work schedules. High school apprentices will be paid $15/hr. Undergraduates will be paid at $16/hr. Apprenticeships to begin in June/July 2021.

How to apply:
Please submit a resume with three references and Cover Letter which must explicitly outline the learning objectives desired from this work experience. Please make sure you note whether you are between the ages of 16 and 17 or if you are 18 years of age or older. Any Cover Letter not including age bracket will not be considered. All materials should go to kpelayo@sdnhm.org. No phone calls or drop-ins, please.

Review of applications will begin in April 21, 2021, with offers extended in mid-May.