Shifts Available:

  • 3rd Saturday of EVERY month for Utah’s Animals from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (shift time 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.)
  • 4th Saturday of EVERY month for Bug Brigade from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (shift time 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
Time Commitment:
2 shifts per month, 1 of each program:
  • 1 Utah’s Animals program (1st or 3rd Saturday from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
  • 1 Bug Brigade program (2nd or 4th Saturday from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)

Position Summary

Animal Handlers handle and interpret the NHMU animals for Museum guests. They will create an engaging atmosphere for guests. They will effectively communicate information about the animals, galleries, and the Museum, while ensuring the safety of animals and guests.

Department: Gallery Programs, Public Programs
Supervisor: Echo Paixao, Assistant Gallery Programs Coordinator


  • Must be comfortable handling animals (including live insects)
  • Enjoyment of lifelong learning and sincere interest in and/or background in science
  • Desire to teach as well as learn
  • Cooperative nature, including the ability to accept instruction and correction
  • Ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances
  • Good oral communication skills
  • Professional manner and neat appearance
  • Ability to stand and talk for extended periods
  • Must be able to maintain records on animal care and observations

Age Requirement: 17 years or older

Training Required

All volunteers are required to attend a 3.5 hour New Staff and Volunteer Orientation training prior to starting their volunteer position. Animal Handlers are required to complete the online Occupational Health and Safety Training Course (University of Utah Guidelines) before they can handle Museum animals. This course takes approximately 3-6 hours. Following their certification, they must attend an Animal Handling Basics Class, which is approximately 1 hour. Finally, new Animal Handlers will need to shadow current Animal Handlers a minimum of two times for on-the-job training.

Training Schedule:
NHMU Orientation, 3.5 hours RSVP required:

  • 1st Friday of the month: 12:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • 3rd Wednesday of the month: 5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Occupational Health and Safety Training Course:
  • TBD by volunteer (we encourage multiple sessions)
Animal Handling Basics Class, 2 hours RSVP required:
  • TBD
Animal Handler Shadowing
  • Date 1: TBD by volunteer
  • Date 2: TBD by volunteer

NHMU Mission

The Natural History Museum of Utah illuminates the natural world and the place of humans within it. Animal Handler volunteers will spark excitement, curiosity, and an appreciation for the natural world in Museum guests.


Volunteers at the Natural History Museum of Utah enjoy benefits that are intellectual, social, and meaningful. Volunteers have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the natural world through specialized trainings, behind-the-scenes access, and interaction with the Museum’s research staff; they can broaden their social circle by making connections with fellow volunteers, Museum staff, and Museum guests; they contribute to scientific research, and make an impact in increasing scientific literacy and awareness in the local community, and beyond.

In addition, the Museum offers the following benefits:

  • Volunteer t-shirt and name tag
  • Free admission into the museum
  • Two free guest passes for every 25 hours of service
  • Museum Membership discount
  • Discount at Museum Store and Café
  • Use of the volunteer lounge
  • Continuing Education programs, including lectures and tours
  • Invitation to social and recognition events

Background checks are required for all volunteers 18 years and older.