Employment at the Thomas Cole Site

Join Our Team

To work at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site is to be part of a team of excited and committed professionals, each with his or her own role to play in realizing our collective goals. Learn about our open employment opportunities below. We look forward to hearing from you.

If you are looking for information about the annual Cole Fellowship program, please find more information here. 

Paid Museum Guides

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site seeks seasonal museum guides at the historic site from June through November 2023 for four to five days per week. Additional opportunities for approximately three days per week through January are possible, programming-dependent. Training sessions will also take place in May, estimated at 1-2 days per week. The position offers the opportunity to join a dynamic team at a beautiful historic site in Catskill, New York, in the scenic Hudson Valley. Hourly rates range from $14.50-$18.50, based on experience.

Essential functions and responsibilities include becoming skilled in the following:

  • Facilitate self-guided experiences for visitors at the home and studios of Thomas Cole, maintaining a level of knowledge in order to substantively inform the public and respond accurately to their questions
  • Lead guided tours of the site
  • Lead and/or assist with school programs, both on and off-site
  • Facilitate positive visitor experiences for visitors, school groups, and other audiences in a confident and professional manner
  • Act as the tour staff’s ‘go-to person’ on a rotating basis along with other guides to ensure daily tour operations are running smoothly. This includes tasks like managing unforeseen emergencies and facilitating large group visits.
  • Lead activities at events
  • Participate in group discussions to brainstorm innovative methods of historic site interpretation
  • Keep informed about special offers, events/programming, and the surrounding area of Catskill and be able to communicate this information to visitors
  • Keep informed about our policies, our operations, the structure of the season, and be able to communicate this information to visitors
  • Run the Visitor Center by greeting and orienting visitors, operating the cash register and online ticketing system for sales and reservations, and keeping the shop and desk area neat
  • Logistics of security, and opening/closing procedures
  • Help with small tasks around the site such as refilling brochures, wiping down interpretive panels, and maintaining visitor writing/art areas.

Qualifications: The position requires a comfort and natural ability with speaking in front of a group, a passion for learning about history, and the desire to communicate this knowledge and passion with others. The ideal candidate will enjoy working as part of a team, can problem-solve effectively and take initiative when needed, and can calmly handle many kinds of situations with patience, and with a smile. It is critical that the candidate be punctual, reliable, and responsible, as well as open to constructive feedback and new ideas. The position requires moderate physical activity including climbing stairs and moving about the historic site in hot summers and cool spring and fall weather. Flexibility in schedule is preferred.

We encourage you to apply even if you believe you do not meet all the qualifications listed. We value a wide range of perspectives and lived experiences, and the unique contributions they bring to our institution.

How to Apply: In a single PDF document, please submit (1) a resume, (2) a cover letter explaining why you are qualified and interested in the position, and (3) contact information for at least three professional references via e-mail to employment@thomascole.org. Deadline to submit is May 19, 2023.


The Thomas Cole National Historic Site has a universal vaccination policy requiring a COVID-19 vaccination, including a booster, for all employees.  Requests for reasonable accommodation will be considered and decided on a case-by-case basis according to New York State and Federal Law.

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a diverse workforce and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression), age, disability, or veteran status.


Staff photo by Adam T. Deen

rootEmployment at the Thomas Cole Site