Photo: Rachel Ormiston/Burke Museum
Photo: Rachel Ormiston/Burke Museum

Volunteers bring the
museum to life

Our dedicated volunteers bring their own unique skills, experiences and passions to make the Burke a dynamic and welcoming place for all.

They engage and inspire visitors, assist with collections care, and support museum events, all while supporting the Burke’s mission to care for and share natural and cultural collections so all people can learn, be inspired, generate knowledge, feel joy, and heal.

a man uses a small paintbrush to brush away dirt from a dinosaur fossil

Current Volunteers

We know your time is valuable. In 2018 alone, volunteers donated more than 25,000 hours to the Burke. We couldn’t do what we do without you—thank you, Burke volunteers!

Volunteering at the Burke

a group of young people pose for a photo in front of a mastodon
Photo: Peter Carrs Photography / Surveyor Films
Photo: Peter Carrs Photography / Surveyor Films

The Burke Museum offers volunteer positions for adults (ages 18+). While some positions require committing to a regular schedule, positions with our events team provide opportunities to support public programs and the visitor experience and allow for a more flexible schedule.

New volunteers are required to attend an orientation; some volunteer assignments may require prior experience and/or additional trainings. Individuals who bring diverse perspectives and experience are especially encouraged to apply to open positions.

Volunteer benefits

  • Free museum admission
  • Discounts in the Burke Store and Cafe
  • Special event invitations and continuing education opportunities
  • Networking opportunities with curators, researchers, museum professionals and other passionate volunteers
  • Up-close and behind-the-scenes connections with Burke collections and research

Current Opportunities

Ready to get involved at the Burke? Click the drop-down arrows to view current volunteer opportunities.

Grand Opening

Grand Opening Event Volunteers

It's an exciting time to volunteer at the Burke, and we need your help! Join us as we open our new museum to visitors during Grand Opening Weekend: October 11–14. 

  • Support the visitor experience and activities while having a blast as a Burke volunteer!
  • Get a sneak peek of our amazing new building during event training (optional)
  • Shifts are 4-4.5 hours on all event days; no further commitment required. Age 18+.

Event Assistants

Event Assistants help ensure that all our visitors have a fun, easy, and positive experience at the Burke during lively event days and programs. Supported by Visitor Experience staff, these volunteers welcome guests when they arrive, help them find their way around and assist with fun activities while they’re here.

  • Great for volunteers with limited time and limitless passion!
  • Create a safe and welcoming environment for all visitors while supporting public programs and special events
  • Minimum 5 shifts per year; age 18+

Apply Today

For more information, view the full position description (PDF).

Genetic Resources Collection (GRC)

Curatorial Assistant

The Burke Museum maintains a Genetic Resources Collection (GRC) of over 70,000 frozen tissues of wild animals for molecular study. GRC Curatorial Assistants contribute to ongoing research at the Burke Museum by organizing and labeling frozen tissues, and communicate the work of the Genetic Resources Collection with visitors. 

  • Contribute to scientific research, mainly in the fields of biodiversity, conservation, and evolution
  • Perfect for an independent worker unafraid of repetitive tasks!
  • Shifts available on weekends; age 18+

Apply Today

For more information, view the full position description (PDF)

Stay Informed

Stay in the Loop

Sign up to be emailed when we add new volunteer opportunities at the Burke Museum. 

Sign me up


Contact the Volunteer Office



a woman and man point out details in a cloth in the collection

Our Work

At the Burke, we bring together people, objects and the stories that make them meaningful.

Photo: Mark Stone/University of Washington
Photo: Mark Stone/University of Washington