Museum Operations Manager

museum operations manager

Washington DC’s children deserve a world-class museum to spark their imagination and encourage them to dream. Steps off the National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue, National Children’s Museum celebrates the joy of childhood through science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) exhibits and programs. As Museum Operations Manager, you will help realize this vision for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

what you’ll do

As Museum Operations Manager, reporting to the Associate Director of Administration and Counsel, you will be a critical member of the Operations team focused on delivering a whimsical, high-quality, magical visitor experience. You play a key role in the daily operations of the Museum – ensuring a smooth admissions process, overseeing daily operation of the Museum’s point-of-sale system, providing visitors with exceptional customer service during their visit to the Museum, and supporting the floor staff and visitors to ensure that the Museum delivers extraordinary learning experiences for children and their families. Your work is critical to fulfilling the mission of the National Children’s Museum:  to inspire children to care about and change the world. 

Work across multiple departments to ensure delivery of a high-quality visitor experience for all Museum visitors;

Lead opening and closing Museum on scheduled days;

Lead front desk operations, including ensuring smooth admissions to the Museum, welcoming visitors, selling and scanning tickets, orienting visitors to the space, answering visitor questions; and communicating and selling memberships; 

Serve as the in-house expert for PatronManager, the Museum’s POS system, including managing all sales, group bookings, and visitor use of PatronManger; programming and releasing tickets; and running sales and attendance reports; 

Work to ensure simple Museum ticketing and gift shop user experience; 

Oversee the opening, restock, and organization of materials and supplies at the admissions desks and gift shop;

Responsible for daily cash handling procedures and ensuring integrity in cash handling;

Monitor and support staff compliance with policies, including COVID-19 and safety protocols; 

Monitor guest activity to ensure safety and adherence to guest and all safety protocols;

In coordination with the Visitor Experience Team, address guest and staff issues on the Museum floor, including deescalating guest issues and engaging with guests from a wide range of backgrounds; 

Assist facilitation of smooth operations and communications with vendors;

Monitor Museum’s cleaning schedule and ensure compliance with Museum cleaning protocols;

Assist in hiring processes and developing, scheduling, hosting, tracking, and assessing staff operational trainings;

Monitor daily visitor engagement, customer service, lost children, accident/incident intervention and reporting, lost & found, etc.;

Partner with exhibits and facilities team to resolve safety concerns in a timely manner; 

Develop opportunities to engage all guests in the Museum experience, partnering with each department to ensure diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, initiatives;

Be a positive member of the National Children’s Museum Dream Team, working to sustain the collaborative, creative culture that will permeate into the guest experience; and

Welcome other tasks and responsibilities as needed to ensure the Museum’s success.

what we believe are important experiences + traits for this role

Experience working with young children and families and a passion for children’s education and entertainment;

Experience working in visitor engagement, education, and/or theater; 

Prior cash handling experience and knowledge of POS systems;

Ability to observe and learn from visitor feedback and behavior; 

Ability to be a role model of customer service, demonstrate flexibility and manage staff in a fast-paced environment where demands often change; 

Ability to hold staff accountable for following Museum policies and guidelines; 

Great interpersonal skills and ability to work well with a diverse customer base; 

Fluency in a language other than English is desirable;

Ability to work effectively on a team and think strategically; 

Highly professional with the ability to serve as a public representative of the Museum; 

Self-starter able to take charge of a task once assigned, but welcoming of feedback from all staff and open to adaptation for the betterment of the Museum; 

Must be able to pass a criminal background check; and

Passion for the mission of National Children’s Museum. 

physical demands + working environment

Ability to remain in stationary position for long periods, move up to 50 lbs., and position self to interact with children in our exhibits, including a three-story climber and slide;

Occasional work outdoors;

Ability to work effectively in fast-paced, highly-sensory, stimulating work environment due to constant interaction with other staff and visitors, which includes children;

Punctuality and attendance are required for all assigned shifts;

Availability on weekends, evenings, and holidays; and

Uniform/dress code (masks are required due to COVID-19 policy).


Full-time position located at the National Children’s Museum @ 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW.  Workweek options for this position are Thursday – Sunday, or Wednesday-Friday + Sunday, but are subject to change. Anticipated schedule is 8am – 6pm. Scheduled work hours will be adjusted according to Museum needs. Participation in special events, evenings, weekends, and holidays will be necessary.

The Museum plans to open to the public 4 days per week, with plans to increase operating hours in the future.


$55,000 – $80,000, commensurate with experience and skill set.

Multiple positions may be filled from this announcement. Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter to [email protected] with the subject line: Museum Operations Manager.

what we value

Our mission is to inspire children to care about and change the world. The Museum is an innovative institution that sparks curiosity and wonder and a space where children feel valued. In order to do this well, we need a team that reflects the dynamic and diverse communities that we serve and brings a variety of perspectives, abilities, and skills. We embrace that this work is critical to our mission and never finished. The more inclusive we are, the stronger our Museum.