Department:               Education

Reports To:                 Director of Learning & Engagement

Classification:             Full-Time, Exempt

Position Summary

This is a management level position within the Museum’s Education Department dedicated to providing increased community engagement and varied interpretations of the collection along a strategy of ‘Art and Empathy’. The Manager of Docent Programs is an art historian and experienced educator responsible for oversight and organizing of the docents, their training, and creating and evaluating docent programs. The Manager of Docent Programs supervises and advocates for the docents, an informed, creative, and dedicated group of Museum volunteers. Docents provide free tours in multiple languages to the public, including adults, families, and school groups, as well as tours designed for audiences with special needs such as autism, dementia or sight impediments. The Manager of Docent Programs leads all aspects of a rigorous training program and helps develop and integrate new approaches to learning and accessibility in tandem with the Art and Empathy education team. The Manager works with Educators, Curators, and other SDMA departments as well as engages faculty and students at colleges and universities to research and interpret the collection and temporary exhibitions. 

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Acts as liaison between the Docent Council and the Education Department and attends all docent board meetings.
  • Attends SDMA Board of Trustees Education Committee meetings.
  • Recruits and selects new docents with Docent Board representation.
  • Ensures that all docents are trained and prepared to deliver tours to visitors.
    • Develops training curriculum.
    • Organizes and leads the docent training courses in special and permanent collections.
    • Participates in evaluations of all trainee passing tours.
    • Oversees the docent recertification process.
    • Leads docent study groups and develops study materials as needed.
    • Develops continuing education courses for docents.
  • Schedules and coordinates the Docent Guest Lecture Series working with curators and education staff.
  • Coordinates annual events to celebrate and recognize docent achievements.
  • Develops relationships with the academic communities on behalf of SDMA.
  • Lectures to the docents on selected art history subjects and touring techniques.
  • Liaises with staff in the coordination of tour and docent schedules.
  • Supervises the Access Program as part of the Museum’s attention to visitors with special needs. 
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Advanced degree in Art History, Arts Education or a related field.
  • Minimum five years prior experience in museum or art history education.


  • Experience working with volunteers preferred.


  • Ability to work effectively in team situations.
  • Ability to be culturally sensitive and respect diversity.


  • Effective communication skills.
  • Excellent administrative, verbal and written skills.
  • Strong organizational, mentoring and leadership skills.
  • Detail oriented, patient and flexible.
  • Fluency in multiple foreign languages preferred.

Physical Demands

  • 50% time spent on the computer.
  • Some moderate lifting.
  • Daily walking required to the Museum, which includes stairs.

Work Environment

  • Large office is shared with Docent volunteers.
  • Noise level ranges from quiet to moderately noisy.

Salary Range: $62,000 to $68,000 annually

If interested, please submit cover letter and resume to, or mail to: The San Diego Museum of Art, Attention: Human Resources, P.O. Box 122107, San Diego, CA 92112.

The San Diego Museum of Art is committed to providing equal employment opportunity and will comply with all applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity employment laws. The Museum prohibits discrimination against staff members or applicants on the basis of sex, race, religion, color, national origin, disability, protected medical condition, marital status, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, ancestry, military or veteran status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.