Frequently Asked Questions
- How long is each volunteer commitment?
- What are the time requirements?
- Do I need a science background?
- What qualifications do volunteers or interns need?
- Who can be a volunteer?
- Who can be an intern?
- What is the youngest age for volunteering?
- Are all volunteer candidates accepted?
- How can I get started?
- What can I expect at the Interview?
- Will I be trained before I start my volunteer work?
- What are the benefits of volunteering or interning at the Fleet?
- Does the Fleet offer internships?
- Does this position pay? I am looking for a job at the Fleet.
- Can I volunteer if I am a college student and only home for the summer/winter?
- Are there opportunities for high school students to volunteer over the summer?
- Is there a volunteer uniform?
- Will I be standing for a long period of time?
- I’m driving, how do I get to the Fleet?
- Is parking free?
- Is the Fleet on a public transit route?
- Can the company I work for volunteer at the Fleet?
- Anything else?
Volunteers are asked for a minimum service commitment of six months or 72 hours. Shorter commitments can be arranged for the summer, especially for high school or college students. No service verifications are signed until the minimum service commitments are met.
We ask for a monthly commitment of 12 or more hours of service. Certain positions, such as Event Ambassador, require weekend or evening availability. Tinkering Studio has an afternoon availability, while the Education Department has mainly morning availability. For Museum Ambassador or Gallery Facilitator, the availability is anywhere within the museums open hours.
Please refer to the volunteer and intern listings for the specifics related to each position. Many are flexible in their scheduling requirements and allow you pick a regular shift or volunteer as you are available, while still meeting the minimum time commitment.
Camp Counselors have an 80 hour commitment that can be completed within summer, winter and spring camps.
No! For most positions your enthusiasm, love of learning and willingness to help is all that is needed.
We look for volunteers and interns who:
- Are energetic, outgoing and friendly, with enthusiasm and interest in the Fleet Science Center
- Have excellent communication skills
- Can work independently and be flexible in a variety of settings
- Have a keen interest in lifelong learning
- Are excited to work in a dynamic environment with people of all ages, backgrounds and opinions
- Come prepared and are dependable and punctual
Please review the volunteer and intern listings for specific qualifications for each position.
- Volunteers should be 15 years of age or older.
- Volunteers should be friendly, outgoing and enjoy working with people.
- Volunteers should have an interest in enhancing the public understanding and enjoyment of science and technology.
- Interns must be currently enrolled in high school or college; high school interns must be enrolled in an internship program through their school.
- Interns should be friendly, outgoing and enjoy working with people.
- Interns should have an interest in enhancing the public understanding and enjoyment of science and technology.
The minimum age is 15. Camp counselors can start at 14.
While the Fleet endeavors to place each applicant, it is not always possible to find an assignment that matches the interest, availability and talents of the applicant.
Read through the list of open volunteer and intern positions to find some that you are interested in. Then, visit the “How to Apply” page of our website, which goes through all the steps to starting as a volunteer or intern with the Fleet and includes a link to our online application.
You should come prepared to show your interest and desire to volunteer at the Fleet. Treat this like a real job interview, although it is a volunteer position we have high expectations of our volunteers and look for a high degree of professionalism, enthusiasm, and a desire to learn and further develop your skills.
Yes! After the interview session, volunteers are invited to an Orientation and Training. From then on new volunteers are placed in a mentorship program where they complete a minimum of 3 shifts alongside an experienced volunteer. We encourage you to be curious and ask a lot of questions, and we will work hard to make sure you have all the support you need to succeed.
- Free admission to the galleries and theater shows on the days of your shifts
- Earn free passes to the Fleet each month
- Special discounts in the North Star Science Store and Galileo’s Café
- Discounted memberships
- Invitations to Fleet parties, annual Volunteer Recognition Event, other special events, lectures and workshops (with free or discounted admission)
- Gain new skills and experience
- Meet interesting people from all around the world
- Satisfaction of providing a community service
- Achievement of your personal and professional goals
- Recognition and gratitude for your service
Yes, the Fleet offers unpaid internships.
No. Volunteering is an unpaid position and does not ensure you a job at the Fleet. Volunteers support the Fleet by donating their time and talent. Through volunteering here, you will gain valuable experience that can be added to your résumé. If you are interested in a paid position, please visit our employment page.
Yes! We would love to have you be a part of the team while you are home!
Yes! Volunteer opportunities are available year round. If you are only available over the summer, then you only volunteer over the summer!
All volunteers must present a professional image while on duty at the Fleet. For positions that interact with our guests, we require volunteers to wear a Fleet-furnished volunteer shirt with khaki pants or capris. Volunteers working behind the scenes may wear business casual clothing or follow other guidelines provided by their department. All volunteers and interns must wear closed-toe shoes.
A majority of the guest-facing volunteer positions may require long periods of standing. If needed, accommodations can be made upon request.
Driving directions can be found on the directions page of our website.
Free parking is available in a convenient adjacent parking lot south of the Fleet Science Center, as well as in several other nearby lots. Parking is available on a first come basis. Parking lots are the property of the City of San Diego, and rules for usage are subject to changes enacted by the City. There is also parking on the street after 9:00 a.m.
The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (SDMTS) provides bus service to Balboa Park. The #7 bus stops near the Fleet on Park Boulevard. Routes 3 and 120 stop on the other side of Balboa Park on Laurel. View the transit map or visit www.sdmts.com to plan your route.
Yes! The Fleet encourages corporations to work with us and provide hands-on community service that aligns with our mission. Projects are designed to be enjoyable and fulfilling, meet your company’s goals, and provide employees with meaningful, teambuilding opportunities. Projects can include facilitating educational activities, painting or renovating various spaces, sponsoring technology installations and more. Visit our group opportunities page for more information.
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