Jobs & Internships

Preservation Virginia has staff across the Commonwealth advocating on behalf of historic places, interpreting the sites we own and operate and working with local communities. If you’re interested in joining our team, review our current job openings and follow the instructions to apply.

Historic Interpreter for Smith’s Fort

Location: Surry, Virginia

Located in Surry, VA, Smith’s Fort site contains both an 18th century manor house and the earthworks of a 1609 fort site. Smith’s Fort is owned and operated by Preservation Virginia, the oldest statewide preservation organization in the nation.

Position Title: Historic Interpreter (Part-time, hourly, ineligible for benefits) 

Hourly Rate: $15.00

Available Hours: As-scheduled; Smith’s Fort is open to the public Friday-Monday. Potential to work 7.5–80 hours a month. 

Reports To: Smith’s Fort Site Coordinator

Position Description: Preservation Virginia’s Smith’s Fort seeks an Historic Interpreter who will primarily be responsible for leading 45-60 minute guided tours of the historic Smith’s Fort manor house and grounds, and serving as front-line staff in the museum. Historic Interpreters will engage diverse audiences in topics to include but is not limited to: the 17th-19th century Tidewater, Virginia history, culture, society, economics, politics, and the complexities of gender, race, and slavery; conflict, war, and revolution in colonial Virginia, as well as architectural and plantation history of the property.

Historic Interpreters will provide guided tours to diverse audiences including adults and students/youth organizations, and will assist with special events. Historic Interpreters will receive necessary training in site and related histories, best practices in public history, historic interpretation, and tour techniques, among other necessary information to perform the position. 

Desired Qualifications:

  • Must be over 18 years old.
  • Obtained or in-progress: Bachelor’s degree in history, education, public history, political science, or related field; or equivalent experience.
  • Ability to lift 30 pounds.
  • Ability to climb up and down stairs repeatedly and to stand on feet for several hours at a time.
  • Must enjoy engaging and speaking with diverse public audiences, both youth and adults. 
  • Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills. 
  • Dedication to providing excellent customer service. 
  • Prior knowledge of American history, including 17th-19th century society, politics and law, war, gender, and race and slavery preferred. 
  • Experience giving public tours and/or public speaking, and experience operating a cash register/point-of-sale system preferred.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Open and close Smith’s Fort museum through performance of routine duties.  
  • Lead 45-60 minute guided tours to diverse audiences including student field trips and adult group tours. 
  • Serve as front-line museum staff. 
  • Greet guests to Smith’s Fort, sell admission, facilitate museum shop purchases, promote Preservation Virginia memberships, and provide excellent customer service. 
  • Be an ambassador for Preservation Virginia’s mission, work, and other historic sites. 
  • Answer museum phone and monitor museum email account and online tour booking reservations. 
  • Perform regular cleaning of public and staff spaces including museum shop floors, counters, bathrooms, staff kitchen, house porches, and emptying trash cans. 
  • Assist with student field trips and group tours by (including but not limited to) greeting teachers, parents, and group representatives; providing group instruction; leading tours and programs.
  • Reserve public tours of Preservation via phone and email.
  • Help monitor physical maintenance of house, property, and historic collection and follow established protocols when issues arise. 
  • Engage with the public by answering questions and pursuing conversations. 
  • Assist with special events on-site and virtually as needed, usually on evenings and weekends, such as focus tours, lectures, etc. 

Other Opportunities:

  • Assist in content development and research for educational programs and activities. 
  • Contribute written content to Preservation Virginia blog.
  • Expand Smith’s Fort research and knowledge of associated histories. 

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume with two references to Smith’s Fort Site Coordinator, tforehand@preservationvirginia.org