Skip to main content

Purchase Tickets

Seasonal Tour Guides

Seasonal Tour Guides

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site (ESPHS) seeks outgoing, engaging and passionate people for the position of Seasonal Tour Guide. This position serves as the face of ESPHS. A detailed description for the position appears below; please follow specific instructions to apply.

Seasonal Tour Guides are responsible for sharing the history and relevance of the penitentiary for a broad, general-interest audience. ESPHS’s guide-led programming includes brief hands-on and behind the scenes experiences such as unlocking a cell door or exploring the prison’s hospital, leading one-hour public and school tours of the site, and staffing locations around the penitentiary to ensure a safe and educational environment for visitors.

Other responsibilities include site maintenance, which entails cleaning exhibits and taking out the trash. Please note that Eastern State Penitentiary is a ruin and working conditions are not always ideal. Seasonal Tour Guides spend their workday in outdoor conditions.

You are a great fit for this job if you are:

  • A natural at leading conversations and making people feel comfortable.
  • A clear, confident, thoughtful, and open public speaker who can foster space for diverse opinions that may differ from your own.
  • Willing to learn and share knowledge with people from a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and interests. This includes politically and culturally sensitive subject matter such as crime, race and prison stereotypes.
  • Flexible and adapt quickly.
  • Exceptional in providing customer service.
  • Able to work well on your own, but also enjoy collaboration.
  • Willing to work outdoors in all types of weather.

We especially encourage you to apply if you:

  • Speak more than one language.
  • Have a basic knowledge of the criminal justice system and prisons. This includes personal and/or professional experience with the criminal justice system.
  • Have ever been told you are a natural teacher or that you ask thought-provoking questions.

To apply:

Click here to apply. If we choose to move forward with your application, a member of our staff will contact you to schedule a phone interview. After a successful phone interview, you may be invited to the historic site for a 2nd in-person interview. All applicants will be contacted, even if not selected for an interview. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. No phone calls please.

About Seasonal Employment at ESPHS:

This position is seasonal. Applicants must be available for weekday and weekend shifts (approx. 9 am to 5:30 pm); occasional early mornings and evenings required. Hourly rate begins at $12.20/hr. After the completion of a performance review pay raises to $13.00/hr. There is also a bonus for Seasonal Tour Guides who complete the entire season in good standing.

Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, creed, color, religion, alienage or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability or handicap, sex, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, arrest record or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws. Our management team is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities and general treatment during employment.

ESPHS strongly believes in second chances and, as such, is committed to providing appropriate employment opportunities to those who have been incarcerated. As a condition of employment, all individuals who accept an employment offer must complete a criminal background check. Eastern State will review any criminal record and make appropriate employment decisions in accordance with applicable law and its policies.

About ESPHS:

When Eastern State opened more than 180 years ago, it changed the world. The first prison of its kind – a penitentiary – it was designed to inspire true regret in the hearts of criminals. The building itself was an architectural wonder; it had running water and central heat before the White House, and attracted visitors from around the globe. Although the prison now stands in ruin, its story remains relevant today. When Eastern State Penitentiary opened as a historic site in 1994, it attracted just over 10,000 daytime visitors – this past year, it was visited by more than 300,000. The site’s programming continues to grow by inviting the public into new spaces, mounting original exhibits and artist installations, and engaging visitors dialogue about history that deepen the national discussion about criminal justice today.

ESPHS is open every day, year-round from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information, please visit easternstate.org.

2017 American Aliance of Museums Excellence in Exhibitions Overall Winner