Which Are the Best Summer Jobs?
By Steve Gillman - March 24, 2015
If you need a temporary job you can pick apples in the fall, be a ski instructor
in the winter, or prepare tax returns in the spring. But of all
the seasonal jobs out there, the best ones are probably the summer
jobs. Often you get to work outdoors, or at least in an area
where you can enjoy the hiking or hanging out at the beach when
you're not working. And the long days guarantee that you won't
spend every last hour of daylight at work.
(Flickr photo by
Perhaps you're a teacher or college student, and you want
to make some money during your summer off. Or maybe you just
want a fun way to pay the bills for the summer before you start
a new career. Whatever your reason for seeking temporary warm-weather
employment, you can get ready here, with my list of the best
Many resorts are either open only seasonally or add to staff
for the summer. The jobs available are not typically high-paying
positions, but you usually get to work in a beautiful setting.
There is a nice collection of resort job postings on CoolWorks.com. Kitchen
staff and wait staff seem to be the most common openings (and
the latter might pay decently when you include tips).
Golf Caddie Positions
Being a caddie made Forbes list of best-paying summer jobs. They offer an example
of a caddie who makes (with tips) $200 per round and does 2 rounds
per day. They estimate the average pay at $16.67 per hour. You
can find thousands of golf
caddie jobs listed on SimplyHired.com.
Summer Jobs in National Parks
Google the park you're interested in along with "jobs"
and you'll often find a National Park Service page devoted to
employment in that specific park. For example, there's a page
on jobs in Yellowstone, and one on seasonal jobs in Wind Cave National Park. Many of
the jobs start around $15 per hour.
There are also summer internships for graduate and undergraduate
students. These offer a chance to learn something and sometimes
pay a stipend of $3,000 to $4,000.
If you're flexible about where you work, visit to USAJobs.gov. In the search form enter "summer
position" where it says "Keyword," and pick a
state to enter under "Location." Doing that for Colorado
turned up 17 postings, some of which were in or near national
parks. Most of the others were Bureau of Land Management positions,
which are also in some beautiful areas.
A search of "summer position" on AlaskaJobs.com turned up 5,600 jobs. Here's
a short sample of the positions listed:
- Summer grounds maintenance workers at the University of Alaska
- Oil field work on the North Slope
- Paid 12-week management internship in Fairbanks
- Night auditor at a hotel in Skagway
- Biological technician in Girdwood
Summer Camp Jobs
If you like working with kids and being outdoors, being a
camp counselor might be right for you. Other positions available
in summer camps include:
- Camp director
- Program director
Some websites, like CampStaff.com specialize in camp jobs. Other
sites list summer jobs just for campgrounds that are a part of
an organization, like the summer job page of the American Camp Association.
You can also search for them on any of the general job posting
For teachers and others working in education, tutoring can
be a good way to bring in some extra income during a summer off.
A search of "summer tutoring" on Indeed.com produced
over 600 postings.
Trail Building Work
As a trail builder you get to work outside and stay in shape
(or get in shape). You'll typically work just in the summer if
you're in the mountains of the west. You can find job openings
posted on the website of the Professional Trail Builders Association.
At the moment the openings include positions in Vermont, New
York, Colorado, North Carolina, and Idaho.
Requirements for these jobs vary. Pay varies too, but you
often get more than just a paycheck. For example, if you've had
a year of trail building experience you might qualify for a position
as an "assistant trail crew leader" working on the
Appalachian Trail in Maine. That job pays $10 per hour plus housing
Finding Summer Employment
Here are a few of the websites that can help you find summer
- Cool Works specializes in postings for "jobs in great
places." Their section on summer jobs is a good resource
if you want a job that involves outdoor time or at least working
in a place where you'll want to be outdoors on days off.
- This is "your resource for finding summer jobs and seasonal
staff positions with camps, amusement parks, resorts, national
parks, hotels, environmental organizations and more."
- This website specializes in "short-term job adventures"
that include internships and travel opportunities.
The big job websites can work well too. Just search using
phrases like "summer job," "summer position,"
or "seasonal work." Here are four of the biggest:
More Summer Jobs
Here are some other jobs that typically become more available
in the summer, including a few that we've covered before on The
Bartender - Look for positions on
Alaskan cruises and at summer resorts if you want to work just
for the season.
Forest Firefighter - The pay varies,
and can be pretty low when there are no fires, but you can also
make up to $40,000 in a busy season.
Construction Worker - In northern climates summer is
the season for construction. Start with construction cleanup
if you have no experience.
Tour Guide - Work where you are or
get to know a summer tourist destination well enough to show
it off to visitors.
Lifeguard - Busy beaches around the Great Lakes and
in other northern areas typically need lifeguards from June through
Treasure Hunter - This is not exactly
a job, but summer is the best time to try it.
Housekeeper - Hotels in northern resort areas hire
for the summer season.
Casino Dealer - Cruise ship companies
hire for the summer cruise season.
Landscaper - To make this a summer job, get hired at
a seasonal resort.
National Park Scout - Openings for
this cool position, offered by Backpacker Magazine, will probably
be filled by the time you read this, but watch for future opportunities.
Combing - This is another one that isn't really a job,
but you can make money if you follow the advice in my post on
House Painter - Summer is the season for painting houses
in the north, but in any case if you do this as your own business
you can choose when you work and make good money.