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How do I get a Summer Job at a National Park?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
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The way in which you can get a summer job at a national park depends a great deal upon what type of job you want and if you want to work for the government or a private agency within the park. If you want to work for the government as a park employee, you should watch for parks offering summer jobs at a national park on government employment websites. On the other hand, if you want to work at a hotel or restaurant that is part of a national park, then you will need to apply with that private company.

A summer job at a national park is a great way for someone interested in long-term employment at a national park to get experience and an introduction to working for the government. Since national parks usually are overseen by the government, you typically will need to apply with the government in order to find a job working at the park itself. You should determine at what parks or areas you are interested in working and consider locations and different parks within your region. Once you have an idea of where you would like a summer job at a national park, you can look for an appropriate position.

In the United States, the National Park Service, which is part of the US Department of the Interior, handles hiring for summer jobs at national parks, so you should consider contacting them for further information on US park jobs. US job seekers also can look for positions on the USAJobs website that posts information and positions available for all US Federal Government jobs. These postings are changed and updated often, so you should begin looking for a summer job at a national park early in the spring, and continue to check the website frequently.

You may need certain skills to find a summer job at a national park, such as customer service experience and experience with parks and hiking trails. If you are interested in an internship position, however, then you may need less experience but you will likely not be paid. This can give you excellent experience for future education and employment, however, and is an option you may want to consider. To find a summer job at a national park through the private sector, such as at a restaurant or hotel at a park, you will need to contact the company that owns that business. You may need customer service or hospitality experience to get hired at this type of location, however, and these locations often only have seasonal employment.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Sporkasia — On May 29, 2014

If there is anyway possible you should visit the park where you want to land a summer job before the summer begins. Sure you can fill out an application online, but your physical presence at the park will allow your future employer a chance to get to know you better than he or she could simply by reading an application.

The visit also shows the person in charge of hiring that you are series about getting a position at the ark and that you will take the extra step to accomplish a goal. This is a valued trait in any employee and should give you a leg up on the applicants who do not make a visit to the park.

By Drentel — On May 28, 2014

The mistake many people make when searching for a summer job at a national park is that they wait too late to begin their search. This may work well enough with other jobs, but national parks are generally well-staffed a good amount of time before the summer season begins.

There is always the chance that a position will open up late because someone gets ill or changes his or mind about the position, but do not count on this happening. These jobs are highly sought after and unlikely to be given up once they are landed.

Also, when you apply for a specific job, you should make it clear on your application that you will consider other positions at the park. This way you can get your foot in the door even if you do not get the specific job you wanted. You never know what might happen once you begin work.

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