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If you’re looking for a summer job, it’s most likely because you’re a student or a teacher. Thousands of high school and college students seek jobs in the summer, mostly to save money to help them get through the upcoming school year. Many teachers find jobs to supplement their income over the summer. 

Since summer is a time for travel, most resorts, motels, and restaurants in tourist spots begin hiring summer staff members in the spring.

Tourist attractions, amusement parks, water parks, and zoos are the kinds of employers looking for quality summer workers.

Most of the jobs are in the hospitality industry, and because they are usually open seven days a week and also in the evening, workers must be willing to work these nontraditional hours.

Much of this work can take place outside, and on some days workers will endure cool temperatures or extreme heat and humidity. Inside jobs entail serving customers and you are usually on your feet most of your work shift.

While these are not ideal conditions, most summer employees enjoy the work and the paychecks they receive.

Here is a list of some of the most common summer jobs:

  • Attraction operator
  • Camp counselor
  • Cashier
  • Construction worker
  • Factory worker
  • Game operator
  • Housekeeper
  • Kitchen staff
  • Lifeguard jobs<
  • Movie theater snack bar attendant
  • Restaurant host/hostess
  • Retail cashier
  • Retail sales clerk
  • Ride operator jobs
  • Server
  • Stock person
  • Swim instructor
  • Tour driver
  • Tour guide

You can see there are many kinds of summer jobs available. But how well do they pay? And what kind of education and experience do they require? The next sections will answer these questions.

Employment Outlook

Nearly half of youth ages 16 to 19 years old are typically employed during the summer, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s great news for this age group as well as college students looking for summer positions. By far the largest summer employer is the accommodations and food service industry. That is because summer travel and restaurant attendance increases during the summer. Also, seasonal food service operations like ice cream stores usually have an increased need for employees during the summer. 

The other industries employing the most summer workers include retail operations, arts, entertainment, and recreation companies, and construction companies. In many places across the United States, the most construction takes place during the summer months when weather conditions are more favorable.

Salary Outlook

One of the reasons there are many types of summer jobs is that they are usually somewhat low paying. Employees of amusement parks, zoos, water parks, and similar places receive an average wage of about $9.00 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These employees are sometimes offered other benefits, such as free admission to the park and passes for friends and family members. Restaurant personnel typically receive the minimum wage or an hourly wage close to it, as well as tips, which can be significant.

Other jobs and industries offer slightly higher hourly wages. Receptionists can earn between $9.00 and $13.00 per hour, while cashiers can earn between $10.00 and $12.00 per hour. Some construction workers can earn slightly more.

Education and Training Requirements

Summer employers are not looking for highly educated employees. They realize these are summer jobs and most workers will have a high school diploma or are high school students.

Some employers hope to rehire the same workers each summer, reducing training time and costs. Therefore, they try to get the best quality workers, train them well, and then offer them the best salary and benefits they can to get them to return the following summer. This is not true of every employer, but a general philosophy of most seasonal employers.

Seasonal workers receive on-the-job training, and the qualities most employers are looking for in an employee are reliability, dependability, and people who learn easily and are friendly and team-oriented. Construction workers are expected to have some experience, or perform unskilled labor. Camp counselors and workers are trained by the camp.

Overall, the outlook is good for people looking for summer jobs. If you are able to find one that you enjoy and you do a good job, chances are you can get that job or a better one each summer until you no longer need it. With no special training required for most jobs, you should be able to find a summer position that is right for you.

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