Living & Working in Great Places
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I'm thinking about closing my business and seeking a National Park job with a concessionaire during the 2019 spring to fall season. First, I need to do some financial planning. If anyone can give me a rough estimate of an hourly or weekly wage for an entry level position, I'd appreciate it. I'm thinking I might like working as a clerk in a store, front desk in a hotel, or a tour guide. I've tried to find salary information on job descriptions, but that information does not seem to be included. Thanks in advance.
A couple of basic guidelines. Most park concessionaires pay around the minimum wage for entry level. Small parks sometimes pay a little more than big parks. Non-park seasonal tends to pay a little more than in park concessionaires...with the exception of ski resorts. Tipped positions can pay somewhere to a little better to extremely better than non-tipped positions depending on the place.
Concessionaires rarely have their own tour guides. While there are many guides in the parks...most are coming in from the outside. I have worked at non-park seasonal places where they do have guides that include parks on their tour if that is an option. Some parks have concierge positions, but that's not really a guide.
The expenses side of the equation is something that needs to be considered. There are usually big housing and food savings. There can also be opportunities to spend a lot of extra money. Two people can be earning the same amount working similar hours, and one can leave with a nice chunk of cash, another can lose money on the season.
Thanks for your help, Keith
Thanks Keith. That's super helpful!
The AVERAGE worker in the Parks isn't paid too much but has a deal on housing/meals - if you're kind of up for a college-like setting.
In every Park there are jobs that pay more and they're typically a little harder to get.
Apply early - December 1 - but do your research.
Glacier Park has drivers for old buses who make quite a bit more than, say, a gift shop clerk.
The hotel night auditors are typically paid more than the average.
Really good waiters make the most typically.
For instance, 3 years ago, I was the night auditor for Glacier Park, Inc.
I was paid $12 and had a free board and a free room.
Others, like the night desk clerk upstairs, might be making $10 and paying something
like $11 a day for the room and board package.
Don't be afraid to call the H.R. offices in Glacier and Grand Teton, Yellowstone etc and chat with them about what you can make.
If you can run a business, you probably can be a supervisor in a gift shop for more than the starting wage. You'd have the responsibility of closing up and doing the cashout but it'd be well worth it I think you'd find out.
If they get to know you and your abilities up front and early, they can more carefully tailor a position offer you'll both like.
Ask about housing always.
The middle of nowhere motel in Glacier had amazingly loud housing - amazingly.
The same company's East Glacier digs were a separate chalet at the pool where separate rooms - bath down the hall - were the order of the day and noise was very, very much less as it was all supervisors and guys past student age.
If you were just picking a plain vanilla, you'll be a clerk at the hotel desk or a gift shop maybe.
You'll get about $10 per hour for 40 hours and pay about $11 seven days a week for a room and 3 cafeteria meals.
Niche jobs exist in all Parks.
You'd be surprised what a responsible person can get compared to average when applying early with good skills.