Summer theme park jobs can be a great opportunity for anyone who enjoys amusement parks to learn what it takes to run a world-class park and to have a hand in providing amazing theme park getaways to guests throughout the season.
Types of Summer Theme Park Jobs
Depending on the size of the park and the features it offers, there are dozens of different types of jobs available. Popular positions include:
- Ride Host: These employees operate the roller coasters and other amusement rides.
- Games: Hosting games requires an outgoing personality and skill demonstrating the game.
- Retail: Souvenir stores need staff members who can work registers, stock merchandise, and help guests find the perfect keepsake.
- Landscaping: Flower cultivation, lawn care, tree pruning, and other earthy tasks are done by landscapers.
- Restaurant Servers: From quick service stands to formal restaurants to catered picnics, most parks have a large department for restaurant employees.
- Cleaning: Housekeepers for resorts, sweepers for midway areas, and trash removal employees are some of the cleaning positions available at amusement parks.
- Resorts: If the amusement park has integrated hotels, then reservations specialists, bell hops, and other resort employees will be hired.
- Safety: Security officers and medical technicians are on most parks' payrolls.
- Entertainers: DJs, singers, actors, dancers, and other entertainers are necessary for popular shows. Some parks also hire comedians, musicians, jugglers, and other specialized entertainers.
- Admissions: Guest relations specialists are needed to sell and monitor tickets at a park's admission gates and parking facilities.
- Office Staff: Parks don't run without management, and office staff members help maintain schedules, budgets, employee contracts, and other paperwork.
- Characters: These specialized entertainers dress up in outlandish costumes to appear in shows, sign autographs, and pose for pictures.
- Lifeguards: If the park has a water park as part of its amenities, certified lifeguards will be in demand. Resorts may need lifeguards for pools, and indoor water parks will need lifeguards year-round.
- Maintenance: Electricians, mechanics, and engineers need to be on hand to keep a park's rides and other technology functioning at peak efficiency.
- Supervisors: A theme park supervisor has generally worked at the park for several years and has many duties necessary to help other employees work more effectively.
Depending on the size of the park, other specialized employees may also be hired, such as accountants, caricature artists, photographers, and more. Many of these positions are still seasonal and are perfect for more advanced summer theme park jobs.
While a theme park may be a great place for a vacation, working there is not a time to relax. It takes a great deal of effort to keep a park running smoothly, and working conditions are not always ideal. Employees must be able to work in all weather conditions, including the blazing heat of summer as well as regular summer storms. Because the employment is seasonal, many employees will work between 40 and 70 hours a week or more, often working six or seven days a week with different shifts each day.
The biggest consideration, however, is attitude. Theme park employees must remember that no matter how difficult their day may be, their job is to provide a fun, entertaining vacation for the park's guests. After a long shift this can be difficult, but employees who enjoy their jobs will enjoy the smiles they see when guests are enjoying their vacation.
Most theme park jobs pay minimum wage or slightly higher for basic positions. Employees in specialized jobs that require additional skills often get paid a higher rate, while supervisors also earn a higher wage. Some positions, such as wait staff in larger restaurants, may also be able to collect tips. As an incentive, some parks, such as Cedar Point amusement park, provide contract bonuses based on the amount of time employees work or other work-related criteria.
In addition to a regular paycheck, summer theme park employees often enjoy other benefits. They may have free park admission when they're not working, and they may be given or have the opportunity to earn free tickets for friends and family members. Souvenir shop and restaurant discounts are also given to many employees.Some parks also provide employees-only events such as exclusive ride nights, contests, social events, and other activities to make off hours more enjoyable. Local merchants may also offer park employees discounts or special offers.
Summer theme park jobs can be demanding, but they can also be very enjoyable. There are a wide range of jobs to choose from and many benefits are offered, giving every employee something to enjoy while they bring a summer's worth of enjoyment to others.