Have you ever dreamed of living on a lake? How about in the mountains or the desert? Or oceanside? Do you love camping in your RV for long periods? Do you want to live in these places without breaking the bank and maybe making some money while doing so? Then, perhaps you need to find a campground host job. Read on to learn more!
What Is a Campground Host Job?
If you take a campground host job, you’ll essentially help manage a campground. This can mean anything from registering guests to selling wood for campfires to cleaning toilets. Consequently, campground hosts usually live on-site, where guests have easy access to them if needed.
You may be on for 24-hour periods or specific hours as set by the campground owners or official park rangers.
Most campground host jobs require you to live there, work weekends and remain for an entire season. That season can vary from a few months to six months. It all depends on where the campground is, how many people visit, and what they need from you.
What Is Workamping?
Workamping can be similar to a campground hosting job in that you work at a campground in exchange for a campsite, pay, or both. It differs from hosting because the job usually involves more specific work such as maintenance or landscaping.
Workamping may involve cleaning bathhouses, registering guests, or even acting as a tour guide, trail guide, or concierge. Additionally, some workamping gigs might involve humanitarian projects where you’re helping restore historical buildings or build trails.
Keep in mind; a workamping job may not have a comped campground site for you. You may have to find your own and pay for it on your own, almost like a regular, nine-to-five job.
There are workamping and campground hosts jobs for almost every interest or ability. You just have to find it and be willing to do the work for the pay offered.
Pro Tip: Unfortunately one big RV career opportunity, Amazon’s CamperForce, is no longer operating. Find out why!
How Much Do Campground Hosts Make?
While it’s true that some campground host jobs only pay via a campsite and hookups, most will pay a small wage. Since many host jobs want two people, usually a couple, you may get paid as a couple instead of individually. It all depends on the type of work and hours of the gig.
If your job as a host is more specialized, you’ll generally get paid a higher wage. However, you probably won’t get rich being a campground host.
What you will get, however, is a place to live for an entire season and maybe a bit of spending money to save for when you’re traveling. Many RVers find this more valuable than a steady paycheck and residential living.
→ Pro Tip: Workcampers need a comfy RV to stay in during their contract. These front living room fifth wheels are great for full-time living.
Duties of a Campground Host
Campground host duties may differ day to day, or it may be the same requirements daily. Typical host duties will often entail registering guests, enforcing rules, and completing paperwork. Others will probably involve picking up trash, cleaning bathhouses and laundry facilities, and keeping campgrounds clean and orderly.
Additional duties could be general maintenance, such as painting or repairing broken fixtures, fences, or anything in need of mending. You may also be in charge of firewood sales.
But mostly, your job is to be a host, which means offering a smile or a helping hand or finding a solution to a camper’s problem within the campground.
Where to Find Campground Host Jobs
There are several ways to find a campground host job or any other type of workamping gig. You’ll find many resources, including national park websites, specific vendors that run the parks, websites that specialize in workamping, among others.
Sometimes, the best resource is word of mouth, so tell everyone you’re looking for workamping gigs. The more people that know, the better your chances of finding a good job.
National Park Websites
Each national park and forest service website will have different job opportunities based on different skill levels. They may be volunteer-based or offer a small wage. But all should be rewarding. You are, after all, living within and caring for Mother Nature’s beautiful parks.
Many national parks go through outside services for some positions within the park. So, if you’re interested in something more than a campground host, you may have to dig a bit deeper.
Yellowstone National Park, for example, has many different departments and positions available. A store cashier position may have a different hiring manager than, say, the campground host.
An easy way to start your search is to visit volunteer.gov. It’s a government website that connects those interested in volunteering, workamping or hosting national and state park jobs.
State Park Websites
State park websites are similar to national park and forest service sites. Each will have varying opportunities available with variable pay, campsites, and duties.
Before you begin your search here, you need to know three things: 1) where you’re willing to work, 2) what you’re ready to do, and 3) the compensation you expect. Once you’ve settled on these, searching for a job within hundreds of places will be much simpler.
Coolworks bills itself as a website dedicated to jobs in great places. Here, you can find a campground host job along with jobs at ski resorts, farms, golf courses, and more. You’ll have access to positions in education, food, transportation, healthcare, nonprofits, etc. Plus, the worksites are pretty cool!
Coolworks is more than just a job search tool. It’s a community of like-minded people seeking roles in stunning places. It offers guidance on finding the right job, categories to narrow your job search, and resources for your dream campground host job.
Workampingjobs.com focuses on RV workers seeking employment. It’s a free resource that’s broken into four job categories: full-time, part-time, seasonal, and hourly. It’s like a trusty newspaper with all the jobs you might like in one place. You just have to start looking.
Camphost offers concise listings of positions specifically for campground hosts and similar campground roles. They work with Recreation Resource Management (a private company that many state and national parks hire to operate their campgrounds) to give you a one-stop-shop for many public lands.
These lands include recreation facilities and campgrounds within the U.S. Forest Service, state parks, and other government parks and agencies. You can easily apply to several campgrounds within one application because of this partnership. Happy hunting!
Tips for Getting a Campground Host Job
Just as in the typical job market, you’ll have to be on your toes to get an excellent campground host job. You know, the one on a beautiful lake next to your favorite brewery? Yeah, that one. So if you want a chance, here are a few tips to get you your perfect gig.
Apply Early and Often
Many people are looking for the same job you are, so don’t hesitate to apply when you see it! You’re more likely to get an interview if your name is at the top of the list. If you have any specialized qualifications that could be a bonus, include that in your application as well.
Once you’ve applied, check in with the company to ensure they have everything they need from you. You don’t want to be obnoxious, but you also don’t want to get lost in a massive applicant pile. Stand out from the crowd by being proactive so the company knows you want this job.
Have Many Options
We get it. You want a perfect job in the middle of the San Juan Mountains, right next to the most pristine lake you’ve ever seen.
Apply for it. Let them know you’re qualified and excited for the position. But don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Desirable jobs like the one described will always get more applicants.
Vary your job applications. There are other mountain ranges and lakes out there. Who knows? You may end up loving the desert more than the mountains.
If you want to be a campground host, you’ll have to apply for various positions for a chance at a coveted position.
The more jobs you seek out and apply for, the better your chances of getting a campground host job. It may not be the one you sought out initially, but it could be an ideal location you never knew about. That is to say, you won’t know if you don’t apply.
Applying to various locations is all part of the flexible mindset. Be as open as possible to the many campground host opportunities. Apply for positions in different campgrounds and different states. Be flexible with the dates, when you can arrive, and how long you can stay.
Plan ahead, so you have time to get where you need to be. In this ever-changing world, be aware of other possibilities if your host job doesn’t happen as planned. While this isn’t common, it does occur. If you have options and are flexible with your time and location, it will be another adventure!
That Perfect Campground Host Job Is Waiting for You
Finding the ideal campground host job will take a bit of work. Not much is perfect in this world – if anything. But if you’re willing to do the work, you may end up with the perfect spot on the lake of your dreams.
When you think about it that way, is there anything better than living on a lakefront property without paying lakefront property prices? We think not.
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