Spending a summer, as a park ranger at California’s Yosemite or working in a fishery in Montana’s Glacier National Park is an experience you won’t forget. It’s as close to a working vacation as you’ll get we think. In fact, it’s an experience you’ll remember forever.
The experience of working outdoors for a season, a year, or a career is almost too good an opportunity not to consider.
It’s a job that will have you seeing sunrises and sunsets, dealing with bee stings and sunburns, washing in rivers and playing in forests. Sometimes the government will even give you cheap accommodations, along with decent pay.
If you’re lucky enough to get one of the coveted jobs of the federal government, you should be aware of the accommodations. They really vary depending on where you are and what you’re doing, but don’t expect too much. Often accommodations come in the form of a tent, dormitory style bunkhouses, militaryesque barracks, floating cabin on a lake, or a fire watch station. You may have to pay a small fee, but nothing that will set you back. It isn’t uncommon that accommodations are reserved for full time employees.
Seasonal workers may have to figure it out on there own if they work close to town, but don’t worry too much. The government will help you find something to rent for a few months. If you end up in a remote location, you’ll definitely get a tent or cabin. A summer in a tent is a pretty cool adventure.
While the accommodations aren’t exactly five star hotels, that’s no big deal. It’s part of working in the outdoors. You may be wondering about pay. Pay for government workers is determined by Congress, and fluctuates based on the region and the cost of living where you are located.
You should be able to find the pay scale, minimum qualifications, and weekly salaries for every job online or with a simple phone call to the agency before you even apply.
Each level of pay has a range and that scale changes frequently. Also it will take four weeks until you get your first paycheck and then you are paid every two weeks after that. The pay usually starts around $250 a week and works its way up from there depending on education, experience, and time. As with anything the government does, the pay can be confusing. It’s based on a federally mandated pay scale. If you’re worried about it, ask questions before you apply.
Just remember that working outdoors is really living the dream. It’s an opportunity that not many people have. If you’re lucky enough to get one of these awesome jobs, you’ll be stoked to sleep in a tent, cook your own food, and breathe the fresh air.